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Beneath Blossom Rain: Discovering Bhutan on the Toughest Trek in the World Paperback – April 1, 2011

4.1 out of 5 stars 33 customer reviews

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  • Beneath Blossom Rain: Discovering Bhutan on the Toughest Trek in the World
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"A highly readable journey of one man's renewed lease on life."—Kirkus Reviews
(Kirkus Reviews 2011-03-01)

"Beneath Blossom Rain succeeds in merging travelogue with personal contemplation, allowing the armchair traveler to share both the physical and personal journey and taking them beyond a geographic place to a more philosophical one."—Tim Gebhart, blogcritics.org
(Tim Gebhart Blogcritics.org 2011-04-04)

“Entertaining. . . . [Grange] writes well of the beauty he encounters.”—Michael J. Ybarra, Wall Street Journal
(Michael J. Ybarra Wall Street Journal 2011-04-19)

"For an immersion in many things Bhutanese, this is the book for you, part of the University of Nebraska Press's excellent Outdoor Lives Series."—Richard West, Everett Potter's Travel Report
(Richard West Everett Potter’s Travel Report 2011-06-15)

"The lure of legends and the allure of mountains have possessed the human race for eons. Kevin Grange's remarkable debut, Beneath Blossom Rain: Discovering Bhutan on the Toughest Trek in the World, merges the myth of the Yeti and the tangible Himalayan mountains into a tension-filled journey through Bhutan, Land of the Thunder Dragon."—Barb Teed, Rain Taxi
(Barb Teed Rain Taxi)

"Beneath Blossom Rain, Grange's account of his journey, packs an adventure story, a romantic twist, and a celebration of group travel into a single entertaining book. The result is the ultimate journey for any traveler, armchair or otherwise."—Sandy Amazeen, Monsters and Critics
(Sandy Amazeen Monsters and Critics 2011-08-23)

About the Author

Kevin Grange is an award-winning freelance writer who has written for Backpacker Magazine, National Parks Magazine, and the Orange County Register, among others. He has been to Bhutan four times and has completed the Snowman Trek three times, including twice as a guide. A native of New Hampshire, he currently lives in California.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Bison Books (April 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0803234333
  • ISBN-13: 978-0803234338
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.9 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #602,210 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I so wanted to enjoy this book - with its intriguing title, exotic setting and description of an adventure I am unlikely to ever enjoy - but sadly it all fell very, very flat. The author only describes the apparently extraordinary sights and locations in the most cursory terms. He leads us on to the Shangri La of Thanza - but never elaborates on or properly describes an apparently awesome place. There is just no sense of 'being there'. The book's style is that of a 'dear diary' and never rises to the promised/anticipated heights. Thank heavens for the photos, mostly provided by a professional photographer on the journey, as they provide some much needed filling where the words so frequently fail.

A few significant annoyances as well - where does an American author get off blaming China (and China alone) for the global warming that is having a devastating impact on Bhutan? And more - there's patronising language regarding the Bhutanese people met on the trek, some very uncomfortable/creepy descriptions of local children and the juvenile purportedly-romantic encounters with another treker, Ingrid, were all highly cringe-worthy. Ingrid has my sympathy - come on Kev, grow up! It was unsurprising that it only took some rain to put Ingrid off consummating the 'planned' final meeting. Finally, the stilted 'conversations' which provide the background to geological wonders, history and Buddhist belief are both awkward and unrealistic.

It's not a terrible book, there are many enjoyable parts, but it could have been so much better. A missed opportunity - but thankfully the photos provide some redemption.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A great read. Kevin Grange approached this trek with trepidation and an open mind and shared all his feelings and experiences with great empathy. I loved his philosophical reflections on his experiences and his frank observations of his own performance. As an aging hiker, past the age where I can contemplate a trek as tough as this one, I had a real sense of having done the trek with him, sharing the rigours and joys along the way. In contrast with another book I'm just reading about the dark side of mountaineering and the worst of human nature it can bring out, this book shows the best of people and how that can be brought out by people sharing difficulties with the right attitude. A real "feel good" book.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I just finished reading this today. It's way more than a travelogue, which is all I thought it would be. I had been considering doing this trek and was curious to know more about it. The book certainly helped with that, but there was so much more.

The author took a time-out from his regular life and went half-way around the World all by himself. He was seeking to learn something undefined; perhaps about himself, about life, answers that would help him move forward. Well I did the same thing for the same reasons two years ago (though my trek was in Sikkim). In reading this book I realized that the author was beautifully describing many of the thoughts and emotions that I experienced on my trip. It was wonderful to be reminded of these through the author's obviously honest and heartfelt prose, and to realize that another person in this situation had such similar feelings. Five stars for keeping it real.

Another wonderful undercurrent in this book is the author's encounters with Buddhist philosophy along the way. Being in the land of a million prayer flags, monasteries, and monks, one is continually challenged to look at things a different way. The author clearly experienced this, and reading about his simple, honest moments of learning and self-discovery tend to have a similar effect on the reader (at least this one).

This was a great read for me in many ways. But if I could ask the author one question, it would be this; "Hey Kev, what ever happened to Ingrid?"
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Format: Paperback
From page 1 of "Beneath Blossom Rain", I immediately felt a part of the adventure as Kevin Grange and his trekking companions took on the challenging 24 day, 216 mile Snowman Trek. Along the way, I was introduced to the kindness, gentleness and strength of the Bhutanese people, to some of their history, their culture and to the beautiful descriptions of the mountains, the rivers and the topography of that magnificent country.

It was fascinating to read of the logistics of a trek of this magnitude in the high Himalayas - the support staff, the supplies and the pack animals that were needed. The staff and the trekkers interact in many helpful and fun ways during the 24 days and one of the humorous examples of this was the author's "running" with the horses to keep them in line.

Throughout the book, I enjoyed getting to know the trekkers who had a lot of spirit, continuous support for each other and wonderful camaraderie among them. Walking together along the trail, evening conversations around the dining table or claiming success at the tops of the mountains were a few of the many ways that showed this truly was a great group of which to be a part!

Whether you are able to travel to Bhutan and do the Snowman Trek or just enjoy reading of a unique journey, I highly recommend "Beneath Blossom Rain"!
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