Originally published in 1953, this adventure classic recounts Austrian mountaineer Heinrich Harrer's 1943 escape from a British internment camp in India, his daring trek across the Himalayas, and his happy sojourn in Tibet, then, as now, a remote land little visited by foreigners. Warmly welcomed, he eventually became tutor to the Dalai Lama, teenaged god-king of the theocratic nation. The author's vivid descriptions of Tibetan rites and customs capture its unique traditions before the Chinese invasion in 1950, which prompted Harrer's departure. A 1996 epilogue details the genocidal havoc wrought over the past half-century.
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“One of the grandest and most incredible adventure stories I have ever read.”
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—The New York Times Book Review
“First there is the incredibly adventurous twenty-onemonth trek across rugged mountain and desolate plain to the mysterious heartland of Tibet; then the fascinating picture, rich in amazing detail, of life in Lhasa. . . . Final chapters draw an intimate portrait of the youthful Dalai Lama.”
—The Atlantic Monthly