Seven Years In Tibet Paperback – Dec 12 2012
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Originally published in 1953, this adventure classic recounts Austrian mountaineer Heinrich Harrer's 1943 escape from a British internment camp in India, his daring trek across the Himalayas, and his happy sojourn in Tibet, then, as now, a remote land little visited by foreigners. Warmly welcomed, he eventually became tutor to the Dalai Lama, teenaged god-king of the theocratic nation. The author's vivid descriptions of Tibetan rites and customs capture its unique traditions before the Chinese invasion in 1950, which prompted Harrer's departure. A 1996 epilogue details the genocidal havoc wrought over the past half-century.
“One of the grandest and most incredible adventure stories I have ever read.”
—The New York Times Book Review
“First there is the incredibly adventurous twenty-onemonth trek across rugged mountain and desolate plain to the mysterious heartland of Tibet; then the fascinating picture, rich in amazing detail, of life in Lhasa. . . . Final chapters draw an intimate portrait of the youthful Dalai Lama.”
—The Atlantic Monthly
--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
I warn any reader of this review not to make the same mistake that I did. The book is almost totally unlike the movie, which starred a greatly miscast Brad Pitt, and interjected subplots born in Hollywood, rather than Harrer's fine book.
There was no need to embellish one of the most fascinating, amazing and adventurous stories ever told, and a true one at that. Most of the time I couldn't believe what I was reading, including the first half of the book which recounts Harrer's and Aufschnaiter's arduous two year-long trek over Tibetan mountains, or the Tibetan people and culture of the last part of the book, so different than any country that I know of.
A glimpse of the Dalai Lama as a boy is revealing (interested in math, languages and geography, but feeling no closeness to horses, of which he had many); life in the monasteries, and in Lhasa itself.
This is such a different book, as I suppose Tibet was (is?) different. It is also a cry for the return of Tibet to the Tibetans. Almost anyone reading this book will join that cry.
The book starts off at the outbreak of World War II. Heinrich Harrer and his mountain climbing associates, while attemtping the Nanga Parbat mountain, were arrested by the British and were imprisoned in Indian internment camp located near the border with Tibet.
After securing enough life necessities and supplies, Harrer and his friend Peter Aufschnaiter escaped and set out for the Indian-Tibetan border.
The road to Lhasa was strenuous, arduous, and painful. Harrer and Aufschnaiter struggled with winter blizzard, depleting supplies, mountain sickness, and even risk of robbers. They had to obtain license upon arrival in unexplored territory. They risked the refusal to enter Tibet without a permit. They risked their life as their supplies won't last for the trip.
Upon arrival into the country, they were greeted with curiosity, meticulousness, guard, and warmth. They were housed in government mansion; treated sumptuous Tibetan meal; tailored expensive hand-crafted embroidered wardrobe. From day to day throng of visitors came visit these newly-arrived foreigners.
Heinrich Harrer lived in Lhasa for almost 5 years. He performed plumbing and other technical servies for his friends and government officials. He taught children how to read and write English. He introduced ice-skating to Tibetans by sticking a knife underneath the boots.
The most significant portion of this book is the detailed yet sentimental description of Harrer's relationship with the young Dalai Lama.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
I have always been fascinated with Buddhism and Tibet. The book makes me want to learn more and wish to one day see this beautiful country.Published 13 days ago by Agnes
Harrer recounts the story of his escape with Peter Aufschnaiter from a British internment camp in India in 1944, their daring trek across the Tibet, and their happy stay in Tibet. Read morePublished on Oct. 1 2009 by Jerome Ryan
After reading all the glowing customers' reviews, I am embarrassed yet compelled to say that I didn't think the book was all that great. Read morePublished on April 20 2002
When you read this book, you can almost feel like your standing on the edge of the world, looking out over the mountains, feeling the cold wind and the solitude. Read morePublished on April 20 2001
"Seven Years in Tibet" is many things: a thrilling account of the author's escape from a prison camp in India and his personal story of subsequent hardships hiking to and... Read morePublished on March 16 2001 by kennedy19
This book invoked a beautifully tragic scene of Tibet. The inner peace of the people is contrasted by Chinese expansionists, and I can't help but to feel a sort of sorrow for a... Read morePublished on Dec 17 2000 by Ian Hall
The fact that the story actually happened is quite extraordinary. The book details the lives of two climbers who were imprisoned and escaped to Tibet. Read morePublished on Aug. 25 2000 by iamcdn
I came across this book while I was browsing through the travel narrative shelf of a local bookstore. I decided to purchase it after i finish reading the opening chapter! Read morePublished on Aug. 14 2000 by Matthew M. Yau