This is a very hard book to review since it is a classic religious text and who am I to judge?
The book is very readable, and the experiences of the famous monk, Thomas Merton, were interesting. Especially those experiences from when he was a young child. I have to admit that I was envious of his travels; although, his life was so scattered that it probably wasn't the best environment for a child.
Another thing I enjoyed was when Merton related the time he spent in Harlem working with the mission group there. He had some interesting insights into why the communist party was so popular during those times. Finally, I appreciated much of Merton's commentary on religion and popular culture.
But at the same time, as a 21st century, protestant woman, I couldn't relate to much of what Merton was saying. I bristled at some of his comments about protestants, and he basically had nothing to say to a middle-aged mother of three. This isn't the author's fault, of course, but for me to fully relate to a book - especially a book on religion - I must feel tied in some way to the author.
Finally, his last few paragraphs of the book stunned me with their brutality. These paragraphs, found in the epilogue, seemed to show God as a cruel, bullying tyrant, and those few paragraphs turned me off majorly since whatever God Merton is worshiping is not one I'd care to know personally.
Like I said, this is a classic religious text, so judging it was difficult. However, the rating I gave it is only meant to reflect on how the book worked for me personally.