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Chasing the Phantom: In Pursuit of Myth and Meaning in the Realm of the Snow Leopard Paperback – 21 Jun 2014

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Product details

  • Paperback: 264 pages
  • Publisher: Singing Dragon (21 Jun. 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1848191723
  • ISBN-13: 978-1848191723
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 1.6 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,049,511 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Author

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Product Description

About the Author

Eduard Fischer, born in Vienna, Austria, is a writer, photographer, mountaineer, and lifelong traveler. By the time he was sixteen he had logged thousands of miles hitchhiking across Canada where he grew up. His past occupations include coastal seaman, beachcomber, horse guide, climbing instructor, rigger, movie stunt double, product designer, graphic artist, technical writer, and sculptor. Eduard has co-founded and managed several businesses including the well-known Edge Climbing Centre in North Vancouver, one of the first large scale climbing gyms in North America. Eduard has long had an interest in comparative religion and philosophy. Beginning at age eleven, he has had sojourns at a Benedictine cloister in Canada, a Zen monastery in Japan, and an ashram in India. When not traveling, Eduard lives with his wife and partner in adventure, Helen Habgood, in Squamish, BC.

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Totnes Nigel on 21 May 2014
Format: Paperback
This really is a wonderful journey that takes you through both time and space. I could say that it starts with the Big Bang and ends with the latest Pope but, although both topics come up, that would be far too simplistic. Indeed it might be quicker to list the subjects not covered in this book rather than those that were covered or at least touched on. There is a fascinating and wide ranging collection of thoughts on the human condition from eastern and western philosophical perspectives running through almost the entire book. While wide ranging the book remains well written and tight for me.

Other than the wide ranging thoughts, this is also the story of a quest lasting over 20 years looking for the very elusive snow leopards in Ladakh. The author has roamed the area a number of times over the years, mostly alone, looking for this rarely seen big cat. As part of this thread there are some wonderful chapters on cats of all varieties, the way they live and their interactions with man - cat lovers will really enjoy it, others may differ! In turn this leads to comments on a favourite author of mine, Jim Corbett, who spent years tracking killer wild cats in India mainly by trying to understand their behaviour much as Fischer does.

This for me is one of the best non fiction books I've read for some time. However beware - I find the combination of thoughts on Eastern religions, roaming alone in the wild and the author's thoughts on Wile E Coyote as a metaphor for modern society, for example, enjoyable and in tune with many of my views. It is certainly possible that others may feel differently and I am fairly sure the author himself would say we each need to find our own path in our journey through life.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By anna on 19 Jun. 2014
Format: Paperback
This is a book that will resonate with you long after you put it down. The quest for the snow leopard and the contemplation of existence is not dissimilar to 'Zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance'.

I thoroughly enjoyed Fischer's views on relationships, the impermanence of life, and the influence of western culture throughout his adventures and on his life as a whole.

Despite Fischer covering such a variety of topics including The Big Bang, sex, mountaineering, the meaning of life and of course, the elusive snow leopard, he manages to provide an inviting and accessible story of which anyone can relate to.

I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a story with a slightly deeper meaning, it is refreshing to read a non-fiction book which manages to pull you in close and leave you with a revitalized energy for life.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 2 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
About quests and questions about life 24 Aug. 2014
By Totnes Nigel - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
This really is a wonderful journey that takes you through both time and space. I could say that it starts with the Big Bang and ends with the latest Pope but, although both topics come up, that would be far too simplistic. Indeed it might be quicker to list the subjects not covered in this book rather than those that were covered or at least touched on. There is a fascinating and wide ranging collection of thoughts on the human condition from eastern and western philosophical perspectives running through almost the entire book. While wide ranging the book remains well written and tight for me.

Other than the wide ranging thoughts, this is also the story of a quest lasting over 20 years looking for the very elusive snow leopards in Ladakh. The author has roamed the area a number of times over the years, mostly alone, looking for this rarely seen big cat. As part of this thread there are some wonderful chapters on cats of all varieties, the way they live and their interactions with man - cat lovers will really enjoy it, others may differ! In turn this leads to comments on a favourite author of mine, Jim Corbett, who spent years tracking killer wild cats in India mainly by trying to understand their behaviour much as Fischer does.

This for me is one of the best non fiction books I've read for some time. However beware - I find the combination of thoughts on Eastern religions, roaming alone in the wild and the author's thoughts on Wile E Coyote as a metaphor for modern society, for example, enjoyable and in tune with many of my views. It is certainly possible that others may feel differently and I am fairly sure the author himself would say we each need to find our own path in our journey through life. He would definitely say that everything we experience, including what we read, leaves a mark however small on us. This book has left its mark on me and I can only hope it will be enjoyed as much by other readers. Should you be someone who tends towards roaming in mind and or body I'd be surprised if it didn't make you think and smile. 9/10 probably.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Chasing the Phantom by Eduard Fischer 23 Jun. 2014
By wanderer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Chasing the phantom for me is an example of art that is transformational. The reader's world will be expanded upon finishing this work. Fischer delves into the conscious and deeper yet into the subconscious mind. His medium for this journey is the setting of the high mountains of Ladakh, where he set forth on his quest. Unlike Peter Matheson, whose own quest was recorded in his best selling book "The Snow Leopard" Fisher did not hire an army of porters and traveled lightly spending much time alone. Along the way he met many souls who touched his life.

Great art demands that the artist sincerely remove their mask. Writing to me becomes great art when the author has the courage to reveal her or his inner guarded thoughts and yet expresses the universal -- to help us realize that we do not live on an island. Although we may differ in gender, culture, skin color, our humanity - our inner worlds are connected.

This work is not a mere travel diary nor is it a climbing book boasting super-human achievements. The complex layering of stories and how they relate to myths, science, religious, spiritual, and philosophical musings come from a person who has dared to leave his armchair and has a passion for thinking. Fischer has invited us into his personal adventure of finding self meaning and place in the universe. Chasing the Phantom encourages us to engage in our own quest and questioning -- our own hero's journey.
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