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Monday, November 19, 2012

Nikki finds herself in a world between realms, the Bardo, and time is running out. Soon her essence will be scattered forever. Can she pull herself together?
Bardo , based loosely on the Tibetan Book of the Dead, follows Nikki, a young schoolgirl who has an.... unfortunate accident and finds herself trapped in the Bardo. It won’t be long before she'll be scattered across the realms. With only a dog to guide her, can she re-unite herself in time to escape?

Fun, fast and humorous, Bardo asks questions about some deep issues, including who we really are, the nature of life and death and why schools insist on students wearing school uniforms when there are much more fashionable options available.

My review:

My first thought when beginning to read this book was what the heck is Bardo? After reading it, I sort of understood what it was but I wanted to know more so I asked him about it and about his use of footnotes.  This was his response:

Bardo is short for Bardo thodol which is the place Tibetans believe they go when they die. I think the closest thing in Christianity would be purgatory. The idea is that they have is that when people die they will be reincarnated in different realms depending on how they lived their lives before. If you can resist the temptation of all the realms then you have a chance of achieving enlightenment. I didn't go into too much of this as I did not want to book to be overly religious or scholarly, but would rather let people make up their own minds about it.

The footnotes I used were designed to add information without breaking the flow of the narrative. Most were indented to be funny, but I think some, people will only get if they are British. It's also a nod to one of my favourite authors Terry Pratchett who also uses footnote in this way.

His response helped me understand a lot more, but it isn’t necessary to truly enjoy the book. I enjoyed the journey that the two main characters went on in from beginning to end. I loved that purgatory or Bardo had a black market, I laughed when I first read about it. 

Dog is the male counter to the female Nikki in this adventure through afterlife and in the beginning he appears as a dog. After she dies it is then that we learn that he is actually a person, and it is his love for Nikki that leads him to help her.

I found reviewing this to be harder than actually reading it, because there are so many parts of it that I want to share and discuss but then it wouldn’t be a review it would be a summary. This book deserves so much more than a summary. I thoroughly enjoyed that while it is a work of fiction, it made me think about my own life.

I will be encouraging my friends and readers to read this wonderful story. I am also giving it 5 out of 5 apples.

About the author:

Chris McKenna was born in Scotland in 1983. After graduating from university he worked as programmer in Scotland and then Austria, before giving up his day job to explore the Far East.

Presently Chris is working as an English language teacher in Asia and has lived and worked in many countries including: China, Japan, Indonesia and the Philippines. We would tell you where he lives now, but by the time we do he'll probably be living somewhere else.

Thank You Chris Mckenna for allowing me to read and review this great book.

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