Beyond Seven Years in Tibet: My Life Before, During and After Hardcover – 6 Oct 2007
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Top Customer Reviews
The copy I received was in excellent condition but pages 33-64 are missing and pages 97-128 appear twice. This would appear to be a manufacturing error and whilst annoying didn't impair my enjoyment too greatly.
Likewise he says very little about his family life, skating over his second marriage in one paragraph. I respect him for this discretion, but it does make the book less informative than if it were a biography written a decent interval after his death.
He paints a very rosy picture of life in Tibet before the Chinese invasion, but this is of course from the POV of a "5th class noble" which was the rank into which the Tibetan government allocated him. He seems to have fitted comfortably into this very hierachical society- a more questioning approach would have been more interesting. By contrast, Alexandra David-Neel, who spent much longer in Tibet than Harrer, describes the lamas as a very mixed bunch- some very spiritual and enlightened, others worldly and even corrupt.
The chapters about Tibet were the most interesting, but this has already been covered in his more famous book "Seven Years in Tibet". His later life is frankly not so interesting, with reminiscences of meetings with various people but little information about them other than about how courteous and pleasant they all were.Read more ›
Harrer here described his early life, his internment as an enemy civilian in wartime British India and his escape when the war had almost finished. That escape brought him to Tibet and to its forbidden capital, Lhasa, where he famously later became the tutor or one of the tutors to the young 14th Dalai Lama.
Harrer also talks about his life after his time in Tibet (after the terrible Chinese invasion). He adventured all over the world, funded by his bestselling book and by lectures etc. Surinam, Borneo, Papua New Guinea and many other places.
Harrer did meet with Brad Pitt during and after the filming of Seven Years in Tibet and explains the extent to which the Jewish-American mass media "claque" commentariat tried to rubbish both him and the film, by digging out the fact that, in 1938, in order to be able to teach sports, he had joined the NSDAP and later SS as a junor officer, though the rank was notional (he never received any military training). Even Simon Wiesenthal accepted his explanation of his conduct, but that did not stop the "claque" protests (the film was also pretty well rubbished by similar people --critics etc-- in the UK, despite its quality and veracity).
I found the first half or so of this book more interesting than the second, though that is probably so because I am only somewhat and not very interested in expeditions etc.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
. I am working my way through this large book. It is well written, if a little overloaded with details which don't really add much to the narrative.. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Minna
what an amazing book! unfortunately pages 129-160 were repeated hence losing pages 161 - 192, ie the bit where he escaped from tibet, so will try to find this in a second hand book... Read morePublished on 25 July 2011 by bikedaft