At Monsoon Books we are always delighted when we are approached by an author who has written a book that fits perfectly with our publishing ethos. John Greet did just that with his book, Shaman of Bali . The book borders on “faction” (based on real events turned into fiction) and shows the not so perfect side of Bali. It is a gripping read and fans of Bali Raw and Bali Undercover should defiantly take a look.
The author, John has written about the book below:
“I first visited Bali as a young man in 1970, when there weren’t more than a handful of travelers. Kuta Beach was a well-known destination on the overland hippie trail from India to Darwin. I vividly remember sunbathing on a deserted beach as a topless woman with a basket of fruit bent down and peeled a mango, while another massaged my shoulders. I felt like I was in a Gauguin canvas. The Balinese people were welcoming, friendly and as yet untouched by the tourist dollar. I had intended to stay for a week, and instead, I stayed for three months. I returned in the late Eighties and lived in Kuta on and off for some years.
During this time I managed a beachfront hotel, was adopted into a Balinese family and owned an orangutan. I befriended a shaman and witnessed trancing, ritual fire walking, and spirit healing sessions. I was involved with Brazilian drug smugglers who lived at the hotel. I worked as a ‘rig’ at illicit cockfights, and accompanied a famous Indonesian lawyer as we paid bribes to prosecutors and judges to secure a friend’s release from prison. I also negotiated a truce between two rival hotel owners.
These experiences and more, make up a large part of Shaman of Bali. In writing the novel, I endeavored to show the Balinese people in a positive light, to portray them as I knew them; as a people deeply devoted to their communities and religion, and at the same time, accepting and understanding of other cultures. There is a well-documented dark side to the island of Bali and corruption is rife. The influx of Javanese who came to work the tourist trade formed mafia-style gangs, and drug dealing, prostitution and violence became commonplace. In writing Shaman of Bali I have tried to strike a balance between the light side and the darker side.”
Shaman of Bali is published by Monsoon.