How far would you go to find the answers to your big life questions? Max has questions. A lot of them. And he is going to drop everything to find the answers. In this novel by Karan Bajaj, a young man goes to the furthest parts of the world in search of something he may just find within himself.


Max Pzoras has it all. After a difficult childhood growing up in the projects in New York City, Max overcame poverty and finds himself as a wildly successful analyst on Wall Street. He hasn’t been the same since his mother’s recent death, and questions about life, pain, and immortality haunt him constantly. Max decides to travel to India to study yoga from the great teachers, hoping to find answers. Max encounters many interesting characters through his quest, including amateur yogis, serious teachers, and a couple of beautiful women. Through many a test of his stamina and willpower, Max survives intense yoga training ultimately leading him on a solitary journey, pushing his mind and his body to their limits, and discovering that the limits may not even be real at all.

Why I Didn’t Love It

Overall, I didn’t really like this novel. I found it difficult to believe many of the events in this novel. You’re probably thinking it was the wild depictions of yogis learning to live weeks without food, disappear out of thin air, and reach ultimate spiritual transcendence that had me doubting. It wasn’t actually the supernatural elements that were hard to believe; it was Max. Namely, Max’s past.

Through Max’s memories, we see him enduring a traumatic and difficult childhood, surrounded by drugs, violence, and poverty. The anxiety Max experiences in these flashbacks is palpable, and the scenes are well-written. Max doesn’t stay in the projects, but rather rises up to become a Wall Street analyst: successful, rich, and very busy. This is where the author lost me. Max’s desire for answers to life’s toughest questions is propelled by both his deeply traumatic childhood as well as an empty, materialistic life he has created for himself. It feels strange to see him go back and forth to these two motivations and it feels awkward. I think it would have been better if the author had focused on only one and made him either a kid from a rough, survival-mode background, or a spoiled, privileged Wall Street brat, not both. (He’s somehow also an experienced mountain climber? Seems strange.)

I suspect the abundance of Max’s many life experiences were an attempt by the author to create a character so well-rounded and relatable that just about any reader interested in the practice of yoga could find a way to see their own experiences and longings in Max. But instead of feeling relatable, Max’s character seems impossible. Something just doesn’t add up about Max’s experiences, or his personality. Max is somehow both very disciplined and very impulsive. Very selfish and very intune with others. He seems to be growing, and yet not growing. I love a well-rounded character who occasionally surprises us. But with Max it’s just awkward and strange.

Is This Novel For You?

This novel was definitely dazzling in parts. I found the supporting characters, especially the women, to be very compelling. I wanted to know so much more about the other characters. The backdrop of the novel is beautiful and the descriptions make me want to buy a ticket to India today. The idea itself is compelling and parts of the novel were funny and fun. Mostly, it makes the reader think: about your big questions, about what’s important to you, and about how far you would go to have your questions answered.

I read this novel as a part of my series on exploring a yoga practice. I have two other blog posts on the topic: one is a review of The 5 Books You Need to Build a Lasting Yoga Practice and the other is Project Yoga: My Experience Building a Yoga Practice Using the Book, “Get Your Yoga On”. To stay up to date on all of my reviews, join my email newsletter below.

Newsletter Sign-up

Get book reviews delivered right to your inbox.


On Beauty and Motherhood

I put on makeup every day for 30 days. I didn’t wear makeup every day before I had my daughter, so I surely didn’t prioritize it after she was born. One day in January, I realized that I liked how I felt when I wore makeup, so I thought I would conduct a little experiment. I wanted to see how it would make me feel to wear it every day for 30 days. Depending on the results, I may consider making a concerted effort to wear it daily.

My Top 10 Reads from 2023

I read some pretty phenomenal books in 2023— some of which will go on my list of all-time favorites. My top ten is dominated by nonfiction, yet funnily enough, novels hold the top two spots on my list. Five of the ten are memoirs, revealing a particular preference I have for that genre right now. In general, my reading ratios are 1 novel: 1 memoir: 1 additional nonfiction. I want to read more fiction this year.

Project Emily Advent: Day 25

My maternal grandfather, Papa, was a great and wild soul. He was particularly close with my sister, Bailey. He loved all of his grandchildren, and made a particular effort to show up in each of our lives. But Bailey was Papa's best girl. He was totally smitten with her. He was a friendly and warm person, but he could be bristly at times, and Bailey seemed to be the only person undeterred by his bad moods. She was every bit his equal in fortitude and stature of personhood.

Disclosure (Let’s be honest)
This website contains posts with affiliate links, meaning that I receive a small commission if you purchase a book I’ve linked— at no extra cost to you. I’ll always be upfront with you when a post is sponsored or a book is gifted. All books I recommend are books I actually read and enjoyed.
No joke.