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Three Cups Of Tea [Paperback]

Greg Mortenson , David Oliver Relin
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (419 customer reviews)
RRP: 9.99
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Book Description

3 Jan 2008
'Here we drink three cups of tea to do business; the first you are a stranger, the second you become a friend, and the third, you join our family, and for our family we are prepared to do anything - even die' - Haji Ali, Korphe Village Chief, Karakoram mountains, Pakistan. In 1993, after a terrifying and disastrous attempt to climb K2, a mountaineer called Greg Mortenson drifted, cold and dehydrated, into an impoverished Pakistan village in the Karakoram Mountains. Moved by the inhabitants' kindness, he promised to return and build a school. "Three Cups of Tea" is the story of that promise and its extraordinary outcome. Over the next decade Mortenson built not just one but fifty-five schools - especially for girls - in remote villages across the forbidding and breathtaking landscape of Pakistan and Afghanistan, just as the Taliban rose to power. His story is at once a riveting adventure and a testament to the power of the humanitarian spirit.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin (3 Jan 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141034262
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141034263
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2.3 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (419 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 6,320 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Greg Mortenson is the director of the Central Asia Institute, and he spends several months each year building schools in Pakistan and Afghanistan. He lives in Montana with his wife and two children.

David Oliver Relin is a globe-trotting journalist who has won more than forty national awards for his writing and editing. He lives in Portland, Oregon.


Inside This Book (Learn More)
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First Sentence
In Pakistan's Karakoram, bristling across an area barely one hundred miles wide, more than sixty of the world's tallest mountains lord their severe alpine beauty over a witnessless high-altitude wilderness. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
469 of 487 people found the following review helpful
By Pumpkin
Format:Paperback
I was, until my very recent retirement, the Headteacher of a Church of England primary school where 90% of pupils were Muslim and a majority of those came from the Punjab or Kashmir. I don't normally read non-fiction, but was attracted to this book because of its links to both education and the South Asian Muslim culture.

How glad I am that I chose it. What an inspirational story! I read it in two days. It gave such a true reflection of the real Islam, one which values education and most importantly values the contribution that women make to society. It reflected my experience of the Muslim culture over the many years I have worked with Muslim children and their families. I am neither a Christian, nor a Muslim, but have found that true Christians and Muslims respect each others faith.

Greg Mortenson endured great hardship, two fatwa and long separation from his family to pursue his dream of educational provision for all the children living in those isolated mountain or border regions. What a humanitarian! He really should be awarded the Nobel Peace prize.
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142 of 148 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The most inspiring book i have ever read 23 April 2008
Format:Paperback
I strongly, strongly urge you to buy this book. Not only is it a fascinating read and a really entertaining story, the message behind it is utterly inspiring and one which needs to be spread to as many people as possible. If only there were more people in the world like Greg, the man is incredible. I can honestly say that it has fundamentally changed my views on religion, politics and the best way to make the world a safer place for everyone. Everyone i know who has read it feels the same. You won't be disappointed.
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170 of 178 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Like Mortenson, I'm a born-again humanitarian 8 Feb 2008
Format:Paperback
Due to lack of time, I normally take 15-20 days to get through a book. This one took only four though!

The book narrates the story of Greg Mortenson who decides to build a school for a village in the North of Pakistan. What inspired me most was the fact that Mortenson, an American national, himself lived 'on the edge' with no accomodation and barely enough money to buy the next meal. However, resolve and commitment to the cause allowed him to generate the necessary funds so that the promised school can be built.

What happened next was inevitable. The experiment proved to be such a success that one after the other he just kept on building schools and the money kept pouring into the accounts of the newly-found charity, Central Asia Institute.

If you have a spark for social responsibility, the book will serve as a catalyst to turn in to a fire. Got get it!
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Five stars to Greg, two for the book 24 Jun 2010
Format:Paperback
Having read the book I really admire what Greg Mortenson has done and they way he's risked his life to help others. However the book itself was very hard going I found, not well structured with random accounts of meetings and not a clear link between the events described. One chapter didn't really seem to lead to another, it almost felt I'd started a new book each time I got to a new chapter which was really tiring. This may be because the person who was writing it didn't actually experience what was being written about, I am not sure. I did persist to the end as it was a book group choice, and know much more now about the politics of the area etc as a result, but so many times I could have put it down and not picked it up again. However as I say I am amazed by what Greg and his team have done, a real lesson to us all to be more tolerant and not view a whole nation in a certain way because of what we are fed on the TV etc.
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83 of 88 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "The enemy is ignorance" 25 July 2006
Format:Hardcover
These words, spoken by Pakistani Brigadier General Bashir, symbolize an underlying thread in this extraordinary story. The fight against ignorance resulting from illiteracy and complete lack of economic resources is the primary theme of award-winning Journalist David Oliver Relin's account of a man with a mission: Greg Mortenson. Ignorance of local culture and customs, racial and religious prejudice are intimately linked to the failures in achieving lasting peace in Pakistan and Afghanistan. Education of the young, and in particular girls, are offered as an essential tool against ignorance. Building schools in remote and isolated regions of Pakistan has been Mortenson's passion for 13 years. Relin traces Mortenson's travels and encounters for a period of two years, interviewing many friends - and a few sceptics - along the way and recording months of discussions with Mortenson himself. The result is an action-packed adventure story with a deep moral and emotional centre. It depicts ten years in the life of a man who turned failure into strength, growing into a great humanitarian and dedicated fighter for the rights of tens of thousands forgotten poor in the tribal areas of this powder keg region of Central Asia.

Overcoming ignorance has also been a leitmotiv for Greg himself. After abandoning his climb to the top of K2, the second largest mountain in the world, he had lost his guide and then his way on the descent. Close to exhaustion, he reached Korphe, a small village high up in the Karakoram range of the Himalayas. As the villagers nurtured him back to strength he became increasingly aware of the extreme poverty of the region and the dire conditions of the children's school. The village could not afford a school building and a teacher for only three days a week at $1 a day.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Great story, mediocre book
The story is admirable, but the book could be written in a much better way. It was almost frustrating to read at times, it feels messy and unstructured.
Published 11 days ago by Ralitsa Staykova
5.0 out of 5 stars An uplifting autiobiographical novel
A really interesting and uplifting read in many ways- taught me much about education in Asia and the moral fortitude of Greg Mortenson.
Published 12 days ago by Jo Cursley
5.0 out of 5 stars Deeply inspiring
There are few examples of humanity so powerful as illustrated in this book. Great insight into making something really happen, despite huge odds! Faith in human courage.
Published 21 days ago by Heather
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good book
Very interesting and very well written. Also a wonderful book about peoples kindness to one another from different cultures.

Would suggest it is worth reading. Read more
Published 25 days ago by Susan Weldon
4.0 out of 5 stars A great holiday read
A story that holds your interest through-out. Greg may not be a person you would get on with but his story it totally captivating and you can forgive his foibles for the... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Peter Smith
3.0 out of 5 stars Condition of book
Although there was no marking in the book and the spine was intact as described it was not in excellent condition. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Megan Sadie
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring Story! Looking Forward to Reading The Next Installment...
This is a fascinating read and completely inspiring. The messages from the book need to be spread to as many people as possible. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Mel Jones
1.0 out of 5 stars Boring
I am sure some people would find this book interesting and inspiring, however i did not. In fact I only read a quarter of it and tried to skim the rest but failed. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant read
This book was a brilliant read. I have travelled in North Pakistan and the book gives a very good view of the people's warmth and cultural identities. Read more
Published 2 months ago by maggi henman
5.0 out of 5 stars Yes, he made mistakes, but...
You may well know that Mortenson probably made some mistakes, "flew too close to the sun"... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Sheepdog
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