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Blood, Dragons & Lions: How Alienation and Science Led Me to Spiritual Enlightenment and Innovation

By Kin F Kam

In this sagacious blend of memoir, modern history and science, the author reveals an immigrant story made complicated by a rare life-threatening illness. Powerful and sensitive, this book is a must for anyone who reflects deeply about the human condition and the world around us. 

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In the late 70's life was tough for anyone growing up on a gritty council estate in the North of England. For ten-year-old Kin Kam, life was that much tougher.

From a shy Chinese boy in colonial Hong Kong to life as a scientist, inventor and entrepreneur, Blood, Dragons and Lions is the extraordinary story of the author's battle to overcome life's challenges in spite of living with a serious disabling condition.

Through protracted ill health, coupled with periods of religious and scientific introspection, Kin uncovers a new understanding about spirituality which radically frees his body and mind to realise greater inner peace and creative endeavours.

Revealing vivid insights into faith, identity and geopolitics across the cultures of East and West, Kin takes us on a thought-provoking journey through contemporary history and a personal growth odyssey from disadvantaged child facing-up to bullying and prejudice, to bold risk-taking entrepreneur twice appearing on BBC's Dragons' Den.

Uncompromisingly hard-hitting, yet warm and uplifting, Blood, Dragons and Lions entertains and enlightens in equal measure.




From Comment
2016-02-13 James .... When autobiographies become useful guides in life

A review of Kin F. Kam new book, “Blood, Dragons and Lions”.

When my ex-colleague Kin told me a few years ago that he was going to write a book about his own life I thought that was probably a little bit of an underestimation of the huge difficulties faced by writers when dealing with their own autobiography. I had similar feelings, spiced up with a bit of curiosity, when Kin called me some months ago, announcing the imminent release of his work. “Has he really done it?” I asked myself. “Will see…” was my answer. A few weeks later, I bought the book. I had no idea Kin could be a writer. “Blood, Dragons and Lions” makes a really nice read. I devoured it in less than a week. But the book is more than just an autobiography; I think it provides a realistic and useful guide to some of life difficulties.

The three words forming the title of the volume are effective doors to the three main themes crisscrossing the whole narration. The author has a rare but famous blood disorder which has conditioned his life since birth. The illness is revealed in the book in a subtle and unexpected way, so I would not mention it in this review. It is hard for people not affected by his condition to fully appreciate what is like to live with such a burden. Many physical activities most people take for granted could lead to severe disability and acute pain. It has a deeply traumatic and frustrating effect on people with this condition, although I was particularly moved by Kin’s rebellious battles against it. As if his health condition was not hard enough, the author endured further challenge during his childhood - to be a Chinese immigrant in 70’s England. This is what the second word in the book’s title “Dragons”, describes. Kin reveals several instances where he fought racism and discrimination in Manchester and surroundings, especially bullying by other children, who in those years were not used to see the Chinese in the same familiar light as in today’s more educated society. The third word “Lions” is meant to symbolise the scenario where most of the author’s life has been set, i.e. in Britain, where “Lions” are historically connected to the royal coat of arms. As a Chinese boy growing in England in adverse physical and social situations, Kin Fai Kam has been able to develop a unique tenacity and strength that have lead him to become first a successful scientist and then an intrepid inventor.

All chapters of the book are full of lively, dramatic and moving personal events, often sprinkled with provocative comments about society and geopolitics. Special strength is attached to the self-discovery of spirituality, or enlightenment which was the watershed moment for the author. Two beacons direct the reader comprehension of the spiritual journey: science and pain. It is this peculiar combination that donate transparency to such a personal experience which is, otherwise, always elusive and difficult to convey in ordinary language.

As a scientist I have enjoyed very much Kin’s descriptions of his scientific journey in the physics departments of York and Cambridge Universities, and at the world renowned Culham laboratory for nuclear fusion research in Oxfordshire. I have found somewhat less interesting his exposition of the many details involved in patenting his inventions, although I can see how useful such details are for aspiring inventors and entrepreneurs. The book is very entertaining, but also loaded with useful experience. An especially stimulating volume for young, dynamic and thoughtful people.

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