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Tulku [Paperback]

Peter Dickinson
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

11 May 1995
An award-winning novel set at the time of the Boxer Rebellion.


Product details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Corgi; New edition edition (11 May 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0552528129
  • ISBN-13: 978-0552528122
  • Product Dimensions: 17.8 x 10.4 x 2.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 668,088 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Peter Dickinson was born in 1927 in Livingstone, Northern Rhodesia (now Zambia) the second son of British colonial civil servant and a South African farmer's daughter. The family returned to England in 1935, but his father died suddenly in the same year. He was educated at Eton College and was researching for a PhD in King's College, Cambridge,when in 1952 he was offered a offered a job on the editorial staff of Punch magazine, where he stayed until l969.

In 1968 he published his first two books, a crime novel, Skin Deep (aka The Glass-sided Ants' Nest) and a children's adventure story, The Weathermonger. Since then he has published about 50 books in both genres , and has been translated into many languages. He has won a number of prizes and awards (see Bibliographies for details.)

He has been chairman of the Society of Authors and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. He was awarded and OBE for services to literature in 2009.

Product Description

From the Back Cover

DESTINY...OR FREE WILL?

Alone and exhausted after a rebel attack on his father's mission settlement in remote China, thirteen-year-old Theodore is relieved to meet the earthy and colourful Mrs Jones, a botanist, and they flee together for the forbidden land of Tibet.

But are they really fleeing? Or being summoned? For the old Lama who rules in the many-domed monastery of Dong Pe insists they hold the clue to the birth of the long-awaited Tulku - a reincarnated spiritual master...

A rich and exciting novel set at the time of the Boxer Rebellion.


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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars nostalgic 7 Aug 2013
By roberto
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Really great book in good condition, brought back some really fond memories of reading the book as a kid! The story line is really thrilling and makes you want to read more!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.2 out of 5 stars  4 reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars very well thought out, good plot,but a weak ending. 1 Dec 1998
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
There is not specifis information as to when exactly this story was set, but certain sections suggest that it was set in the late 1800s. At the beginning of the story, in China, the main character Theodore(or Theo)is all alonebecause his fundamentalist Christian settlement has been burnt to the ground by the Boxers, or the Chinese anti foreign society. Theodore was the only survivor, and among those dead was his father. With his fathers mission destroyed, Theodore has no choice but to flee. As Theodore hide in the nearby woods, he comes across Mrs. Jones, a fiesty good-hearted woman who likes to collect and classify plants. Mrs. Jones invites Theo into her band of travellers and they head off to Tibet while fleeing bandits. Once in Tibet, they meet the Lama Amachi who rules the Buddhist monastery in Dong Pe. He had set out on a journey, as was tradition, to find the Tulku, or the riencarnated spirit of the late Dalai Lama. When Lama Amachi insists that Theo, Mrs. Jones and her Chinese assistant Lung hold the key to his finding of the Tulku, things started changing for Theodore including his beliefs and what he would think to be right or wrong. This story was nicely written and is a very good adventure-historical fiction combonaton. The author compared the Christian and Buddhist faiths with interesting concepts and ideas that wil keep the pages turning. The author is very discriptive, which is nice because it helps you get into the story more and live with the characters. I felt that this was an excellent novel, although the ending was quite weak and fairly unrelated to the story. I also found that the author repeated some words and ideas more often than he should have. For instance, in the beginning of the book, the words "mocking", or "mockingly" were used quite often. Other than that, I found that this was a great book for those interested in religeon, adventure and descriptive stories and I am glad that i came accross this award winning novel. A wonderful love-adventure story that expresses the true power of emotion and the spirit.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not adventure, but powerful 3 July 2007
By Shi-Hsia Hwa - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Perhaps the reason this book isn't very well-known is that it represents a divergence from Dickinson's more popular juvenile fantasy novels like "The Weathermonger". That's a pity because - to use an awful cliche - it's a great coming-of-age story.

Again, this isn't an adventure-oriented story like the Changes trilogy ("The Weathermonger", "Heartsease", and "The Devil's Children"). It does have some travelling and some physical conflict but most of the plot occurs as inner conflict in a place of outward peace. With his father and friends killed by the Boxers, missionary kid Theodore finds himself sheltered (or trapped) at a Tibetan monastery with a middle-aged English botanist and her young Chinese lover.

Also unlike Dickinson's aforementioned fantasy books, this one doesn't have much in terms of supernatural phenomena. There are episodes of spirit possession and Theodore's occasionally sensing the presence or absence of his God or the Buddhist gods, but attributing these to his and the monks' imagination if you're so inclined isn't incompatible with events as stated.

Dickinson deals subtly with a subject that a lot of other novels paint in broad brush strokes - what happens when a young person is forced to reexamine their beliefs. Most characters in stories like this either end up becoming ever more zealous or rejecting their childhood religion completely, depending on the author. Theodore does neither, and I think that ambiguity in his mind near the end is powerfully described and realistic.

[As a side note, I would like to point out that another reviewer's labelling Theodore and his father as "fundamentalist" is inaccurate and rather unfair, given the modern associations of the word with violence and bigotry. While English missionaries in Asia were not entirely innocent of cultural imperialism, the most successful ones like Hudson Taylor and other CIM workers "went native" and lived with the people they preached to. They also discouraged opium addiction at a time when the British government was pushing it on China, and were later asked by the Kuomintang government to help eradicate the binding of young girl's feet *because* the Kuomintang knew that they circulated in rural areas and were generally trustworthy.]

One of the exciting things about my experience with this book was that shortly after I read it in my college's library, I had the opportunity to travel to China and saw in a museum a Tibetan mask that was pretty much identical to the description of the one worn by the young monk who befriends Theodore (forgot his name).

Peter Dickinson is married to Robin McKinley, which as far as my taste is concerned, makes them the power couple of youth/young adult/juvenile fantasy fiction. Another less-well-known book by him that's also good is "The Blue Hawk" which takes place in a world like ancient Egypt ruled by the gods.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Kin like book 20 Nov 2010
By Anders Lidholm - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
This book is special, different as it is an adventure book and deep book about life and religion at the same time. It is one of these books that give you a long lasting feeling that stays within you for a long time, and you want to read it again and again. It is like Kiplings Kim, a straight story and can be read like that, but at the same time a book with .... not a message but with the right questions. A good book.
2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars This was an ok but slightly weak book 22 Dec 1998
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Tulku, by Peter Dickinson, was not all that great a book. It deals a lot with Buddhism with an unnecessary lead-in. It takes some knowledge, however, to understand the religious parts but is somewhat enjoyable without the knowledge of Buddhism if an adventure without a lot of details is anjoyable to the reader. A Christian boy joins up with an English traveller and her porter and they eventually end up at the rich monastery, Dong Pe, where an oracle says the English woman is carrying the next Tulku, a person of high rank in Buddhism. This book deals with the powers of spirits and the beliefs of different religions, somewhat comparing them.
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