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Prayer of the Dragon Hardcover – December 1, 2007


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 396 pages
  • Publisher: Soho Crime; First Edition edition (December 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1569474796
  • ISBN-13: 978-1569474792
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 5.4 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #790,579 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The discovery of two mutilated corpses and a comatose stranger on the ancient pilgrims' path up Tibet's Sleeping Dragon mountain throws former Beijing special investigator Shan into a quandary at the start of Edgar-winner Pattison's atmospheric fifth mystery set in Tibet (after 2005's Beautiful Ghosts). The detective and gulag escapee, who has been mysteriously summoned to the remote hamlet of Drango along with his lama friends Lokesh and Gendun, refuses to let the survivor be summarily executed for murder, putting himself and the equally outlaw monks in jeopardy. Shan soon finds himself with just days to delve into a deepening conundrum that hints at both modern corruption and ancient evil. Pattison fans will savor all the Tibetan flavor they have come to expect as well as an intriguing subplot exploring possible kinship between Tibetans and the Navajo. (Tony Hillerman buffs, take note.) Although first-timers may initially stumble over the abundance of foreign names, the journey, like the climb up Sleeping Dragon, soon becomes both frightening and unforgettable. (Dec.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

Praise for the Inspector Shan Series

“Surprises and mysteries abound . . . [Prayer of the Dragon] taught me more about Tibet—modern and ancient—than I had managed to learn elsewhere over the years.”
The Washington Post

“I’ve seldom read a novel that more effectively captures the soul of its setting, in all of its contradictions, difficulties and beauty.”
—Nancy Pearl, NPR

“Nothing I’ve read or seen about how China has systematically crushed the soul of Tibet has been as effective . . . A thriller of laudable aspirations and achievements.”
Chicago Tribune

“A cocktail of action and adventure . . . A great read.”
The Guardian

“Shan becomes our Don Quixote . . . Set against a background that is alternately bleak and blazingly beautiful, this is at once a top-notch thriller and a substantive look at Tibet under siege.”
Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

“A rich and multilayered story that mirrors the complexity of the surrounding land.”
San Francisco Chronicle --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

More About the Author

Eliot Pattison has been described as a "writer of faraway mysteries," a label which is particularly apt for someone whose travel and interests span such a broad spectrum. After reaching a million miles of global trekking, visiting every continent but Antarctica, Pattison stopped logging his miles and set his compass for the unknown. Today he avoids well-trodden paths whenever possible, in favor of wilderness, lesser known historical venues, and encounters with indigenous peoples.

An international lawyer by training, early in his career Pattison began writing on legal and business topics, producing several books and dozens of articles published on three continents. In the late 1990's he decided to combine his deep concerns for the people of Tibet with his interest in venturing into fiction by writing The Skull Mantra. Winning the Edgar Award for Best First Mystery--and listed as a finalist for best novel for the year in Dublin's prestigious IMPAC awards--The Skull Mantra launched the Inspector Shan series, which now includes Water Touching Stone, Bone Mountain, Beautiful Ghosts, The Prayer of the Dragon, Mandarin Gate, and the Soul of Fire. Both The Skull Mantra and Water Touching Stone were selected by Amazon.com for its annual list of ten best new mysteries. Water Touching Stone was selected by Booksense as the number one mystery of all time for readers' groups. Mandarin Gate was selected as one of the best mysteries of 2012 by Amazon, CNN and Publishers Weekly. The Inspector Shan series has been translated into over twenty languages around the world.

Pattison entered China for the first time within weeks of normalization of relations with the United States in 1980 and during his many return visits to China and neighboring countries developed the intense interest in the rich history and culture of the region that is reflected in these books. They have been characterized as creating a new "campaign thriller" genre for the way they weave significant social and political themes into their plots. Indeed, as soon as the novels were released they became popular black market items in China for the way they highlight issues long hidden by Beijing.

Pattison's longtime interest in another "faraway" place -the 18th century American wilderness and its woodland Indians-- led to the launch of his Bone Rattler series, which quickly won critical acclaim for its poignant presentation of Scottish outcasts and Indians during the upheaval of the French and Indian War. In Pattison's words, "this was an extraordinary time that bred the extraordinary people who gave birth to America," and the lessons offered by the human drama in that long-ago wilderness remain fresh and compelling today.

A former resident of Boston and Washington, Pattison resides on an 18th century farm in Pennsylvania with his wife, three children, and an ever-expanding menagerie of animals. For more information, visit: www.eliotpattison.com.

Customer Reviews

I love his novels and learning about the conflicts between China and Tibet, and Communism and Buddhism.
K. Glaes
Beware, once one begins a Pattison novel they are difficult to put down until one has read the last page and then you will want another.
paul shaw
Eliot Pattison,as usual, weaves a tightly knit mystery set in a background most of us have only heard about.
Gypsy

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

37 of 37 people found the following review helpful By John Rogers ClarkIV on December 28, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Eliot Pattison has come through once again for mystery lovers who want a book that both challenges the mind and stimulates the imagination. When I read his first book years ago, I described it as Tony Hillerman meets the Dalai Lama. This book brings that description to life in spades. Perhaps the most easily read of the Shan books, Prayer of the Dragon kept me up late into the night three evenings in a row and when I finished it, I had both a feeling of satisfaction and an itch to read whatever comes next. This is one series well worth suggesting to patrons of my library who are looking for a thinking person's author. Thank you Eliot Pattison for coming through yet again.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Ted Feit VINE VOICE on January 15, 2008
Format: Hardcover
The Inspector Shan series - five in all - provides deep insights into Tibet and the consequences of the Chinese takeover. In this installment, however, there is an additional twist. Shan is summoned to a remote village to save a comatose man from execution for two murders. It turns out that the man is a Navajo descendant visiting Tibet with his niece, an American anthropology professor researching a link between Tibetans and Navajos.

The two murders, Shan discovers, are but part of a series of others and he has to solve not only those, but the riddle of Dragon Mountain, "where the world begins." The village is located on the mountain and the suspects are numerous. With the help of his friends, the unlicensed monks, Gendun and Lokesh, Shan undertakes an arduous task.

The common religious and cultural aspects of Tibetans and Navajos described throughout the novel are fascinating. The descriptions of the people and bleak geography are penetrating. The novel, like its predecessor, gets off to a slow start, and the author lays the groundwork for the plot. But once it gets going, the mystery moves apace solidly. Also like its predecessor, "Dragon" is very much worth reading, and is recommended.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Harriet Klausner #1 HALL OF FAME on December 8, 2007
Format: Hardcover
In a secret lamasery high in the Tibetan Himalayas Sleeping Dragon Mountain near the village of Drango the monks summon former Beijing special investigator Shan, who lives nearby having escaped from imprisonment. He and his close friends Lokesh and Gendun are shown two mutilated corpses whose arms were removed and an unconscious stranger, who is not Tibetan, Chinese, or Nepalese lying nearby. The monks want to execute the comatose man believing he killed and eviscerated the victims. The former People's Republic of China detective convinces the monks to give him some time to investigate and learn the truth.

He knows he must solve the case fast as every moment the stranger lives places the monks in jeopardy. Shan learns the survivor of the tragedy is an American Navajo who accompanied by his niece seeks the ancient ties between Tibetan Buddhism and his people's belief in Bon. As Shana and his two Lama pals continue their inquiries, the trio will soon be shocked by the evil connection between their ancient belief systems and the cynicism of the modern world.

The Shan mysteries are some of the best written as the audience will feel they are on top of the world (see BONE MOUNTAIN, THE SKULL MANTRA and BEAUTIFUL GHOSTS). The investigation is cleverly designed so that the reader obtains a strong whodunit, but also a deep look at life in Tibet especially at a lamasery. This is another winner with the added bonus of the connection between Tibetan Buddhism and the Navaho religion.

Harriet Klausner
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Kay Esse on June 15, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Prayer of the Dragon
In "Prayer of the Dragon," dishonored Inspector Shan, a Chinese national, continues his quest for peace after having been released from a Tibetan gulag. He also continues to strive to bring murderers to justice and protect his Tibetan lama friends. Eliot Pattison has a deep knowledge of Tibet and of Buddhism as a way of life. His writing is gentle and loving yet shows the terrible price the people of Tibet have paid since the Chinese have moved in. The simplicity of the Tibetan culture is very attractive and their ability to overcome obstacles that would generate hate within many people is amazing. I sought out this mystery series to learn more about life in Tibet under Chinese rule. I find his books compelling on many levels, not the least of which is the beautiful writing.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By SM Marano on June 26, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Elliot Pattison's Inspector Shan series are wonderful and give such an indepth view of Tibet and its people, and how the Chinese revolution has affected both the lives of the Tibetans and the Chinese. My favorite Shan book is "Water Touching Stone" but I found "Prayer of the Dragon" also quite engrossing.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By GBM on January 12, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Part of Mr. Pattison's acclaimed Inspector Shan series, this mystery novel is set in Tibet, and is full of fascinating tidbits for the interested - a look at the current state in Tibet, descriptions of ancient Tibetan culture mixed with a snappy police procedural format, excellent writing and a true page turner. I highly recommend it.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Jan in Texas on January 9, 2008
Format: Hardcover
These books are not for the faint-hearted. They require patience. You can't speed read through them and expect to understand. That said, Prayer of the Dragon remains true to the style and themes of the earlier books in the series (e.g.,The Skull Mantra (Inspector Shan Tao Yun)) and keeps you wondering what on earth is happening. With seemingly supernatural invocations at every turn, there is always a practical and believable result...the reader is required to perservere. Along the way one gets incredible lessons about people and life in another, very different place.
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