- Title: Serendib
- Author: Jim Toner
- ISBN: 9780820322698
- Page: 136
- Format: Hardcover
I didn t invite him The idea was all my father s, my seventy four year old father who had never been outside America and who suddenly thought that Sri Lanka, where I was a Peace Corps volunteer, would be a jolly place to visit.When John Toner, a retired Cleveland judge, decided on a whim in April 1990 to spend a month with his son in war torn Sri Lanka, he was as much a sI didn t invite him The idea was all my father s, my seventy four year old father who had never been outside America and who suddenly thought that Sri Lanka, where I was a Peace Corps volunteer, would be a jolly place to visit.When John Toner, a retired Cleveland judge, decided on a whim in April 1990 to spend a month with his son in war torn Sri Lanka, he was as much a stranger to his seventh and last child as he was to the hardships of life in a Third World country Serendib chronicles the journey that follows as a father and son who had never been alone together live in close quarters, in the poorest of conditions and replace awkwardness and distance with understanding and love.Along the way are the stories of John learning to eat with his fingers, bathing in a river alongside cows, and trading his wool trousers for a traditional sarong We witness his coming face to face with a Hindu priest in a loincloth and his first encounter with the everyday violence of a country at war with itself John watches with awe as students learn without computers, books, or even paper he bonds with Sri Lankan children and learns, once again, how to give and how to play Each new experience pushes Toner s father to face his fears and brings him closer to his youngest son.Serendib offers a colorful, humorous, and touching account of multiple discoveries of an old man exploring deep within himself, of a father and son finding each other, and of two cultures coming together on uncommon ground and awakening to the joy and hope of the life they share.
Recent Comments "Serendib"
one of my parents best friend, Jimmy Toner used to come around and I remember as a young kid, he was someone pretty remarkable, unlike most of the Cleveland hooligans that were hanging around our house. This book is his story of the a trip when his aging, Irish Catholic father, a judge from Cleveland, came to visit him during his assignment as a peace corps volunteer in Sri Lanka. Having known both Jimmy and the Judge, I guess I'm biases, but all of my friends I pass this on to love it. I mean, [...]
This was a fun read and I enjoyed the story and the location and the lessons learned. This would make a wonderful movie. The reason I rated it 3 stars is that I'm not a big fan of memoirs and I think I just wanted more depth and feeling. I also wanted to know what happened after the story ends as far as the relationship with the author and his father. That being said, it's a good book and I would recommend it.
Surprisingly, when the author invites his father to Sri Lanka to visit while the author is serving in the Peace Corps, his father, whom the author thought would not adjust well, made a complete turnaround and enjoyed an excellent visit - even seemed to love the local citizens and their "strange" ways. Witty, and touching story.
Totally enjoyable! Great father/son story. Father started out difficult, unwilling to try new things in Sri Lanka and ended up comfortable with the culture and people. Loved to see the transition. Such nice father/son bonding.
Great book, especially if you're from India.
Enjoyed the second half better than the first half.
I Love this book I hope it could go on forever, it made me smile, it made laugh out loud, it made me sigh, and most of all it made me think of my family back home.
it helps that he was my JC english professor - and mind you, it's been years since I read it - but sentimentality of this novel moved me.
I terrific father and son story.
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