My Book Review: American Shaolin


I've been wanting to read a certain golf book that came out this past year but after a few months of seeing my name slowly drop from 11th to 9th on the "next in line" list at our library, I decided to search for something else. I ran across this book on a list of summer "must reads". The brief summary intrigued me enough to give it a chance. What I discovered may be the best book I'll read all year.

There just aren't enough books written like this; an unusual topic and a true story about a guy who takes it upon himself to make his Kung Fu dream a reality! If you want a story so unique and unexpected, you've got to pick up Matthew Polly's American Shaolin.

AMERICAN SHAOLIN: FLYING KICKS, BUDDHIST MONKS, AND THE LEGEND OF IRON CROTCH: AN ODYSSEY IN THE NEW CHINA blends a coming-of-age memoir with a survey of kung fu in 1990's China. Matthew Polly always dreamed of journeying to the Shaolin Temple in China to become a tough fighter like his TV show mentor Caine in Kung Fu, but unlike most, he decided to pursue his dream while in college, dropping out of Princeton to journey to the monks who invented Kung fu and Zen Buddhism. His two years training and performing with the monks are detailed here. Matt is a brilliant, funny, adventurous guy, and he brings us along on his sometimes heroic, sometimes dejected, and occasionally confused quest to become something more than he once was.

A must read: 4 stars!!

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