Be the first to ask a question about The House is Full of Yogis. Lists with This Book. This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Community Reviews. Showing Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Nov 12, Petal X rated it liked it Shelves: reviews , biography-true-story , philosophy-religion , reviewed. All gravy, no meat, nor onions or garlic.
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That describes both the diet of the Brahma Kumaris and this book. I read it because I was briefly involved with and in the bad graces of the same set of Brahma Kumaris but a decade or so later in the 90s. One summer, back in the UK with my son, my house-mate, Lizzie, announced she had joined the Brahma Kumaris and would be moving out to live with them in their big Edwardian-style house just a short walk away.
Lizzie was a teacher and deliberately andro All gravy, no meat, nor onions or garlic. Lizzie was a teacher and deliberately androgenous looking with her short hair and boyish clothes. She was always confused whether she was heterosexual or a lesbian and had vague feelings of guilt about this.
Perhaps joining a cult where all the women were princesses who wore white and never had sex of any kind was her solution. She invited us to a Brahma Kumari garden party. The garden, huge and lovely, had all sorts of stands set up, one for food, another for massage, a little 'altar' with the point of light surrounded by a deep orange egg-shape for meditation, ones to entertain children and the one where I disgraced myself. The main crowd were gathered around the levitation stand. One person was sitting down taking names and so I put mine down I always say 'yes' to anything adventurous and pushed forward to see what was happening.
Some guy was lying down and there were all these Brahma Kumaris laying their hands on and meditating very hard apparently when there was a cheer. The 'victim' had levitated. All had seen him rise up into the air. Except me. Had I missed the moment? I didn't say anything but watched the next person. It took quite a while, it wasn't a production line of one a minute into the air, back down, onto the next one on the list. This was heavy spirituality, man. The next one also levitated and I didn't see that either.
Everyone was overjoyed and smiling and nodding, wasn't it wonderful? I said I didn't seem him levitate, I said he didn't move at all. They tried to persuade me that I had seen it huh? Oh bollocks. Anyway they wouldn't let me have my go at being levitated, and Lizzie drifted over in her white goddess outfit and suggested that it might be a good time for Daniel and I to leave. So we did, but we went by the cake table first and got some really nice jam sponge.
The next time Lizzie came to visit it was to tell us that she was going home to live with her parents in Surrey as she had MS. The Brahma Kumaris with their celibacy and strange ideas on food have continued to flourish on the contributions of their overwhelmingly middle-class and therefore quite high earning members.
They've built a 'World University' for all to travel to and take courses. I wonder if there is a course in levitation? Or perhaps the most spiritual of yogis just fly in all by themselves. The book was a story of growing up in a well-off, professional household - boarding school, bad holidays with the parents, camping with bullies, thieving, first girlfriends, losing virginity, university The only thing out of the ordinary was his father, after nearly dying from food poisoning gave up his life and ultimately money to the Brahma Kumaris and his mother was a contentious Daily Mail journalist.
It was an ok book, nothing special, quite a lot of it bored me. Best thing about it was the writing, the author is a music journalist as I was and that might make a good book one day. Two and a half stars, rounded up because, you know, thanks for the memory. View all 13 comments. No doubt most children believe that part of a parent's role is to embarrass them. Will Hodkinson's father Nev did it in spectacular style.
Will lived his early years with his older brother Tom in what sounded a fairly ordinary, middle class, suburban home in Richmond. Both parents were successful journalists. However, a dodgy chicken risotto at a dinner party changed everything - Nev had such a severe bout of food poisoning that he was hospitalised for several days and nearly died.
As he recovere No doubt most children believe that part of a parent's role is to embarrass them. As he recovered he fell under the spell of the Brahma Kumaris religious cult, resulting in him giving up his job, meditating and drifting around in white 'pyjamas' and sandals. The father that he once had disappeared forever, and Will never stops mourning this throughout the book.
Gone are the frozen pizzas and takeaways, being told off for not doing his maths homework, being checked up on whenever he goes out on his BMX bike, and all the family outings with his dad that he loved so much. Instead he has a father who spends hours preparing vegetarian food, turning rooms into meditation areas, evangelising about the spiritual path, and of course filling the house with Yogis The Brahma Kumaris believe evolution is a myth, time is circular, and a forthcoming Armageddon will make way for a new Golden Age They also advocate celibacy - something Will finds impossible to consider as he approaches adolescence and falls in love with his friend's sister.
Very funny in parts, but also deeply affecting and honest in the portrayal of a much loved father. Hands down, one of the funniest and most fascinating autobiographical tales I have read since David Sedaris. I'm pretty terrible at telling jokes but I had my partner in stitches trying to recount the fireworks incident. A very lovely book. This will definitely be the holiday read I recommend to all my friends this summer. I love Will, his dad and his friend. A fabulously humorous and heartbreaking autobiography of an adolescent boy doing his best to make sense of the increasingly bizarre world around him.
Apr 25, Sophie Patrikios rated it it was ok. Fascinating story with so much comedy potential it's a shame to let someone without any comedic ability write it up, even if they are the person it happened to. Jul 09, Bookworm rated it did not like it.
Perhaps it was funny only to the author. Will Hodgkinson, son of a two well to do parents science writer and tabloid reporter , lived a fairly privileged life--going to private school, visiting Greece for holiday once a year, and the like. But his dad, Nev, came down with a severe case of food poisoning and joined the Brahma Kumaris , where he makes vegetarian food, destroys the relatively well life the family has.
This was advertised as a hilarious book and I put it on my list because of an NP Perhaps it was funny only to the author. This was advertised as a hilarious book and I put it on my list because of an NPR interview that made it sound hilarious. But it really isn't.
THE HOUSE IS FULL OF YOGIS by Will Hodgkinson | Kirkus Reviews
Having just recently read 'Gone Clear' which is about Scientology , I couldn't help be somewhat disturbed at some of the behaviors and patterns the author's father displayed, including giving away large amounts of money to the BKs as Hodgkinson often calls them , deciding to sell the family's house, etc. Hodgkinson's mother at the end finally puts her foot down and divorces Nev because he attempted to create a will where if she died after he did, proceeds from the house sale would go to the BKs.
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And she points out various aspects that made her think it was a cult: not being allowed to have sex with anyone whereas in others you can have sex with as many people as you want! I could not understand how this was supposed to be funny, although the author and his brother don't seem to be much badly off for it. I didn't get why mom mum since they're British :] Liz put up with this or how could Nev not understand he put the BKs ahead of his own children. It wasn't an enjoyable book at all. There are some parts that are mildly amusing but I agree with a few other reviews: the author isn't great at comedic writing and many parts of the story came out to be rather sad than anything else.
Skip it. Oct 24, Barbara rated it really liked it Shelves: autobiography , britishness.
A touching account of a family thrust by mid-life crisis into meditation and spiritual awakening
It must be hard for the son of two writers to sit down and write a book but when those parents were as batshit crazy as Will Hodgkinson's it would be a crime not to put your chilhood down on paper and let the world know why you are the way you are and personally I have no idea how Will is, but there's no way he could have grown up 'normal', whatever that may be.
Liz and Nev Hodgkinson were living the aspirational middle-class s dream when Nev got a mega-dose of food poisoning from a dodgy r It must be hard for the son of two writers to sit down and write a book but when those parents were as batshit crazy as Will Hodgkinson's it would be a crime not to put your chilhood down on paper and let the world know why you are the way you are and personally I have no idea how Will is, but there's no way he could have grown up 'normal', whatever that may be. Liz and Nev Hodgkinson were living the aspirational middle-class s dream when Nev got a mega-dose of food poisoning from a dodgy risotto and nearly died.
A female-led group that was heavy on meditation and celibacy was clearly going to be a challenge for all the family. From mum Liz getting carried away with feminism and nearly sinking the whole family on a pre-conversion river boat trip, to Nev giving up work to follow his new beliefs, nothing was ever entirely standard about family life. Throw in a highly progressive boarding school for Will where the less academically able kids of the well-to-do could go bonkers in the countryside, and you've got an amusing trip down memory lane.
I've seen reviews that have been very critical of Will's writing style.
The House is Full of Yogis
I don't really know what point was being made as I found it absolutely fine. The House if Full of Yogis is not high-literature but it's a fun read and an interesting look at how a family reacts to the father going more than a bit crazy renouncing most earthly pleasures whilst mum cranks out books on any subject the public will pay for. I rather enjoyed it. May 05, Sydne rated it it was ok. This book starts out funny but I got half way through and couldn't pick it up again. I realized that I didn't care about any of the characters.
Jun 11, Wendy rated it liked it Shelves: firstreads , nonfiction. I received this as a GoodReads Giveaway. Mar 27, Sara rated it really liked it Shelves: first-reads , reads , memoir. My initial thoughts: a well-written memoir with hilarious, off-the-wall characters that remind me of Augusten Burroughs' family from Running With Scissors. I felt compelled to Google the author's mother, Liz Hodgkinson, because she is just so different from any other mother I have ever met.
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