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Reviews of Etienne de L'Amour
and H.M. Forester's books

the dissidents    escape from the shadowlands

The Lost Treasure of Roth Nagor
by Etienne de L'Amour

5/5 stars • "A wonderful read in the field of mystical faction --no, no spelling mistake", 12 Feb 2012.
By Un lector (Madrid)

As the author explains, mystical faction is an extrapolation or merging of fact with fiction.

Deeply influenced by the teaching of the late Sufi exemplar Idries Shah (''The Sufis'', ''Tales of the Dervishes'' and the extraordinary ''Nasrudin corpus'', to name a few) De L'Amour is certainly well-qualified to embed Sufi wisdom in ''The Lost Treasure of Roth Nagor'', a fascinating story that will reveal as many layers of meaning as the reader is ready to pay for --in terms of an ''active reading'', akin to ''active imagination'' in more ways than one.

Read it by all means --you might wind up like the young protagonist, David Seymour, finding an unexpected, still greater prize than the lost treasure of Roth Nagor he originally sets out to find...

5/5 stars • "A fantastic read! Highly recommended", 6 Nov 2012.
By Holly (UK)

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. This is the first book I read by this author, and I'm looking forward to reading more in his Shadowlands series. I was drawn to read the book after "meeting" the author online, as I'm not sure if I would have been drawn to the book by title and/or description alone. I'm very happy that I gave it a try, as it was a very enjoyable read: a fantastic story on many levels that immediately drew me in. The author's influences as a writer (primarily Idries Shah) are very apparent in his writing, and that made it all the more enjoyable to read. I highly recommend this book, and as I mentioned, I look forward to reading more books in the series.

Via Twitter: Holly Worton @hollyworton: "Thoroughly enjoyed this great read I finished by author @esowteric Reviews have been posted! :) Support #indieauthors."

5/5 stars • "A Good Yarn from a good storyteller", 4 Jan 2013.
By Omar

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. There is a journey involved, the development of the central character and a fair sprinkling of humour and wisdom for the reader. I am starting to enjoy these tales that take place in the Shadowlands!

Escape From the Shadowlands
by Etienne de L'Amour

5/5 stars • "Astounding and Dizzying Journey!", 24 Jan 2013.
By Zenizen

Etienne de L'Amour has stepped up to a very great challenge and taken up the torch from the likes of Doris Lessing with his book, Escape From the Shadowlands. In so doing, he has done all of us a very great service. The book details the journey that we all face in one way or another and provides signposts that, properly understood and followed, can help us successfully navigate the perilous way. For a very entertaining and - dare I say enlightening - story that you will relish and remember, please treat yourself to a very good read indeed :)

The Gift
by Etienne de L'Amour

5/5 stars • "Five read, Five more to go", 21 Jan 2013.
By Paul Burglund

The Gift, by Etienne de L'Amour, is Book 7 in the Shadowlands Series, from Sher Point Publications, UK. I have read 5 of the 10 thus far, and these five all take place in a world very much like our own, yet different and mysterious, as though somehow from a parallel dimension, seeming like out of the past yet in present time.

Within this world of the Shadowlands are places such as Narayana, Godweir (the Outlands) and the Shangri-La-like Abshar. As I read, I always think it must figuratively be somewhere in Central Asia or near India, but it really could be many places.

Adventures with journeys happen here, something of the nature of Harry Potter-like journeys, but with their own uniqueness and character. There are, layered throughout, or brought forth here and there in each of the books, thought-provoking philosophical statements and 'life-sayings', if you will, of a quality you don't find often. The intriguing adventures seem to have at least this dual purpose, one to entertain, and the other to help, to assist the 'traveler' (the reader) on his or her own journey.

In this 7th book, The Gift, there is a most interesting idea as the basis for the story. The central feature of the tale is the seemingly very unjust and backwards state-of-things where when people who are 'gifted' with sensitivity (telepathy and related abilities) are 'found out' they then have to spend their lives in servitude to other seemingly unworthy and disagreeable people. From this starting point proceeds the adventure. As with the other books in the series I have read, I have found The Gift thoroughly enjoyable, and as a bonus there is within it the happy tear-in-the-eye in the concluding pages, which some of us readers do enjoy now and then. For this reader, the only question now is which one of the remaining books in the series to pick up next.

The Insiders
by Etienne de L'Amour

5/5 stars • "The Teachers of Gurdieff Revisited for 2012...", 13 Mar 2012.
By Un lector (Madrid)

This is a book on Sufism ''from the ground up'' --it describes as best as can be described what Sufism is in very practical terms for our time, including the most important fact that Sufism is ''caught'' rather than ''taught'' and that contrary to what most academics might tell you it is certainly not ''Islamic mysticism'' (although it has often appeared in that guise, for obvious reasons of ''Time, Place and People'').

So forget any preconceptions and/or stereotypes such as ''whirling dervishes'' and pious gatherings of people taking turns to read Rumi's poetry. Learning to polish old rusty bicycles until they shine as new or helping to efficiently serve tables in a small restaurant might actually be more realistic examples of the way the ''transmission'' takes place.

Back in 1966 --46 years ago and a whole world apart-- ''The Teachers of Gurdjieff'', by Rafael Lefort (some say it was an anagram for ''A Real Effort'', and others point to Idries Shah as the author) caused a veritable stir among those involved in the ''Fourth Way'' teaching of the Armenian mystagogue G. I. Gurdjieff, who claimed to have received a ''higher form of knowledge'' from a mysterious ''Sarmoung brotherhood'' in Central Asia.

The book, a tale of a one man's quest to find the source of Gurdjieff's teaching, was a kind of treatise on Sufism in the 20th century, and contained not-so-veiled hints for the ''seekers after Truth'' of the 1960's. They all led --of course-- to Idries Shah, who happened to be teaching not in a remote valley in Afghanistan, but in Tunbridge Wells, Kent, not too far from London, and who had among his students people of the most varied sorts --some of them public figures such as Doris Lessing or Robert Graves, and more often than not just common folks from all walks of life.

Shah is the author of a truly monumental work which for the first time adapted Sufi teachings for the Western mind. From his amazing ''Nasrudin corpus'' (with the ''Pink Panther'' illustrator Richard Williams) to ''Tales of the Dervishes'', ''The Sufis'' or ''Learning How To Learn'') Shah's work is a priceless legacy of wisdom, common sense and humor. He was the founder of The Octagon Press, the Institute for Cultural Research in London and the Institute for the Study of Human Knowledge (ISHK)in the USA.

Shah died in 1996 and told his son Tahir Shah that his succesor was to be his entire written work, as told by Tahir in ''In Arabian Nights''.

It was a very clear warning on the part of that extraordinary man.

Was he perhaps aware of what would happen with ISHK after his death, to name one example? Under the direction of former Shah-protegé Robert Ornstein, ISHK has of late been actively engaged in a most un-Sufic campaign to attack and discredit Christianity, enlisting the help of ''scholars'' such as Marvin Meyer, Bart D. Ehrman or Elaine Pagels --but curiously ignoring serious scholarship as that of Paul Ricoeur, Karl Rahner or Edward Schillebeeckx. Certainly this was never Shah's agenda --and I mention it because this is a point over which I most strongly disagree with Etienne De L'Amour, the author of ''The Insiders'' and the quite remarkable ''Shadowlands'' series.

Having said that, ''The Insiders'', by Shah's student De L'Amour (obviously a pen-name) is as fascinating a read as ''The Teachers of Gurdieff'' was --but far more relevant for the ''seekers'' of 2012, when ''The Work'', always changing according to the Sufi dictum of ''Time, People and Place'' is as accessible as it has always been --if you know where to look...

As De L'Amour very aptly says in ''The Insiders'':

''John Little (the protagonist)discovers that rather than finding the (Sufi)masters in robes of honour and turbans in exotic locations, you are more likely to find them -- and countless others -- engaged in very ordinary and down to earth endeavours. A butcher, a baker, a candle stick maker or the lady next door might turn out to be a student or master of the Way, though many are unconscious of having this hidden function or have made themselves "invisible" to the untutored or unperceptive eye. Indeed, you can find the whole of the secret life of humanity revealed in this new light. The Way is not a place to journey toward; it is a Way of Being to awaken into.''

This book is a good starting place.

5/5 stars • "A Journey for Wisdom", 1 Jan 2013.
By Omar

An excellent story telling of a person's spiritual journey in search of truth....some good material here for the seeker-after-truth and some advice too!

Thank You, I Undertand
by Etienne de L'Amour

Via Twitter: Mark Melton @Consigliari_UK: "I've just finished reading #TYIU. Congrats on a wonderful book. I'm from the same generation, so it resonated."

The Dissidents
by H.M. Forester

5/5 stars • "just read this and enjoyed it thanks", 1 Oct 2012.
By joedoe1982

we have just read this book and we enjoyed it very much.

luckily i am free to say and think what i like.

this was a good read with only a few minor gramatical errors, over all i would recommend this book to anyone interested in the dystopian/utopian genre.

the story flows well and keeps your attention as its fast paced.

Via Twitter: Omar Ghazali Grant @Omarheaps: "'The Dissidents' by H. M. Forester is a scarily enjoyable read. Want a view of where we are heading? Then try this great book!"

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