A rich, vivid, and wholly immersive literary tale grounded in spirituality…
Qualls brings forth a coming-of-age mystical tale where dream world unites with waking world, and the boundary between earthly and blessed is separated by dreams. Set in ancient Tibet and modern-day India, Painted Oxen narrates the story of two men—an old Buddhist monk and a young backpacker—on parallel journeys centuries apart which converge together as the story progresses. Qualls brings his two protagonists to vivid life and conveys the underlying theme of the real transformation of the human heart with utter conviction and thoughtfulness. The character of Tibetan monk is portrayed with humility and sensitivity whereas the young backpacker wins readers’ hearts with his eccentric ways. Qualls’s narrative is packed with satirical observations, sometimes to the verge of mockery, as the young backpacker narrates his trip through various towns and cities across India and describes the ways of Indian people as seen through his “foreigner eyes”. The narrative constantly shifts as the story is told in a different perspective, and Qualls expertly balance the story of the old monk’s search for the internal truth with the young backpacker’s quest for an indefinite objective. Qualls skillfully handles the plot’s literary and spiritual elements to craft an inspiring tale. Between the old monk’s spiritual journey and the young man’s backpacking trip, Qualls deftly incorporates revealing seeds of wisdom. With its engrossing prose, morally ambiguous theme, and well-sketched characterization, fans of spiritual fiction will have plenty to enjoy. An inspired effort!
by Thomas Lloyd Qualls
PUB DATE April 2, 2019
PRICE $12.16 (USD)