Finding 42

Searcher Of Soul Keys (Book 2 in The Experiencer Series)

Non-Fiction - Spiritual/Supernatural
346 Pages
Reviewed on 01/11/2022
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Author Biography

Hello there,
I am Benny Mailman. I currently reside in Siem Reap, Cambodia, with my wife Vicheka. I am in my fifth year of teaching English at one of the universities here.
I have been a wondering soul my entire life. Even in the United States, while pursuing comedy, I have lived in Las Vegas, Nevada; Los Angeles, California; New York City and Denver, Colorado.
Humor is abundant in my writing, and a crucial element in the fabric of life.
I was born in Green Bay, Wisconsin in 1970, so I am a Packer fan.
I was inspired to write the Finding 42 series because of my Love for story telling. Also, I always capitalize the word Love, even throughout my books.
I put out Book 1, A Soul's Awakening, in 2020. Book 2 I released late in 2021. The final book will be released later this year.
I Love the possibility of what humans can be and attain, both on a spiritual level, and a level matched with honor. I feel that I am trapped between realities, unable to fully let go of either one. The two worlds being the physical and social versus the spiritual and solitude. My belief is that we are each others lessons along a journey that will be crucial in our spirits advancement. I write to show these connections we all have with each other, even in far off lands where we cannot verbally communicate. Smiles rule! Eye contact is all powerful. I write for the common souls, like myself.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Leonard William Smuts for Readers' Favorite

Benny Mailman is no ordinary traveler. He is a former US Marine and would-be stand-up comic who has found peace and tranquillity through embracing spirituality. He frees himself from the confines of a commercially-driven world and travels not as a tourist, but as a seeker of authenticity through interacting with ordinary citizens. He visits fascinating places and meets interesting people, mostly local, while crossing paths with other visitors to the Asian countries he visited. Subtitled Searcher of Soul Keys, this is the second volume of Finding 42, in which his journey takes him from China to Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, and Thailand. The title of the book derives from the author’s age of 42 when he started this part of his epic trip in 2012. That number reappears at frequent intervals throughout the book. Soul keys are gifts from the universe through symbols, magic moments, and awakenings. Benny enjoys coffee, good food, and beer. He travels on a limited budget and overnights in humble accommodation, bringing him closer to the local population and avoiding tourist traps. He eats in coffee shops, local pubs, and buys street food. While he does visit tourist attractions, he can remain detached from their commerciality. The resulting experiences enrich his life and understanding of humanity. Benny concludes that love is the solution to life’s challenges.

Finding 42 is a celebration of freedom, achieved through spiritual awareness and connecting with extraordinary people in special places. Benny Mailman discovered that he could sense positive energy and was in fact an empath – able to identify energies and then allow himself to be guided by them in his ramblings. He also senses negativity and knows to avoid it, which enables him to be selective and only engage with kindred souls. The characters he meets are described in wonderful detail in a highly readable manner. The places visited are equally well depicted and his visit to the Angkor Wat temple complex in Cambodia is one of many highlights. Many snapshot images enrich the text. In some respects, Benny’s travels and spiritual quest are symbolic of life in general. Benny is not motivated by money, power, or ego. These are recurring themes that are explored with insight. By discarding a conventional lifestyle, he is able to make the most of his experiences and grow as a human being. This will provide inspiration to readers, as well as introduce them to a series of adventures in both ordinary and exotic settings. This book is both a travelogue and opens a doorway into the uplifting side of human nature and universal love.

Foluso Falaye

In Finding 42, Benny Mailman shares with readers his soulful journey through some countries in Asia—including China, Cambodia, Vietnam, and Thailand. Benny's journey takes a different route from most tourists as it involves lodging in the most inexpensive but relatively safe accommodation options and no tour guides. For those who can't travel to these different locations, the book provides elaborate details about the trip and immerses readers in its different thrills: finding and connecting with an elderly herbalist who once featured in National Geographic, an intense and dangerous mountain run, having a good laugh while getting sprayed with water by an elephant, starting a spontaneous party with tourists, finding love and having to leave it all behind, meeting several unique and amazing individuals, and much more.

Every beautiful picture in Finding 42 comes with the wonderful stories that led to it. I found it inspiring that someone could live their life traveling and experiencing several aesthetic scenes and connecting with various beautiful souls. Benny shows us a different way to live through this outstanding series about his travel lifestyle—The Experiencer Series. The embedded insightful messages in the book reveal a reality that's different from consumerism and the egotistical culture that has become a worldwide pandemic. I couldn't get enough of Finding 42, with its poetic expressions, detailed descriptions, scenic pictures, and wild stories from the author's travels and the different people he met—including a man who tried to sneak rides on riverboats without paying. The book moves quickly from one exciting adventure to another, making it hard to drop or return to a boring routine. Finding 42 is strongly recommended to all adventure seekers and lovers of uplifting messages and experiences out there.

Sefina Hawke

Finding 42: Searcher Of Soul Keys (The Experiencer Series) by Benny Mailman is a non-fiction spiritual and supernatural book that would appeal most to a mixed audience of young adults and adults who are interesting in soul-stirring journeys around the world. The author travels his way through Western China, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, and many other locations as his adventures take him to sites of both peace and horror. Are you ready to follow Benny on his journeys as he collects and stores his soul keys all the while seeing the many things the world has to offer?

Finding 42: Searcher Of Soul Keys (The Experiencer Series) by Benny Mailman is a well-written book that I found to be a worthwhile read. I personally enjoyed the book most in terms of the different places the author visited and the experiences he had in each location. I found myself sharing in his horror at the Cambodian killing fields and his joy in befriending and riding an elephant. While certain adventures brought great positive or negative emotions to the surface while I followed the author on his journey, there were also a number of very interesting and thought-provoking situations as well. The manner in which Benny came to see the different ways the universe was speaking to him made me really pause and consider my own life experiences. Overall, I found that this book evoked in me a desire to travel outside my home country and to seek out adventures and experiences both physically and spiritually.

K.C. Finn

Finding 42: Searcher Of Soul Keys is a work of non-fiction in the travelogue, autobiographical, and spiritual subgenres. It is written for the general adult reading audience and was penned by author Benny Mailman. In this second installment of The Experiencer Series, we follow our intrepid author and guide, Benny, into another set of adventures, this time taking us from China through a myriad of beautiful places in South-East Asia. As Benny explores the lives of real people, he once again gets roped into some unbelievable situations but uses his experiences to find the right path forward. Beyond this, Benny reflects on the spiritual enlightenments that he receives along the way.

Author Benny Mailman delivers an honest and inspiring account of his travels in parts of the world that many readers may never even consider going to, and it's this celebratory aspect of the work which I find most enjoyable. There’s an infectious enthusiasm in the narrative, a zest for life expressed in every section that keeps you wanting to read more and more. Of course, the events which take place are also very intriguing and very far from the typical touristy travel guide, but it’s the way that Benny reacts and reflects on those moments that makes this book really stand out amongst its contemporaries. I also thought the style in which dialogue was reported and represented from different cultures was vivid but respectful. Overall, I would certainly recommend Finding 42: Searcher Of Soul Keys to fans of inspirational and spiritual world travel books.

Astrid Iustulin

Some adventures deserve to be remembered, especially if they are extraordinary stories that will thrill even lazy or timid people who do not like to travel. Finding 42: Searcher Of Soul Keys (The Experiencer Series) by Benny Mailman tells of the author's adventurous and spiritual journey in western China, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos. He is searching for soul keys, or "gifts to the awakened," as he describes them. The reader will follow Mailman in his exploration, visiting remote places, meeting fascinating people, and above all, feeling the energy, optimism, and sense of adventure that guides the author on his itinerary. The numerous photographs that Mailman took during the trip will help readers visualize places they probably have never visited and introduce them to the most remarkable people he met.

Finding 42 is a fascinating book, not only for the places that Benny Mailman has visited (which would be enough to enthrall anyone) but above all because you can feel the author's optimism on every page. Moreover, the frequent references to energy reminded me of how important it is to have positive people and experiences in your life. Of all the people Mailman has met, I am particularly fond of the ninety-one-year-old herbalist, Dr. Ho Shi Xiu, the very young "force of nature" Lam, and especially the Swedes, who reappeared over and over again after surviving the "luxury bus." Many stories made me smile, and I think other readers will love them, too. Finding 42 is a wonderful book, and I warmly invite you to discover Mailman's stories with him while waiting for another exciting volume.