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Fire Under The Snow: True Story of a Tibetan Monk (Panther) Paperback – 15 Oct 1998

4.6 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage; New Ed edition (15 Oct. 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1860465099
  • ISBN-13: 978-1860465093
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 1.6 x 19.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 441,368 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"In writing this enduring memoir of extraordinary suffering, resistance and endurance, he has testified not only to the pain of countless individuals but to the devastation of a nation" (Judith Shapiro New York Times)

"Every household in Britain should have a copy of Fire Under the Snow" (Patrick French Sunday Times)

"This is a book with glory and filth, innocence and murder, wisdom and madness, and at this moment the filth, murder and madness are taking over" (Bernard Levin The Times)

Book Description

A wonderfully constructed account of bravery and resolve in the face of brutal injustice.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
The most difficult part of this review was the one-liner. How can I put into (simple) words the horrors that Tibet has been through, not in the last few years but over the last 50. If any book better illustrates the plight of a small nation against a despot like China more than this then I have not read it yet. It certainly puts into perspective the 'problems' that we may experience in our pampered lives.
One question: Has the world forgotten Tibet and her invasion by China?
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Format: Paperback
This is the compelling story of the life of Palden Gyatso, of which over 30 years was spent in Chinese prisons. It is also the story of China's invasion, occupation, and transformation of Tibet, albeit mainly from behind bars.

It reminds me of Primo Levi's 'If This Is A Man', the account of his time in the Nazi concentration camps. Gyatso suffers because of his religious beliefs, as well as his refusal to 'reform' to communist ways.

What is most amazing is the apparent belief of the Chinese authorities that a culture could simply be 'educated' into a different way of living; that those who resisted could, by brute force, be persuaded to change their beliefs. But then, a similar process of 'education' is no doubt going on in the world now, as nations try to 'democratise' countries they occupy.

Unlike Primo Levi, however, Gyatso's book seems to be missing an element of self-reflection. In under 240 pages you get a strong sense of events and terrible cruelty, but only briefly does he mention that he too had to denounce his fellow prisoners. Nowhere does he address the problems of the feudal system that the Chinese so hated. I get the impression that in trying to make a case for a free Tibet, the story has been trimmed of some of the nuances that might have made it less a story, and more enlightening. Having said that, it certainly is an eye-opener, and inspires you to find out more about the recent histories of Tibet, China and Asia in general.
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By A Customer on 21 Oct. 2004
Format: Paperback
This book goes some way towards informing the western reader of the suffering that Tibet has suffered at the hands of the chinese, who have systematically dismantled Tibetan Buddhism and culture and massacred her people. As an aside, I find the West's reaction to Saddam Hussain's regime in Iraq and specifically his invasion of Kuwait (upon which Iraq had legitimate claim; a fact I never read in the Western press!) quite remarkable, in view of the fact that they stood by and watched whilst China raped Tibet, both literally and metaphorically. I suppose Tibet has no oil and China were a little too big to bully!
The immensely rich Tibetan culture, as it existed fifty-five years ago is on the verge of extinction, but just like some rare bird can be saved by some direct action followed by many years of nurturing. Contact your government now and lobby them to take action against China's continuing illegal occupation of Tibet.
With regard to our own Queen's recent refusal to meet the Dalai Lama; she should hang her head in shame!
Protest when and wherever you can.
In response to the Chinese reviewer, no I don't take your comments seriously. Maybe you think you speak the truth, but I'm afraid it's the truth of Chinese indoctrination and propaganda.
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Format: Paperback
I've heard about Tibet's situation many times. I thought it was about time I actually read something about it. How many people such as the Venerable Palden Gyatso have suffered at the hands of the Chinese? Reading this book reminded me of 1984 by George Orwell. Big Brother isn't there but the Communists are. After reading this book I was moved. I didn't realise how much until I watched Kundun, the film about HH the Dalai Lamas life. To think that the regime in China has destroyed Tibetan customs and ideals is monstrous. The really horrific thing is that these things are still going on. Thanks to people like Palden Gyatso we get to hear about the awful way in which the Tibetans are being treated. Please read this book. How he survived all those years in prison are a great example of his and his peoples spirit. Free Tibet.
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Format: Paperback
This is a must for anyone interested in Tibet or indeed anyone who is interested in the disparity between those of us who are safe in the world and those who have suffered and continue to suffer. The beauty of the book is the way that Palden Gyatso's character and circumstances really comes through, but not in a sentimental or cringeing way. Instead he informs us of the overall situation, amazes us with what he himself and others went through and leaves us with a sense of applause for all Tibetans on the planet. Amazingly the book is often humorous too! A truly beautiful page-turner that left me in awe. I thank Palden Gyatso for having the courage to live through the events of his life and also the courage to tell the world. Thankyou.
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Format: Paperback
This is quite simply an incredible account of the suffering of Tibet and one man in particular. It's beautifully written, humourous in places, and heart-breaking in many sections. The horrors of the cultural revolution can not have been more graphically described. My admiration of this man knows no limit, and his story deserves to be as widely known as that of Nelson Mandela. Everyone should have a copy of this book.
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