Letters from a Nameless Village by Muhn Sihn is composed of more questions than answers. A man seeks meaning to his existence by running from his failures and seeking refuge in simplicity. His letters to ‘my dear fellow’ contemplate his life in the form of questions. Despite this presentation of thought, few answers or even speculations follow. I did like the following quote, however. “Everything lives at the expense of something else.”
The book can be completed within an hour as it is only eighty-four pages, but I believe this time is better spent in meditation. There is no clear direction to Sihn’s characters. The book is a compilation of ramblings with no cohesive thought patterns. At the end, I was left wondering what was its purpose. Yes, the main character discovers that a simplistic way of life is more fulfilling than his previous life in the city, but the beauty of simplicity is never identified or described. The way a bird’s song is orchestrated by nature and not confined within the four walls of human design. Or the kiss of a breeze caresses the arm in comfort when most needed. The author’s main character provided no threads of connecting to the reader. I was grasping at straws.
I had hoped Letters from a Nameless Village would pull me into its simplicity, giving enlightenment where none previously existed. Instead, it left me confused and disappointed. It is a mish mash of thought.
*If you’re looking for a little perspective on life, read The Noticer by Andy Andrews instead.*