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The Hotel on the Roof of the World: Five Years in Tibet Paperback – 7 Jan 2013

4.5 out of 5 stars 112 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Summersdale (7 Jan. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1849533431
  • ISBN-13: 978-1849533430
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 2 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (112 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 205,946 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

'This read has been compared to Fawlty Towers and then rated as funnier. I'd have to agree.'

(St Christopher's Live Your Life e-zine)

'Five years working in the Holiday Inn in Lhasa facing some pretty unusual challenges.'

(The Bookseller)

'Imagine moving Faulty Towers from Torquay to Tibet... Le Sueur has distilled five years of real anecdotes into one hilarious volume'

(FOCUS Magazine)

'This is a rip-roaring comedy of a book... Underlying the story is a heart-warming and sensitive understanding of the Tibetan people'

(The Himalayan Club)

'This title follows in the footsteps of author Alec Le Sueur, who worked at the Holiday Inn Lhasa in Tibet for five years, where he had to deal with fly infestations at state banquets and unexpected deliveries of live snakes.'

(ABTA Magazine)

'witty, detailed and often hysterical account of the daily disasters that occurred within the hotel's rat-infested walls'

(Wanderlust)

'hugely evocative and frequently hilarious'

(The Good Book Guide)

'His entertaining tale provides a fascinating insight into the country.'

(The Western Morning News)

‘One of the most strangely seductive places I’ve been to … Thank you to Alec Le Sueur for bringing it to life.’

(Michael Palin)

From the Publisher

An informative and entertaining read.
The running of a hotel in Tibet as subject for this book is simply the tip of the iceberg. Not only does Le Sueur give us highly entertaining and laugh out loud anecdotes in his account of running the Holiday Inn at Lhasa, but also a fascinating insight into the culture and politics that have been woven into the fabric of this land for hubndreds and hundreds of years. His lighthearted, everyday dealings with the Tibetans and Chinese are pieced togather and layered so that we are able, with Le Sueur's help, to become embroiled in a social and political commentary, without really knowing it. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
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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Format: Paperback
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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Format: Paperback
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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Format: 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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Format: Paperback
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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Format: 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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Format: 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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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is one of those books that from first opening you simply can't put it down . The writer draws you in with his honesty , humour, ,and eye for detail . So much so that you actually feel alongside him and the other characters who he introduces us to .ExPats , Chinese and Tibetans We are left feeling each one is known to us . For all who feel the modern health care of Europe leaves much to be desired ... then read about his visit for a medical to the hospital ! My word he is one brave man .Glad he survived to tell the tale .. A must read .
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