The Yoga of Max’s Discontent by Karan Bajaj

IMG_1734“I see the faces that stop by my cart here. Their smiles are hollow, their eyes are hungry. The yogi’s faces are different. Silent, complete. Like the mountains around them. Asking no questions, seeking no answers, just certain, as though they knew exactly who they were.”

The Yoga of Max’s Discontent is the story of one man’s spiritual journey that takes him from New York to India. Growing up under difficult conditions as a child of Greek immigrants, Max worked hard to achieve success and the ideal life as a Wall Street analyst. With the death of his mother and the growing disillusion with his life, Max embarks on a trip to India.  However, this trip is not as simple or straightforward as Max may have believed and it is one that will test him and change him.

As someone who loves stories about great journeys, personal quests, and self-discovery, The Yoga of Max’s Discontent was one of my most anticipated releases.  While there are some really good aspects to the novel as a whole, it unfortunately fell short of expectations and I couldn’t help but be disappointed.  The positives for me included the descriptions of the different settings and the things Max encountered, in which the author does a wonderful job of bringing these places to life.  I also liked that he differentiated between those who are serious spiritual seekers and those who are just curious, going for a quick fix of spirituality.  It also showcases internal struggle along with outward challenges.

What didn’t work for me was the character of Max who came across as selfish and not very likable, therefore I struggled to connect to him or his journey.  There is not a lot of lead up to his decision to leave his life behind and I did not fully understand his dissatisfaction or internal turmoil.  More of a preamble showing Max’s discontent that led him to embark on his journey would have made his later decisions easier to accept and understand.  While many parts of his experiences are quite interesting, those towards the end of the book became unbelievable along with Max’s abilities.  The lack of connection and understanding of Max as a character definitely clouded his overall journey.

If you enjoy stories of spiritual discovery, I would still recommend you give The Yoga of Max’s Discontent a try.  It is a book many people seem to have enjoyed and connected to. While it turned out to not be for me, it could be something that you may connect to as well.

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