- Series: Penguin Classics
- Paperback: 368 pages
- Publisher: Penguin Classics; Second Edition Thus edition (September 30, 2008)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0143105515
- ISBN-13: 978-0143105510
- Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.6 x 7.7 inches
- Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 268 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #26,662 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $3.99 shipping
+ Free Shipping
+ Free Shipping
The Snow Leopard (Penguin Classics) Paperback – September 30, 2008
|New from||Used from|
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
a Stunning . . . Fiercely felt and magnificently written.a
a"The Washington Post Book World"
a A magical book, a kind of lunar paradigm and map of the sacred.a
aJim Harrison, "The Nation"
Stunning . . . Fiercely felt and magnificently written.
"The Washington Post Book World"
A magical book, a kind of lunar paradigm and map of the sacred.
Jim Harrison, "The Nation"
? Stunning . . . Fiercely felt and magnificently written.?
?"The Washington Post Book World"
? A magical book, a kind of lunar paradigm and map of the sacred.?
?Jim Harrison, "The Nation"
About the Author
Peter Matthiessen was the cofounder of The Paris Review and is the author of numerous works of nonfiction, including In the Spirit of Crazy Horse, Indian Country, and The Snow Leopard, winner of the National Book Award.
Try the Kindle edition and experience these great reading features:
Read reviews that mention
Showing 1-6 of 268 reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
The Snow Leopard is a famous book that recounts the author’s 1973 journey to the remote mountains of Nepal with field biologist George Schaller, who went to study the Himalayan blue sheep. Matthiessen went along for several reasons, for the high altitude flora and fauna, the most elusive of which is the snow leopard, and for spiritual reasons having to do with a pilgrimage to the ancient shrine on Crystal Mountain, as well as a more personal quest to understand reality and suffering, prompted by the recent loss of his wife to cancer.
I read this book slowly, partly due to my recent schedule but mainly to savor the words, as seemed best upon my encounter with them. The related journey is a combination of sheer arduous traveling, a Buddhist history of the region, a seeker’s inner path, a traveler’s account of the lives of the people living there, and as usual with this writer, lyrical descriptions of the natural world in its many forms.
Like the mountain journey itself, the passages move up and down with the landscape, changing with the weather and the reader’s mind, finding footholds in different areas of interest, holding true in sparkling moments of transcendence that balance more mundane points in other spots. There are wonderful observations of locals, both human and animal, and the inner struggles of a spiritual man who rises and falls in his attempts at betterment. Written as daily journal entries, the accumulation of the details of hardship and progress and doubt and beauty and loss began to gather within this reader and alter his perceptions in ways both subtle and profound.
In most ways this journey is no longer possible, in all likelihood not politically feasible, while the region itself is no longer as remote as it was forty years ago, not to mention the fact that many readers would not relish or even be capable of the physical demands. Here then is an opportunity to experience something of this incredible undertaking and feel this mystical, ethereal high country – in a staggering and moving accomplishment.
Here are two passages to illustrate the reflective and physical aspects of the journey.
When I watch blue sheep, I must watch blue sheep, not be thinking about sex, danger, or the present, for this present – even while I think of it – is gone.
In the cold wind, the track is icy even at midday, yet one cannot wander to the side without plunging through the crust. The regular slow step that works best on steep mountainsides is difficult; I slip and clamber. Far above, a train of yaks makes dark curves on the shining ice; soon a second herd overtakes me, the twine-soled herders strolling up the icy incline with hands clasped behind their backs, grunting and whistling at the heaving animals.
"In the early light, the rock shadows on the snow are sharp; in the tension between light and dark is the power of the universe. This stillness to which all returns, this is reality, and soul and sanity have no more meaning here than a gust of snow; such transience and insignificance are exalting, terrifying, all at once, like the sudden discovery, in meditation, of one’s own transparence. Snow mountains, more than sea or sky, serve as a mirror to one’s own true being, utterly still, utterly clear, a void, an Emptiness without life or sound that carries in Itself all life, all sound. Yet as long as I remain an “I” who is conscious of the void and stands apart from it, there will remain a snow mist on the mirror."