ARC Book Review: The Yoga of Max’s Discontent by Karan Bajaj

April 27, 2016 Advanced Readers Copy, Book Reviews 0

I received this book for free from Author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

ARC Book Review: The Yoga of Max’s Discontent by Karan BajajThe Yoga of Max's Discontent by Karan Bajaj
Published by Riverhead Books on May 3rd 2016
Genres: Contemporary
Pages: 336
Source: Author
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In this captivating and surprising novel of spiritual discovery—a No. 1 bestseller in India—a young American travels to India and finds himself tested physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
Max Pzoras is the poster child for the American Dream. The child of Greek immigrants who grew up in a dangerous New York housing project, he triumphed over his upbringing and became a successful Wall Street analyst. Yet on the frigid December night he’s involved in a violent street scuffle, Max begins to confront questions about suffering and mortality that have dogged him since his mother’s death.
His search takes him to the farthest reaches of India, where he encounters a mysterious night market, almost freezes to death on a hike up the Himalayas, and finds himself in an ashram in a drought-stricken village in South India. As Max seeks answers to questions that have bedeviled him—can yogis walk on water and live for 200 years without aging? Can a flesh-and-blood man ever achieve nirvana?—he struggles to overcome his skepticism and the pull of family tugging him home. In an ultimate bid for answers, he embarks on a dangerous solitary meditation in a freezing Himalayan cave, where his physical and spiritual endurance is put to its most extreme test.
By turns a gripping adventure story and a journey of tremendous inner transformation, The Yoga of Max's Discontent is a contemporary take on man's classic quest for transcendence.


My thoughts

I devoured this book! I read it in less than a day and absolutely hated every moment when I had to put it down. There were a few things that jumped out that I did not completely resonant with the plot, but overall this is a winner!

Firstly, to read and to fully appreciate this, you have to have an open mind. Karan Bajaj is talking about things in this that I have heard about (felt, heard, and seen myself) for years. If my husband were to pick this up he would have absolutely no idea where to start his thinking. If you are not accustomed to these thoughts just go with the flow and get what you can out of this book!

That said, this journey seems harsh! It is supposed to be. Max starts out as we all do and is excited about learning everything he possibly can while he throws caution to the wind. The first time his life seems very much in danger, he decides that he may not be as ready as he thought.

What interested me the most is that Max had some ideas that did not quite fit with this lifestyle so when he did start doing something remarkable it took him by surprise. So much so that he even would deny what just happened TO HIM! He was there! This portion threw me a little but at the same time, I realize what he is going through. Change is hard for everyone and Max is going through some serious change.

I also realized just how hard it would be to be a Yogi. I mean, I knew that. But knowing and KNOWING are two different things. As Max grows and changes he also comes to terms with what he is able, or not able, to do.

What I really liked is that it did not just take him a day, or a week, or a month, he is at this for years! The end was surprising though. I was expecting something different and was almost disappointed. Not quite, but for my life I would be but there again, that is why I am not trying to be a yogi!

In short: This is a lovely, if out of the ordinary (for most) story of searching for our inner truth. Great read!

On a side note, some of this really gave me answers to things that have happened to me for years. It may be categorized as fiction but there are some real life lessons in this.

Rating Report
5 / 5
Character Development
4 / 5
Writing Style
4.5 / 5
Personal enjoyment
5 / 5
3 / 5
Overall: 4.3 / 5
The Author


Karan Bajaj is the #1 bestselling novelist of KEEP OFF THE GRASS (HarperCollins India: 2008) and JOHNNY GONE DOWN (HarperCollins India: 2010) with more than 250,000 copies of his novels in print. Both novels were optioned into films, the latter just entering pre-production and slotted for a 2017 international release. He was selected as one of the “Top 35 Under 35 Indian” by India Today and was nominated for all of India’s top literary awards—the Crossword Book of the Year, Indiaplaza Golden Quill and Teacher’s Indian Achievers Awards(Arts).

THE YOGA OF MAX’S DISCONTENT, Karan’s first international novel, will be published by Penguin Random House on May 3rd 2016. It was inspired by Karan’s one year spiritual sabbatical learning Yoga in a South Indian Ashram, meditating in complete silence in the Vedantic tradition in the Indian Himalayas and living as a Buddhist Monk in a Scottish monastery. Now back in New York, Karan is a certified Yoga teacher attached to the Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Center while working his day job as the Chief Marketing Officer of the cult mom brand, Aden and Anais.

Born in 1979 into an Army family, Karan is an engineering graduate from BIT Ranchi and an MBA from the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore.

He can be reached at:

Writing Advice:

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