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To a Mountain in Tibet (2011)

by Colin Thubron

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3761553,059 (3.65)31
Offers an intimate travelogue of the author's trek to Kailas, the holiest mountain in Tibet, in the wake of the death of his mother and the loss of his family.
Asia (179)

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» See also 31 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 15 (next | show all)
Another exquisite travel book by the master ( )
  PDCRead | Apr 6, 2020 |
This is, on one level, a trek to Mount Kailas, a sacred mountain in Tibet. It is also, although not overtly, a journey into the soul. The author has experienced the loss of his sister, when young, and now both parents, such that he is alone in the world. He undertakes the journey to circumnavigate Mt Kailas, which is scared to Buddhists and Hindus. To do so in not a light undertaking and the trek to just the foot of the mountain is hard going. He describes it all in some detail, and is, at times, unsparing in his descriptions. There is poverty here, but there is also something soul enhancing. Even for a non-believer, he experiences something over and above the travel in this trek. The details of the journey are well described, the history, background, geology and political turmoil all feature. It is when he is meditating on his fellow humanity and the act of memory that he is at his most human. ( )
  Helenliz | Aug 5, 2018 |
This is a slow, dreamy kind of travel memoir. Colin Thubron reflects on his own life and mortality as he joins pilgrims on the trek to Kailas, an ancient sacred site in Tibet, revered by Buddhists and Hindus, but difficult to reach not only because of it's height and remoteness but also because of the political turmoil in the region between China and Tibet. There is enough traditional travel observation and physical rigor to create movement and tension, but there is also a deeper level of personal reflection on immortality as Thubron reviews his feelings and reactions to the deaths of his father, his sister (in a mountain skiing accident) and his mother. Alone in the world, he contemplates the purpose of pilgrimage and wonders if simply following a certain physical path can have any spiritual significance. ( )
  kaitanya64 | Jan 3, 2017 |
There was not enough first person narrative for me.
  bogreader | Oct 15, 2013 |
I liked it, but it took a while to get through. Normally audio books tend to go a bit faster, but this one dragged for some reason. I'm not sure why, as the narrator was fantastic and it was only 6.5 hours or so. The writing itself was great and I have a hunch that I would have enjoyed it much more had I read it instead of listening to it. ( )
  liz.mabry | Sep 11, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 15 (next | show all)
This relatively slender volume, which might have been nothing more than a dashed-off travelogue by an established name, reveals itself as daring and brilliant. Thubron has crafted a book which beautifully describes one man's experience of loss, and familial love.
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Offers an intimate travelogue of the author's trek to Kailas, the holiest mountain in Tibet, in the wake of the death of his mother and the loss of his family.

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