To a Mountain in Tibet: Book summary and reviews of To a Mountain in Tibet by Colin Thubron

To a Mountain in Tibet

By Colin Thubron

To a Mountain in Tibet
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  • Published in USA  Mar 2011,
    224 pages.

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Book Summary

Mount Kailas is the most sacred of the world's mountains - holy to one fifth of humanity. Isolated beyond the central Himalayas, it is claimed by myth to be the source of the universe created from cosmic waters and the mind of Brahma. Its summit has never been scaled, but for centuries the mountain has been ritually circled by Hindu and Buddhist pilgrims. Colin Thubron joins these pilgrims, after an arduous trek from Nepal, through the high passes of Tibet, to the magical lakes beneath the slopes of Kailas itself. This haunting and beautiful travel book links Colin Thubron's sympathetic intuition with the force and poetry of his descriptive writing. He talks to secluded villagers and to monks in their decaying monasteries; he tells the stories of exiles and of eccentric explorers from the West. Yet there is another dimension in To A Mountain in Tibet. Colin Thubron recently witnessed the death of the last of his family. He is walking on a pilgrimage of his own. His trek around the great mountain, revered by multitudinous others, awakes an inner landscape of solitude, love, grief, restoring precious fragments of his own origins. This is travel writing at its consummate best from an author of unsurpassable experience, sensitivity, and sheer lyrical power.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"A powerful and hauntingly elegiac hybrid of travelogue and memoir." - Kirkus Reviews

"There are few people I would rather have escort me to Tibet than Thubron...for all armchair travel and spiritual buffs." - Library Journal

"Starred Review...interwoven with his profound respect for the Tibetan culture and landscape that make Thubron’s memoir an utterly moving read." - Publishers Weekly

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Author Information

Colin Thubron Author Biography

Photo: Page Bertelsen Photography

Award-winning travel writer and novelist Colin Thubron was born in London on 14 June 1939. Educated at Eton College, he worked briefly for the publishers Hutchinson, and as a freelance television film-maker in Turkey, Japan and Morocco. His first three books were about the Middle East: Mirror to Damascus, was published in 1967 and is still considered one of the best books on the Syrian capital; The Hills of Adonis: A Quest in Lebanon (1968) and Jerusalem (1969).

Among the Russians (1983) describes a journey he made by car through western Russia during the Brezhnev era. Behind the Wall: A Journey through China (1987) won both the Hawthornden Prize and the Thomas Cook Travel Book Award. The Lost Heart of Asia (1994) narrates his travels through the newly-independent central Asian ...

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