To be honest, I haven't gotten quite so excited about someone else's life for a long time. When I first glanced over the press release for “The 99th Monkey: A Spiritual Journalist’s Misadventures with Gurus, Messiahs, Sex, Psychedelics, and Other Consciousness-Raising Experiments," I basically puh-shawed (verb usage?) And then I came to. (Press-releases send me into a 30 second stupor before I am able to resume normal brain function.) I read a few sentences. And then a few more. And then I couldn't stop! Which led to this beautifully written passage that now graces the editorial department's cutting room floor:
While reading his book, my work and my co-worker’s work suffered. I couldn’t stop compulsively reading, shrieking or quoting aloud passages as I delved deeper into the jungles of this man’s ridiculously adventured life, populated by the who’s who of the modern spiritual world against such backdrops as India, Brazil and Jerusalem.
Then I got to meet the guy. And he's so unassuming! He's not arrogant or prickish or loud or any of those things you may have come to fear in a writer, if, like me, you spend some time around writers (Or gurus for that matter. I'm not referring to YOU of course.)
Come to find out, he's spent over a year in our fine, charming, cosmopolitan town and has not yet met ANYBODY!! He has friends all over the globe and a lovely wife, etc. but he's been pretty much a hermit around these parts and so I graciously offered to help him step into the limelight of the South via the alternative weekly vehicle, Style Weekly! So anyhoo, read my article HERE. And come with me to hear him read at Chop Suey at 1317 West Cary Street on April 6 at 3pm. It'll be a swingin' good time.
Here's another little gem that got the axe:
But for all of his spiritual tomfoolery, the undercurrents of “99th Monkey” are serious, historical, and even monumental. Sobel’s moment with the Dalai Lama is transcendent; his homage to Auschwitz is sacred and his quest to understand the horror instilled in him as the child of a child of concentration camp victim is key. As a chaplain at a university hospital he helped people.