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From Heaven Lake: Travels Through Sinkiang and Tibet (Abacus Books) [Hardcover]

Vikram Seth
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)

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Book Description

23 Aug 1984 Abacus Books
After two years as a postgraduate student at Nanjing University in China, Vikram Seth hitch-hiked back to his home in New Delhi, via Tibet.  From Heaven Lake is the story of his remarkable journey and his encounters with nomadic Muslims, Chinese officials, Buddhists and others.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Abacus Books (Sphere); New edition edition (23 Aug 1984)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0349131481
  • ISBN-13: 978-0349131481
  • Product Dimensions: 19 x 12.8 x 1.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 438,470 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Book Description

A classic travel book by an internationally bestselling author --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Vikram Seth was born in 1952. He trained as an economist and has lived for several years each in England, California, China and India. He is the author of A Suitable Boy, which was an international number one bestseller, An Equal Music and several other novels. He has also written five volumes of poetry including Beastly Tales. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars 'Entertaining and illuminating...' 19 Sep 1999
By TPW
Format:Paperback
First published in 1983, it describes his hitchhiking travels in the summer of 1981. Seth was a student at Nanjing University on leave of absence from Stanford.
The starting point is in the western Chinese province of Xinjiang on an organised tour for foreign students. He is soon frustrated by the limitations imposed by the trip's 'minders' and makes plans of his own. A mixture of guile, doggedness and luck land him a visa that allows him to hitch through Tibet to Lhasa and on through Nepal to Kathmandu.
We get descriptions of the terrain, the towns and small settlements, the physical and beaurocratic impediments to travel; but most fascinating is the picture of a society in a state of flux, built up from the stories of the people he meets.
Quoting Seth '...to learn about another great culture is to enrich one's own life, to understand one's own country better, to feel more at home in the world, and indirectly to add to that reservoir of individual goodwill that may, generations from now, temper the cynical use of national power.' He was bold enough to learn by direct experience: others may do so vicariously by reading this absorbing and illuminating book.
These comments are based on a reading of the 5th impression of the book, 1999, that includes Seth's foreword of 1989.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best of 'travel writing' genre 10 July 2002
By Mrs OI
Format:Paperback
Vikram Seth's travels through China and Tibet are a superb vehicle for his storytelling abilities. Seth is a cosmopolitan, educated, witty, sensitive writer. He's Indian and well traveled, having lived in the UK and US as well as India and China and travelled to many other countries. I couldn't put this book down.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars From Heaven Lake 9 Aug 2010
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
beautifully written; and still very interesting nearly 30 years after it was published. I imagine both China and Tibet , and the journey described; would be very different now. A classic
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent reading 1 July 2008
Format:Paperback
I enjoyed this book thoroughly. There is a lot to learn in it for anyone who wants to become a traveller. I was specially impressed by Vikram's attitude when face with difficulties, he does not falter, and most important - he does not judge ... truly an inspiration on how to behave when face with different traditions or difficulties along the way.
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