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Touching My Father's Soul: A Sherpa's Journey to the Top of Everest Hardcover – Large Print, September 1, 2001


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Hardcover, Large Print, September 1, 2001
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 467 pages
  • Publisher: Thorndike Press (September 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786235136
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786235131
  • Product Dimensions: 8.1 x 5.5 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #8,341,659 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

In a spectacular and mesmerizing narrative, Jamling Tenzing Norgay, the climbing leader for the IMAX film expedition on Mount Everest, details the ill-fated 1996 summer climbing season (made famous by Jon Krakauer's Into Thin Air) and deftly weaves in the history, politics, triumphs, and tragedies of climbing the world's tallest mountain. Norgay knows Everest, and Touching My Father's Soul is a must-read for anyone contemplating a summit attempt, even if exclusively from the comfort of a favorite armchair.

Just because technological and meteorological advances have benefited later expeditions, newer isn't necessarily better; much wisdom can be gained from studying the mistakes and encounters of previous attempts. Anecdotes and gripping prose shine throughout, like this gem: "That night--and then the following night--we lay in our tents listening to the malevolent roar of wind high on the mountain. The train was still running, the 747 endlessly trying to take off." As a Sherpa and practicing Buddhist, Norgay flavors the book with his culture and its climbing rituals and carefully dissects the differences between the local, deep respect for their mountain--Chomolungma--and the nonnative brashness that has often led to disaster.

Norgay is intent on the accomplishments and experiences of his legendary father, Tenzing Norgay, the Sherpa who first reached the summit with Sir Edmund Hillary in 1953, and commendably shares his most private and human thoughts while retracing his father's greatest path. As Touching My Father's Soul acknowledges, however, no one conquers Everest. You sneak up on it, then get down as quick as you can. --Michael Ferch --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

The 1996 Everest tragedy is widely known through Krakauer's Into Thin Air. Here, Norgay, son of one of the first two men to scale Mt. Everest in 1953, describes his experience leading the IMAX team that filmed their own 1996 climb. Lower on the mountain during the infamous storm, Norgay's team had radio contact with the doomed expedition and participated in later stages of rescue. Possessing an amazing trove of cultural and historical understanding, Norgay, with Coburn (coauthor of Everest: Mountain Without Mercy), intersperses his narrative with stories of his father's famous ascent and provides insights into the society of the Sherpa, the Tibetan Buddhists who help Westerners climb Everest. Physiologists believe, he writes, that Tibetans "may possess a gene that allows for more efficient oxygen delivery at high elevations." Western readers will be struck by the significance Sherpas ascribe to fate in achieving a feat that for most Westerners is a glorification of individual strength and will. It's refreshing to encounter a Tibetan sensibility and perspective in an adventure narrative, although there's not much new here about the tragic 1996 events, the commercialization of Everest, the competition among groups, etc. But Norgay's clever weaving of the parallel stories of his climb and his father's enriches an already gripping tale. The broad, well-established adventure audience will devour this book. Photos. (May)Forecast: A 15-city author tour, Krakauer's name on the cover, Sherpa mystique and the skillful prose and storytelling will win this book the acclaim and sales it deserves.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

In this book, he details the events leading to his own successful ascent up Mt.
Amazon Customer
I was interested in the book after seeing the IMAX movie, the film version of what went on.
fred slater
It is filled with spirituality and gave a wonderful perspective of the sherpa's journey.
annie

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 23, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Touching My Father's Soul traces Jamling Norgay's two journeys: (i) to the top of Everest with the 1996 IMAX expedition, and (ii) his inner search for spirituality and how to grapple with his father's legacy. It is this latter journey that makes this book a welcome addition to the many books already written about the 1996 Everest disaster and, more generally, about climbing Everest, as his perspective as a Buddhist Sherpa has not been articulated before.
Although Jamling Norgay's story provided the emotional backbone of the IMAX movie, the movie didn't really provide a full portrait of the man, or the way in which he had to grapple with his father's legacy. The book really helps flesh out his character and his spiritual reawakening. Although it's not as gripping as Into Thin Air, for example, the book is reasonably well written and is a page turner in its own right.
I wouldn't buy this book solely to try to find a lot of additional information about the 1996 Everest disaster or much "behind the scenes" information about the Everest IMAX movie, as it really doesn't add much new. Instead, it is a heart-felt story of one man's journey and perspective on Everest.
As a final note - if you have the opportunity to see Jamling Norgay's book tour in support of Touching My Father's Soul, I would highly recommend it. I attended the book signing in Washington, and he has a very interesting 40 minute slide show.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By roy johnstone on July 6, 2001
Format: Hardcover
You may think that there is no new mileage in another story concerning the everest disaster of 1996. That particular chapter in the mountains history has been chronicled many times, most notably by jon Krakauer in into thin air and David Breashears in high exposure. However, Jamling Norgay has taken a slightly different perspective in this book, choosing to concentrate on the inter relationships between himself, his father, the IMAX climbing team, the victims of the tragedy, his wife, family and last but not least, his faith. The buddhism aspect of this book is by far the most interesting tenet of touching my fathers soul. The divinations received by Jamling from his respected lamas showing an uneering premonition for the immediate future. Although the IMAX climb is central to the book, it becomes secondary to Jamlings obvious soul searching. If you want to read about the IMAX climb, buy high exposure. If you want to know about the 1996 disaster, buy into thin air. If you wish for elements of both of these and a more spiritual interpretation of everest, buy this. It Makes you think
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 1, 2001
Format: Hardcover
There's a reason the Dalai Lama wrote the foreward to Jamling Norgay's book. This is a story that delves deeper than the typical adventure tale. It is a journey to the core of a man and his relationship to his family, his "people," nature, Buddhism, and himself. It is inspiring, filled with true examples of courage, bravery, and fortitude. For all those enthralled with Everest, Norgay's book provides a view of the mountain from both a historical and cultural aspect. It's fascinating to read how the Sherpas view the mountain and how cultures collide when the peak gets closer. The book is well researched, filled with interesting stories, and a fast, fun read. It is one of those rare books that stays with you long after you've turned the final page.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 25, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Among all the books that have come out since the 1996 Everest debacle, Jon Krakauer's stands out and now Jamling Norgay's new entry has touched my soul as it will yours. From an inner peace that represents a sherpa's life meaning, "Touching My Father's Soul" is a poignant look not only at climbing but the sherpa culture that few Americans will ever see.
Jamling Norgay, whilst having become a popular figure in the climbing world, exceeds efforts by other Everest authors, way past Beck Weathers' dreadful book and shows that climbing comes from within. He looks at it from a spiritual sense rather than a mechanical task. He and Krakauer are close in style and certainly in heart.
I strongly recommend this book and hope that it touches your soul and your mind.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By jenny saxton on September 24, 2001
Format: Hardcover
I have seen Jamling's public presentations and wonder how he wrote this book. No reviews recognise that Broughton Coburn actually wrote it and that he is an already acclaimed writer and Himalayan expert. It seems to me that this is HIS book - not Jamlings. The thoughts/feelings expressed are obviously not from the mouth of Jamling. Be aware of this when you read this book - this is not a true Sherpa story - this is a western (overspiritualised) version of a Sherpas story. It is good reading but pretty much rehashes what Tenzing Norgay's "Man of Everest" and Krakauer's "Into Thin Air " did. Not a lot new.
Jamling himself does not seem to have a great deal to say personally. I had hoped to hear the real story of the Sherpas.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By allan bachman on May 15, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Jamling Tenzing Norgay is many things. He is a husband, father, climber, Buddhist, featured star of the IMAX film Everest and last, and by no means least, son of the Tenzing Norgay, the Sherpa who in 1953 summated Everest with Sir Edmund Hillary. His book, Touching My Father's Soul: A Sherpa's Guide to the Top of Everest (told with Broughton Coburn), is his successful attempt to relate and reconcile these identities.
Throughout this is a very personal account in every sense. It is a tale of his life, his father's life, his climb to the top of Everest, his father's climb to the top of Everest and his attempts to address his feelings about his upbringing, family and flagging religious beliefs. Added to this mix is the literal and emotional climate of the Everest summit attempt during the tragic spring of 1996.
He relates his story in a manner which makes for a very interesting, inspirational and insightful read. He moves fluidly from his climb to his father's, from his life to his family's, from his spiritual issues to the material world, from the tragedy to his personal investment in being a climbing Sherpa, without losing the overarching narrative.
The famous and fateful climb of the IMAX and other teams in 1996 during and after the tragic events of that climbing year are well known, but Jamling gives us some further insight and perspective into those events.
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