Buddhism Explainedby Laurence-Khantiparo Mills
One of the first things to be said about the book is that it is eminently readable-and this, alas, is by no means always [cue of books dealing with so broad and deep a subject in so small a compass (less than two hundred pages). Often the need for brevity and simplicity results in summaries that are little more than list of subject headings with a few short notes on each. Phra Khantipalo has avoided this pitfall so skilfully that a good part of the work could be read with pleasure even by people not especially interested in Buddhism.
The book should make a powerful appeal to two kinds of person. First, those largely ignorant of Buddhism who are sincerely eager to repair that ignorance will find in it exactly what they need. It admirably fulfils the oft¬heard request: 'Look here, I do wish you could recommend a book which explains Buddhism in a way that everyone can understand, something comprehensive but not too long.' Second, a good many people with a fairly extensive knowledge of Buddhism would be happy to have such a work on their bookshelves, because it provides a complete summary of all the essentials of Buddhist teaching and practice, and can be used as a handy reference book for materials that usually have to be hunted out from more than one source. Do you, for example, want to know something about meditation methods, the daily life of Buddhist monks, the meaning of profound concepts such as Nirvana? These are three essentially different matters, but all are dealt with adequately in this one compact volume. Moreover, if you happened to be ignorant of Thai, Pali and Sanskrit and dislike reading works studded with foreign terms, you will be delighted to find that Laurence-Khantiparo Mills has reduced these terms to the barest minimum and given clear explanations of the few that cannot be avoided.