I enjoyed the film and because of this wanted to read Harrer's own account, and wasn't disappointed. Harrer's escapes from British detention, and the hardships of his journey towards Lhasa, constitute a great adventure story and a window into an unknown world. His time in Lhasa, and especially his contact with the young Dalai Lama, is well told - we see a backward feudalism which to us is not attractive, but also a happy people with great reverence for their religion and traditions, and a young ruler with an insatiable curiosity about the outside world. This insight into the early years of the present Dalai Lama is one of the most interesting aspects of the book. Harrer left when the Chinese invaded in 1950, but knew enough to see that this was going to be a disaster for Tibet and its people, as has been subsequently documented in many books and reports. A superb adventure and a personal account of a vanishing culture. Read it !