CASSIO AND THE LIFE DIVINE by David Rubin

CASSIO AND THE LIFE DIVINE

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Sankram is a Sanskrit word for difficult journey, in the spiritual sense. So David Rubin's account of Peter Cassio's three months in the ""Indian spook racket"" can best be described as a Sankram novel, and even better than that as an unbelievably dull Sankram novel...Cassios-- a brilliant scholar and college instructor -- begins his journey through India after the death of his beloved young sister Marina. There he meets and exchanges ideas with Susanna ""brought up like a princess in Pelham"" who ""sobered up"" in the East and in the process became something of a Saint, but not saintly enough to keep Cassio from wondering, ""Could, a girl who had saved her soul make love with whatever was left of her, and if so, how would it be?""; with a student out to prove that Yogasutra is compatible with the Church of England; with Swami, who ""suffered for the suffering of those he was powerless to help""; with assorted Babbitts, baby Buddhas, and supercilious intellectuals. There are a couple of pages on the glories of Indian music and the sitar, which bring back Huxley, mescalin, and Mozart, the only difference being that Huxley was ahead of his time. Inexcusably prolix, egotistical, and ponderous.

Pub Date: Sept. 13th, 1965
Publisher: Farrar, Straus & Giroux