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76 Reviews
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars At last a book on Tibet that makes you laugh (a lot!)
I loved this book. I've read some of the more serious Tibet books which I find quite heavy going. This guy gives you a good understanding of the situation and the plight of the Tibetans while at the same time giving you a really good read. There is his 'British sense of humor' that evidentally kept him going through the strangest of situations and even a romantic angle...
Published on 1 Aug 2000

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Fawlty Towers at high altitude
An interesting story told in a witty and engaging way. I certainly learned a few things about Tibet from reading this, though it put me off ever wanting to go there. The writer's style quite appealed to me but I could see how it could be a bit irritating. Read an excerpt before buying.
Published 3 months ago by E.Freeman


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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars At last a book on Tibet that makes you laugh (a lot!), 1 Aug 2000
By A Customer
I loved this book. I've read some of the more serious Tibet books which I find quite heavy going. This guy gives you a good understanding of the situation and the plight of the Tibetans while at the same time giving you a really good read. There is his 'British sense of humor' that evidentally kept him going through the strangest of situations and even a romantic angle arrives too. Definitley my favorite book this year.
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27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must-read for travellers and hoteliers alike - such fun!, 5 Dec 2000
By A Customer
I stumbled in this book my chance as I was browsing for reference material on health and hygiene. As the author and I share the same rather unusual surname, a hotel background and a love of travel to far flung places I thought this might be 'my kind of book'. I was not disappointed.
Alec Le Sueur gives us an accurate and extremely amusing behind-the scenes look at hotel life. Hoteliers will find memories come bounding back as Le Sueur's tales remind them of similar experiences. How little the guest knows as he obliviously whiles his days away in his 'luxury' hotel!
For the traveller - both real and armchair - Le Sueur takes us on a journey through his Tibetan life, sharing with us his thoughts and observations. He gives us a rare insight into this mysterious country as he is one of just a handleful of foreigners who have spent such a long period of time living in this closed world.
At times his tales are thought-provoking, sometimes poignent. For the most part they are so funny I found myself laughing out loud.
This book is a mu-rad for anyone with an interest in Tibet or an appreciation for the 'funny side of life.'
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, 25 Dec 2002
By 
I. Losada "Isabel Losada" (London) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
What a delightful book this is. So many books about Tibet are worthy but not very readable. Alec Le Sueur doesn't preach or lecture, he entertains. He doesn't need to go into lengthy explanations of history or politics he just tells you some stories of life running a hotel in Lhasa... What is most wonderful about this book is that it exemplifies the very joie de vivre for which Tibetans are known. He shows us the oppression that exsists in Lhasa and yet somehow also reveals to us the atmosphere that a Free Tibet could and should enjoy. Magical and very very clever.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars We fell out of bed laughing - more please!, 14 April 2000
By A Customer
A delectable book filled with the devastatingly funny experiences of bringing western hotel standards to one of my favourite places in the world. The smells, sights and sounds of Tibet are laid before us to experience, without the altitude sickness. The adrenalin boosting flights on China Airlines, the soaring beauty of the Himalaya's, saffron coloured in the dawn light and the cultural complications of working with the delightful locals and cosmopolitans who are involved in the project are a literary feast. We fell out of bed laughing! What a gem!
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating insights into clash between east and west, 31 Oct 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: The Hotel on the Roof of the World: Five Years in Tibet (Summersdale travel) (Paperback)
The book starts well and gets better. Mr Le Sueur writes lightly and well, describing difficulties but making them seem funny. It is not as cringeworthy as Fawlty towers, but there are definite similarities. One of my favourites is the chapter about the "Miss Tibet" competition which is renamed into the fashion show. The book is also very informative about Tibet and the situation with China. Very human, very funny, critical and pure joy to read.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nice, honest story about real people - Recommended!, 14 May 2005
By A Customer
This review is from: The Hotel on the Roof of the World: Five Years in Tibet (Summersdale travel) (Paperback)
I have never felt that i wanted to write a review on a book before, but this book is such a nice, honest story and one where you really want to keep reading... i have been reading all sorts of books about tibetan life but this one actually tells of characters just like the people i met on my travels, without delving into the politics.
i did thoroughly enjoy it as a read on my daily commute, and can honestly say i was still giggling during the day and telling colleagues about it, but also wish it had been longer.
Would recommend it as a great read about real people from a Westerners' point of view.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Why couldn't this book be longer !!!!, 29 Jun 2004
By 
D. Wragg "Dawggg" (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Hotel on the Roof of the World: Five Years in Tibet (Summersdale travel) (Paperback)
This is a must read for any traveller. You can anticipate whats round the next corner, but no that couldn't happen, yip it just did. My only negative point about it is that I took it to read on a two week holiday (I'm a slow reader), and I was half way through it by the time I landed in Kathmandu, you just can't put it down.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars At last, a seriously funny Tibet book, 23 Jan 2003
After reading "worthy" or serious, data-filled books on Tibet, it is a joy and a relief to find a book that's funny, so easily readable + yet still manages to make serious points which linger on after the laughter has passed. Lightweight, or just seriously lighthearted? Whichever, for me Alec's writing has breathed life into an alien world not experienced by most. I only wish there were a few more Tibet books out there like this.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Laugh, I almost......., 17 Jan 2000
By A Customer
Hysterically funny, laugh a minute depiction of the Ex-pat "posting from hell" - 5 years running a hotel in Tibet - within the confines of the communist Chinese red-tape. Alec's portrayal of day to day life within this scarcely believeable system will leave you laughing out loud and crying tears of joy and frustration!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars a well-rounded portrait of Tibetan life, 24 Nov 1999
By A Customer
This book goes beyond the inevitable Fawlty Towers comparisons, true, it is very humourous, but what it also illustrates to the reader, is the delicately balanced political system of the country and also provides an enlightening insight into a destination that has always been notoriously difficult to visit. The external political sitiuation is evident in the internal managerial hierarchy of the eponymous hotel. In the Holiday Inn Lhasa, the staff are divided into Party A - the locals, and Party B - the expatriates, a system set up in several foreign hotels in Communist countries. The purpose of each Party A member is to shadow their equivalent member of staff in Party B, watch them carefully, learn from them and hopefully take their job from them - thus creating a 'Big Brother is watching you' effect. This book paints an informative portrait of the relations between the Chinese and the Tibetans from an unbiased and intelligent point of view.
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