The Book of the Book

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The Book of the Book
First edition
AuthorIdries Shah
CountryUnited Kingdom
PublisherOctagon Press
Media typePrint (Paperback & eBook).
Preceded byThe Pleasantries of the Incredible Mulla Nasrudin 
Followed byWisdom of the Idiots 

The Book of the Book is a book by Idries Shah. The majority of the book's 200 pages are blank, with the remaining nine pages telling the story of a book left by a wise man consisting of one sentence and attempts over hundreds of years to discern the intended meaning.

Lawrence Paul Elwell-Sutton writing for The New York Review of Books said, "I suppose his admirers among the Hampstead intelligentsia will have swallowed this buffoonery with the same enthusiasm with which they have gulped down the rest."[1]

Doris Lessing responded to Elwell-Sutton's remarks, in the New York Review of Books, stating "Ignorance, I will admit, is no crime, and I am sure that Dr. Elwell-Sutton does not claim to be a literary man. But motivation has its mysteries."

A review in Studies in Comparative Religion stated "The Book of the Book, which purports to be an object lesson in the problem of the container and the content, consists of some fifteen pages of print bound together with over 250 blank pages".[2]


  1. ^ Elwell-Sutton, L. P.; Lessing, Doris (July 2, 1970). "The Mysterious East". The New York Review of Books. Retrieved 2017-01-21.
  2. ^ R.N.J.A. (Summer 1970). "The Book of the Book by Idries Shah" (PDF). Studies in Comparative Religion. World Wisdom, Inc. 4 (3). Retrieved 2017-01-22.

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