Deep River

Deep River Offers a religious vision combining Christian faith with Buddhist acceptance in the story of a group of Japanese tourists who converge at the Ganges River in India

  • Title: Deep River
  • Author: Shūsaku Endō
  • ISBN: 9780811212892
  • Page: 323
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Offers a religious vision combining Christian faith with Buddhist acceptance in the story of a group of Japanese tourists who converge at the Ganges River in India.

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      Published :2018-09-26T07:24:24+00:00

    1 thought on “Deep River”

    1. Reading Deep River is like having a sugar rush. It is too much sweet. Right after the book, I just thought of having an edgy book. Maybe one that is dark and sad. I thought I’d like to neutralize the taste and get rid of the sweetness. Maybe a dark and strong coffee or some salty corn chips. Maybe just brush my teeth and I would be fine again.Had I read this in high school when I was still a naïve young man, I would have rated this with 5 stars outright. It talks about pantheism or a belief t [...]

    2. Deep River is a rich story which jumps around in time, in place, in ideas. So off we go, to Japan, Washington DC, France, Manchuria, Burma and India. We catch glimpses of the gods Chamunda and Kali, the Burma Highway of Death, yakiimo, reincarnation, a Ginko tree, a stray dog, Buddhist holy spots such as Lumbini Kapilavastu, Buddh-Gaya and Sarnath, the caste system called varna jati, the Andes Survivors, Shirley Maclaine, Indira Gandhi - and - sins of the flesh. Pierrot appears as a man, and as [...]

    3. Do you know that scene in Billy Madison when (this is a major spoiler if you haven't seen Billy Madison and still mean to) Bradley Whitford's character is asked to explain the difference between ethics and morals? And he whips out a gun instead? (It's on youtube.Here it is anyway. It must be wrong to post links to Adam Sandler movies. What can I say? I'm a heathen.) Deep River is apparently beloved by ethics students all over and amazon. I guess it is loved in Japan too, if ejaculatory book jac [...]

    4. Second reading. Isobe is a middle-aged, Japanese businessman whose wife is dying of cancer. Before she dies she comes out of a coma long enough to whisper to her husband: ‘I know for sureI’ll be reborn somewhere in this world. Look for mend meomise promise!’ He is stricken by her loss. Whereas he hardly ever thought about her during her life, now he thinks about her all the time. He has never loved her as he does in death.Ms. Naruse is a young hospital volunteer who sometimes sits with Mrs [...]

    5. Three words for Otsu: Church of England. You can believe whatever the fuck you like and they'll let you be a bishop. Don't some of them not even believe in the literal truth of any of the Bible?Two words for all of the other characters: Let's communicate! Endo's created a host of emotionally inarticulate characters that are incapable of open and frank relationships, taken us through all of their problems and then left us grasping at spiritual solutions.It's very ethnocentric, I know, but I would [...]

    6. For a short book, Deep River covers a lot. It’s interesting to be gazing through a window at the lives of these Japanese men and women as they themselves gaze through a window at Europeans (mostly French) and Indians. The main themes of the book are religion and grief - characters contemplate rebirth, Japanese Buddhism, the differences between Japanese Christianity and European Christianity, Hinduism and a few personal constructions, like the man who thinks of God as being in communion with na [...]

    7. There is death. Yet, there is also life. There are long emotionally dead passages. Yet, there are also moments so charged with feeling they consume all in their path, carry them along for a bit and then leave behind ones willing to do anything to catch up. You have the search for reincarnated love ones, the search for emotional fulfillment, the search to reconcile death with life, the search for atonement, each person ever searching for something omnipresent in its never clearly defined state. A [...]

    8. A novel about different streams towards God and how there is a deep river that runs deep enough to handle all the craziness that goes on down here. I learned some really beautiful things about some other religions that I didn't know before I read this book. One of the most beautiful things that stuck with me is the symbolism of The Ganges river in India. People bring death there (they sprinkle loved ones ashes in there), but the also come to this river for ritual cleasings. It takes it all. Noth [...]

    9. A very interesting study in faith as seen through the eyes of a group of Japanese tourists to India as they recall pivotal moments of their lives, experiences, and their personal struggles as they try to reconnect with past acquaintances, past loves, and reconcile past traumas through the lens of different faiths and depths of faith as they visit the intersection of Asian faith, with Buddhism, Catholicism, and Hinduism.

    10. Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. Matthew 5:5Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles 1 Corinthians 1:22-25I wonder at the faith and Christianity of Shusaku Endo a thoughtful, reflectfull Japanese Christian. Did he feel as at odds with his faith and heritage as the central character, Otso, of Deep Rivet?Did he feel himself as outcast as Otsu who identified with the lowest caste o [...]

    11. it's been reported in literary papers or sections that an unofficial "twenty-year rule" applies to the Nobel Prize in Literature-- that is, every twenty years or so (unless it was every twenty-five years, and I'm misremembering), the Nobel Literature Prize committee "has" to award the prize to a Japanese writer. such would not be unvelieable. if I remember the WP entry on the NPL correctly, the first twenty years of the prize were entirely Sweden or Sweden-Norway specific, until the realization [...]

    12. A group of Japanese tourists travel to India to visit historic sites from the life of the Buddha, without realizing that there are few modern Buddhists there. They wind up in Varanasi, by the side of the sacred, polluted Ganges, where people go to die. The group includes Isobe, who is looking for his reincarnated wife, who he ignored when she was alive and Mitsuko, who has found emptiness in a series of personae: hedonistic student, wife, volunteer at a hospital. Least affecting is Numada, a aut [...]

    13. a total waste of time. shallow characters, boring plot, boring dialog, no message. as a japanese christian i thought endo might have an interesting perspective on religious life but this book culminates in some watery relativist bullshit. the main female character, mitsuko, is an insufferable bitch who seems to not change at all through the course of the story. in fact, none of the characters change in any meaningful way. i don't know how i kept turning pages. there were a couple interesting bac [...]

    14. I found this novel so much more powerful that Silence, which was about a group of Portuguese missionaries who were tortured in Seventeenth Century Japan. Endo, a practising Catholic, returns to the theme of forcing a Christian to deny one's faith, an idea which seems quaintly anachronistic now, but which he must feel strongly about to reintroduce it again. This time he tracks a group of Japanese on a pilgrimage to Buddhist Holy Sites in India. One of them had ignored his wife until her dying ple [...]

    15. Having written Silence, it's hard to come back and write something just as stunning, but Deep River isn't far off. It's hard to pin down -- Shusaku Endo is writing heavily in the vein of forgotten French Catholic writers, like those who get name-checked in the story, Francois Mauriac and Julien Green.And indeed, Endo got a lot of comparisons to writers like that, as well as Graham Greene, but that's missing a large part of the picture. For example, a lot of the coincidences and reunion moments t [...]

    16. *Zero stars* Deep River was quite possibly the worst book I have ever read in my life. To make it worse it was assigned in my English class so I couldn't just return it to the library like I've done with other bad books. The characters were bland and the plot was non-existent. People tell me this book is about spiritual journeys but I saw no journey. Confrontation maybe, but there was no journey. There was no conclusion to the book. If the author had died mid sentence and so the editors had to f [...]

    17. This book tells the stories and backstories of a group of Japanese tourists in India and centers around the river Ganges and the varying views of religion by the tourists and the peoples of India. It is an intriguing and enfolding novel with vivid depictions of disease, war, poverty, and the ways in which the characters are affected by what they see and experience.

    18. Wow, the disparate spirits do not rest. But they do manage to come together, and what they find there, at the fated nucleus, fountainhead, existential monolith is exactly what moves the reader towards the epic end. The Ganges has never before been characterized in such a raw, personified wayAsians in the Holy Lands. Japanese tourists in IndiaThere is something about the POV of Japanese tourists mystical figures all their own. I will definitely abstain from saying anything about Japanese tourists [...]

    19. Unreliable narrator is a term many people are probably familiar with from literature class. It doesn't quite cover what is happening in this novel though, as it is written in third person. So the narrator is giving you, the reader, a (fairly) accurate view of the thoughts and actions of the characters (or at least an accurate view of the thoughts and the actions that each character finds to be important), but the characters in the story are, to varying degrees, rather unreliable.They have incorr [...]

    20. Dang, yo.Shusaku Endo wrote this book I read called SILENCE. It's about Catholic missionaries to Japan in like the 1600s and it's kinda boring and pretty one-note but also well written and about an important culture clash. Shusaku Endo, a Japanese Catholic, is an intriguing character himself, and so one is impelled to read more of his work. Especially since it's featured in Season 6 of Lost. And with good reason.Silence was written in the 60s and Deep River was written in the 90s. The openness a [...]

    21. I found this to be a powerful book. The four main characters each have intriguing back stories and travel to India searching for freedom from grief and emptiness. Isobe, in a typical Japanese marriage of "usefulness," loses his wife and discovers a need to find her. Alientated Numada recovers from near death with the help of a mynah bird and wants to repay his debt. Kiguchi looks to the land of Buddha to heal his trauma from WWII and the death of the friend who saved his life during the war but [...]

    22. Shusaku Endo’s book Deep River is about a journey to the river Ganges with a collection of tourists immersed in their own private spiritual struggles. Each character presents a face of spirituality as a whole. The characters face uncomfortable spiritual questions that aren’t always neatly answered. I loved the book because it brings together ideas of Christianity, Buddhism and Hinduism.Not only are the questions uncomfortable, so are the characters. The young woman Mitsuko, is so cruel, I al [...]

    23. Another book I started with high hopes which failed to live up to my expectations. Endo's characters all end up seeming contrived and sometimes ridiculous in their actions and dialogue as the stories progress and they make their pilgrimages to the Hindu and Buddhist holy sites along the Ganges. I was hoping for some insight into Christianity as it is viewed and experienced in Japan and the Orient but was instead treated to an individual's ecumenistic dreams. And I think maybe he sets up some of [...]

    24. Shūsaku Endō is that rarity: a Japanese Catholic -- but with a difference. In Deep River, he looks at the members of a Japanese tour group that visits North India. The beginning of the book takes most of the characters in turn, showing how there is some lack in their lives that they hope to remedy by the side of the Ganges.In the end, the various members of the group take baby steps. Only Ohtsu, a renegade Catholic priest that one of the group knew in Japan, has found himself. Dressed in a dho [...]

    25. I really liked Deep River. On the surface, it's just a story about a Japanese tourist group. There is a tour guide, schedule and some annoying passengers. But the tour group is also in India, and is there during the assassination of Indira Gandhi. The different stories of the main protagonists were all interesting (and sad) to me, and the more I thought about them the more impressed I was by their hidden similarities. Would definitely read again!

    26. This book reminds me of the Canterbury Tales (Chaucer), and of The Bridge of San Luis Rey, by Thornton Wilder. Like those books, Deep River is a collection of character sketches tied together by a situation, in this case a group of Japanese tourists on a tour of India. The author explores themes of death and rebirth, faith and religions(especially Christianity and Buddhism), and suffering in its various forms.

    27. A powerful story. A group of Japanese tourists goes to India for wildly varying reasons. All of the characters feel incomplete in some sort of way and are looking to this trip to provide experiences to fill the void in their lives. I didn't like it quite as much as Endo'sSilence, but it's a close second, and definitely not as difficult to handle, content-wise.

    28. another book for my intersession ethics course. here's a kinda bizarre essay i wrote for my class re: some characters as depictions of integrity and the notion of global citizenry. enjoy. The Yin-Yang and the “Natural” Humanity Shusaku Endo's Deep River brought me back to Encountering God, a text focused on the author's pilgrimage to India to find herself and her faith, which I read as a first-year DePaul undergrad. Much like some DR characters, the EC author comes away with a feeling of gen [...]

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