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Formats
Paperback Details
  • 10/2021
  • 978-2-940573-37-0 B09KN8TDCC
  • 248 pages
  • $34.95
Searching for Ganesha
Across Asia, an elephant-headed god flexes his muscles… Ganesha, the Hindu elephant-headed god, is among the most-appreciated of all deities. In this innovative book, Paul Spencer Sochaczewski explores why he collects Ganesha images, examines the psychology of collecting, and recounts personal adventures in his 40-year quest for just one more (but it’s gotta be special) Ganesha statue. He provides enough iconography to give the reader a grounding in Ganesha’s obstacle-removing prowess, but this is neither an academic nor a religious tome. Museum-quality photographs of some 80 statues, carvings, and amulets from his 150-piece collection illustrate how Hindu public relations experts retrofitted Ganesha into the Mahabharata, under what circumstances benevolent Ganesha can be an aggressive crusader, why he loves sweets, what inspiration Hindu branding experts took from nature, and why his “vehicle” is a humble mouse. Why does Sochaczewski appreciate (but not worship) the god? “Ganesha isn’t a stern, don’t-touch-my-hair super-god, and therefore artists can flex their creative muscles when portraying him,” he says. “And simply because he’s cool.”

Quarter Finalist

Plot/Idea: 9 out of 10
Originality: 10 out of 10
Prose: 10 out of 10
Character/Execution: 9 out of 10
Overall: 9.50 out of 10

Assessment:

Plot/Idea: Sochaczewski has crafted a delightful foray into his own private collection of Ganesha statues. This book is full of interesting tidbits about the author, about collecting, about Hindu gods, about travels....and most importantly, about the titular Ganesha. Filled with countless gorgeous photos and interesting stories regarding Sochaczewski's travels, Searching for Ganesha is a charming, unusual, read.

Prose: Sochaczewski is a wonderful writer. He is able to take concepts that may be very distant for the reader, esoteric, strange, or even dull, and turns them into fun, playful stories. His voice cuts through his prose in the best way, and one can only imagine that he would be delightful to listen to over a glass of wine. The book takes what could be a dusty topic and makes it humorous and even enchanting.

Originality: Sochaczewski readily acknowledges that he is an unusual person who has lived an unusual life, and harbors a singular penchant for collecting Ganesha figures. Even readers who are unfamiliar with Ganesha will find the author's enthusiasm to be contagious.

Character Development/Execution: Despite occasional formatting issues, this work is enhanced with striking pictures. The author delivers a wholly unique memoir that combines elements of mythology, psychology, and autobiography. 

Date Submitted: November 05, 2021

Formats
Paperback Details
  • 10/2021
  • 978-2-940573-37-0 B09KN8TDCC
  • 248 pages
  • $34.95

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