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76 of 81 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lyrical and moving
Travel writer extraordinaire Colin Thubron is back. If you're familiar with his rich, mellifluous prose and empathetic exploration of non-western culture, religion and history, then this is a must-read piece of work.

To a Mountain in Tibet describes the author's journey as embarks on a pilgrimage to sacred Mount Kailas, encountering on his way a fascinating...
Published on 1 Feb. 2011 by Samogon

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30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Highly descriptive but lacking in narrative depth
That Colin Thubron is a writer out of the top drawer is beyond dispute, but I do not think this is one of his best books. Always an author who deploys a rich descriptive vocabulary, in this book I feel Thubron overdoes it. The descriptive vocabulary is often so dense and the use of simile so frequent that, instead of helping me picture the landscape through which the...
Published on 13 Mar. 2011 by Adrenalin Streams


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4.0 out of 5 stars tibet, 17 Feb. 2014
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This review is from: To a Mountain in Tibet (Hardcover)
This is an interesting travelogus of a journey from an airfield at Simikot (western Nepal) to Mount Kailas (21,778 feet) in Tibet. The section in Nepal was by foot while the remainder was by land cruiser.
Mount Kailas,the reported home of Lord Shiva the Hindu god,has never been climbed and it is considered sacred by the Hindu,Buddhist and Bon religions.Pilgrims are expected to walk the 32 miles round it.
The authod describes his trip in fascinating detail with interesting observations on people and places but he should have deleted personal reminisences.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A delightful read, 27 Mar. 2011
This review is from: To a Mountain in Tibet (Hardcover)
I feel I have visited the area written about, the author is able to take you on his journey... I shall enjoy reading more of his books.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Expected more, 12 Nov. 2011
This review is from: To a Mountain in Tibet (Hardcover)
This is a book about a major pilgrimage site for millions of Buddhists, Hindus and Jains. However, the author's ambivalence toward religion of any description and these in particular comes across in every page. I ended up wondering why he had undertaken the journey if his main focus was going to be to try to poke holes in beliefs and practices that, like it or not, have positive impact on people's lives. Another reviewer mentioned their interest in Buddhism and the need to know more, as did Thubron, if they every went to Tibet. Sorry, but Thubron's knowledge of Tibetan Buddhist practice comes across as either scanty and ill-informed or based on Western academic texts; this leads to errors and, at times, is almost disparaging. The only saving grace is that it is well written, but this can't save the poor attempts to describe this important religious site.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars not too hard a journey, 10 Jun. 2012
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This review is from: To a Mountain in Tibet (Paperback)
I've read one other of his books, The Shadow of the Silk Road, and found that a bit of a slog - always seeking out the dreary and downbeat to such an extent that I'm surprised that he wasnt found dead in one of the low rent guesthouses.

This is much better - although perhaps my view is also based on having been to areas similar to those he's describing. If you're expecting a jolly Michael Palinesque read, then this isn't for you - but if you want an impression of what this part of the world is like, then maybe it is.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Why is he making this journey?, 25 Jan. 2012
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This review is from: To a Mountain in Tibet (Hardcover)
Very well written almost poetic at times and I like that.
But it is as if his heart isn't in it at all times. Most westerners have this feeling of Tibet as a 'magical place' and if we could all get a piece of the harmony it'll all be good. I don't know if Thubron is forcing this upon himself.. maybe it's all heartfelt..

Also, I would have apreciated some more space dedicated to the people he met along the way!

But still, great language and interesting!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully -- poetically -- written, 22 Jan. 2015
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This review is from: To a Mountain in Tibet (Paperback)
Beautifully -- poetically -- written. Full of wonderfully observed description but with great spiritual depth. He is a great travel writer indeed. Now want to read all his books. I'd recommend this to anyone who enjoys travel books but also to those who like something with a deeper meaning. This will really get into your soul.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Reflections on a pilgrimage, 30 Sept. 2013
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Beautifully written an evocative account of a journey to a mountain held sacred by many. Thubron is making his own pilgrimage whilst reflecting on the beliefs that lead others to tread the same path. His descriptions are, as always, lucid and captivating.
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4.0 out of 5 stars to a mountain in Tibet, 3 Jun. 2014
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This review is from: To a Mountain in Tibet (Paperback)
I am a big fan of Bruce Chatwin and so possibly biased.I did find the book interesting as it was a new angle on a subject I had already read about(Sven Hedin) and I will recommend it as it is a litle known world opening up.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Holy Mountain, 11 Jan. 2012
This review is from: To a Mountain in Tibet (Hardcover)
It's not just beautifully written but deeply moving too. What's more I learnt more about Tantric Buddhism than I did on a visit to Ladakh some time ago. Oddly enough the ending was a bit of an anti-climax!
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars turgid and troubling, 6 Dec. 2012
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Queen (Oberlin, Ohio) - See all my reviews
This review is from: To a Mountain in Tibet (Paperback)
Other reviewers have commented on the turgid, description-heavy style, so I won't belabor that here. My issue is with his presentation of Tibetan religion. Although Thubron is aware that he writes within the shadow of lots of Western myth-making about Tibet, he is caught in it in ways he doesn't realize. Some of his remarks on Tibetan Buddhism smack of the good-old colonialism of folks like Waddell, and his accounts of Bon religion are mostly just plain off, based on outdated scholarship. I read lots of travel writing and lots of work on Tibet: this one was a slog.
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