To a Mountain in Tibet

To a Mountain in Tibet

by Colin Thubron
3.5 24

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To a Mountain in Tibet 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 24 reviews.
exerciseat63 More than 1 year ago
A take your time reading. Very educational. Helped me learn about Tibet. I will read again. Next time I will get even more out of it Enjoyed it very much. Can't wait to share the book.
Chelle11 More than 1 year ago
As I read this book, I thought it had great promise, although the author describes beautiful scenery surrounding Tibet, the tale never really got going. The story just wasn't engaging enough.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
AnotherSideoftheMountain More than 1 year ago
This is an extraordinary book, in the quality of observation Colin Thubron brings to his work and his lean, poetic writing -- writing which feels both natural and at times improvisational, as well.   The book is "just enough," in many ways, hinting at beautiful depths.  The book is clearly a very personal journey and a spiritual one. I read it first several months ago and it's still with me. If you are looking for pure travelogue, you'll get much of that but you may be disappointed. But if you are looking for a work of art and a masterpiece at that, it will deeply affect you. I particularly like how Thubron addresses in a nuanced way the grief he is experiencing and how he ends his journey with a blue note rather than a pat resolution.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Elderone More than 1 year ago
I thoroughly enjoyed the grueling hike to Tibet and on to the sacred mountain of Kailas, the most holy site for both Hindus and Buddhists. The people met on the way were fascinating. The effects of the Chinese Cultural Revolution on ancient customs and culture were demonstrated and very sad. Mr. Thubron is no doubt a very accomplished traveler and travel writer. However, the descriptions of multitudes of beliefs were piled up with ancient gods and goddesses and demons until I became lost in detail. The author claimed he made this trip to seek some relief from the grief of recently losing his mother. I had hoped for some catharsis to be offered at the close, but there was not much to ponder. Perhaps the physical hardships were that.
Sinsal More than 1 year ago
As a descendant of John Dryden and someone who was born to British privilege, the author developed his writing ability early and then devoted his life to writing travel accounts, mostly (what a great way to live!). This is a beautiful and sensitive account of a personal journey to Mt. Kailas in Tibet where thousands of Buddhist and Hindu pilgrims travel, apparently, to repair their soul even as they must circumambulate the frozen massif for several days at nearly 19,000 ft. above sea level, many risking their lives in the process. CT does a beautiful job in weaving a description of the amazing journey with his own memories of his family and feelings of their loss even as he intertwines informed observations about local culture, myth, and spirituality. He makes the claim that he wrote his first book (Mirror to Damascus, 1967) only after he settled in to live with a family in Damascus.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
In recording his journey to a sacred mountain, Thubron paints a subtle, and excellent portrayal of modern Tibet. The ending's a bit abrupt, but it's a very good book.
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resena More than 1 year ago
Please test your automated software asking for reviews of books when they are not even ordered. Test your software before you use it. I cancelled the order for this book days ago.
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TheReadingWriter More than 1 year ago
"In the beginning Kailas was just rock-rock and stones. Without spirit. Then the gods came down with their entourages and settled there. They may not exactly live there now, but they have left their energy, and the place is full of spirits."(the myth behind Mt. Kailas) Now in his seventies, famed travel writer Colin Thubron left his wife and home in England and trekked to a holy mountain in Tibet from Nepal. It was a personal journey. From Nepal, where his father hunted bear and big cats eighty years before, Thubron headed to Kailas, or Gangs Rinpoche, the holy mountain, the "precious jewel of snow." "Early wanderers to the source of the four great Indian rivers-the Indus, the Ganges, the Sutlej, and the Brahmaputra-found to their wonder that each one rose near a cardinal point of Kailas." Kailas is a holy mountain for Buddhists and Hindu alike, and thousands of worshippers every year pilgrimage to Kailas to circumnavigate the base. At 15,000 feet, the base of Kailas is 52 km long, and it sits next to the highest freshwater lake in the world, Manasarovar. Kailas is reflected in its waters: "To the Hindus.the lake is mystically wedded to the mountain, whose phallic dome is answered in the vagina of its dark waters." Kailas has never been climbed. Perhaps it is true that "only a man entirely free from sin could climb Kailas." Thubron's journey to Kailas is spiritual as well. He meditates on his life, his recently deceased mother and long-dead sister as he walks, but he shares with us what he sees along the route, in case we don't get the chance. The journey begins as if "through a ruined English garden," strewn with viburnum, jasmine and syringa, honeysuckle, dogwood and buddleia. Soon the track becomes "savage and precipitous," and as he gets closer to Kailas, the road becomes positively alive with pilgrims dressed "in a motley of novelty and tradition," often scattered in groups of two or three, who look "unquenchably happy". And closer yet: The monks, who have been praying in a seated line for hours, advance in a consecrating procession. Led by the abbot of Gyangdrak monastery from a valley under Kailas, they move in shambling pomp, pumping horns and conch shells, clashing cymbals. Small and benign in his thin-rimmed spectacles, the abbot hold up sticks of smouldering incense, while behind him the saffron banners fall in tiers of folded silks, like softly collapsed pagodas. Behind these again the ten-foot horns, too heavy to be carried by one monk, move stentorously forward, their bell-flares attached by cords to the man in front. Other monks, shouldering big drums painted furiously with dragons, follow in a jostle of wizardish red hats, while a venerable elder brings up the rear, cradling a silver tray of utensils and a bottle of Pepsi-Cola." But finally the destination is reached, and a Buddhist monk shares his philosophy: "Only karma lasts. Merit and demerit. Nothing of the individual survives. From all that he loves, man must part."
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