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Download To a Mountain in Tibet Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample To a Mountain in Tibet Audiobook, by Colin Thubron Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (572 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Colin Thubron Narrator: Steven Crossley Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: March 2011 ISBN: 9781452671147
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This is the account of a journey to the holiest mountain on earth, the solitary peak of Kailas in Tibet, sacred to one-fifth of humankind. To both Buddhists and Hindus it is the mystic heart of the world and an ancient site of pilgrimage. It has never been climbed. Even today, under Chinese domination, the people of four religions circle the mountain in devotion to different gods. Colin Thubron reached it by foot along the Karnali River, the highest source of the Ganges. His journey is an entry into the culture of today's Tibet, and a pilgrimage in the wake his mother's death and the loss of his family. He undertakes it in order to mark the event, to leave a sign of their passage. He also explores his own need for solitude, which has shaped his career as a writer-one who travels to places beyond his own history and culture, writing about them and about the journey. To a Mountain in Tibet is at once a powerful travelogue, a fascinated encounter with alien faith, and an intimate personal voyage. It is a haunting and beautiful book, a rare mix of discovery and loss. In its evocation of landscape and variety of exotic peoples, of mythic and spiritual traditions foreign to our own, it is a spectacular achievement from our greatest living travel writer, an artist of formidable literary gifts, uncanny intuition, and wondrous insight. Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Thubron has spent four decades writing in forceful and respectful ways of foreign lands, and To a Mountain in Tibet is no exception.”

    Wall Street Journal

  • Engrossing and affecting...poignant evocations of his mother and sister, interwoven with his profound respect for the Tibetan culture and landscape, make Thubron's memoir and utterly moving [listen]. Publishers Weekly Starred Review
  • “Thubron has, as always, thoroughly researched his subject, so his descriptions of shadowy Buddhist shrines and wildly various religious supplicants are interspersed with eloquent accounts of Tibet’s place in the imaginings of the West.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • ““Thubron is a versatile painter of place…an expert guide for the region’s complex topography…He is refreshingly clear and unintimidated…””

    Los Angeles Times

  • “Thubron walks for the dead and writes for the living, and I can’t remember when I have been so thoroughly and deeply moved by an author’s outward journey.”

    Boston Globe

  • ““One of the greats of contemporary travel writing . . . Thubron’s transcendent prose places the reader directly on the path to Kailas, culminating with the final glimpse of the sacred site.””

    Seattle Times

  • “It is the poignant evocations of his mother and sister (who died at 21), interwoven with his profound respect for the Tibetan culture and landscape that make Thubron’s memoir an utterly moving read.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “A powerful and hauntingly elegiac hybrid of travelogue and memoir”

    Kirkus Reviews

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Elisa | 2/4/2014

    " It was awful snobbish ethnocentric garbage and couldn't the editor's have noted that Down Syndrome isn't Down's syndrome? "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mckinley | 1/22/2014

    " Interesting. Not the same impact as the Snow Leopard. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Vishnu Menon malayattil | 1/19/2014

    " Colin Thubron is in song as he describes the tough mountain road and the remorseless landscape. His frequent lapses into the trauma of his personal losses accentuates the toughness of the terrain he portrays. Super read, unputdownable. The passes, the peaks, the pilgrims, the prayers, the police, the porters, the pellucid lakes - wish I could journey like him one day. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sue | 1/17/2014

    " Loved the first half of the book, but kept waiting for the "transforming moment" (thanks to Ira Glass for that term!). For me, it never came. Descriptions and history of the area were fascinating. Thubron touches on his personal loss and reasons for the journey; the book would have been richer for me if he had explored those themes more. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mom2atornado | 1/14/2014

    " This was a very interesting book and I enjoyed it some....it was a bit of a slow read for me- it took me over a month and that is very rare for me. I just never connected to the author or the characters in the book. There was a lot of interesting Tibetan history but things got a little mired down in the long listing of various Tibetan deities. The author's explanation of the land was fascinating to read. This would probably be a really good book for someone who had more background in Tibetan history. I really wanted to fall in love with the book but it just never took off for me. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Trish Remley | 1/5/2014

    " Very interesting. This is one of those books that I personally learned a lot about something I knew very little about. It's interesting how all religions have their own versions of pilgrimages, rituals, and God story (what I call of how a religon came into being, etc). I enjoyed the physical description of the landscape as well as the different peoples along the way. I really want to see pictures in order to properly picture these prayer flags, prayer wheels, places of prayer, cemetaries and above all the people circling. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jozef Blazej | 1/2/2014

    " This book is amazing! Reading the book, it was easy to imagine myelf in the vivid world that Thubron paints. The clarity and detail with which Thurbron describes his journey is gorgeous. This is a must read for those who love adventure novels and want to learn about a fascinating culture. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Malcolm Brown | 12/28/2013

    " Three and a half stars, maybe. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Dave | 12/14/2013

    " Meh. I'm actually reading several travel books right now and may e I'm in overload. But this seemed to drone on without much point and without ever drawing me in. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Cindy | 12/6/2013

    " Wonderful read and escape into Tibet. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kevin | 11/5/2013

    " Beautifully written. Prose to match the journey. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Heather | 10/2/2013

    " couldn't get past the first 5 minutes "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Karma Gyatso | 9/24/2013

    " Rather thin in size and depth. Seemed almost like the fulfilment of a contractual obligation. He takes a long time writing about the trip and not enough about the destination (Kailash). "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Erin | 8/31/2013

    " I'm not a religious person, however listening to the myths, traditions, and ceremonies of the Tibetan buddhists and their sacred mountain, were facinating! Certainly would recommend this! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Terry Brownell | 8/18/2013

    " A nice short book about and interesting part of the world by a lyrical writer. Colin Thubron is by far my favorite travel writer. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 hillary | 8/29/2012

    " I wanted to like this more, but I found the constant shifting from memoir to history a bit distracting. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Meredith | 4/26/2012

    " For my tastes, this was too much on Buddhist philosophy and practice and not enough Tibet...I quit about 3/4 of the way through. In this genre, Peter Matthiesen did a much better job with The Snow Leopard...one of my all-time favorite books. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Vera | 9/8/2011

    " A journey to a Holy Mountain in Tibet. Interesting discussion of conditions there since China took over. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Doug | 5/30/2011

    " Lots of info about Buddhist beliefs on gaining merit. Interesting and rich descriptions of the trip. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lisa | 5/24/2011

    " This is a beautifully written book about an enchanting place. It isn't a history, story, or travel narrative. It is a personal journey he author shares as he collects his musings about life. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Bruce | 5/14/2011

    " Superb read. Colin definately knows and uses English well. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Peter | 3/21/2011

    " Was looking for more at the end. The aspect of his grief kind of dissolves toward the end, "

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About the Author

Colin Thubron is an award-winning travel writer and novelist. He is the author of Mirror to Damascus, The Hills of Adonis, Jerusalem, Among the Russians, Shadow of the Silk Road, and Behind the Wall, which won both the Hawthornden Prize and the Thomas Cook Travel Book Award. In addition to travelogues, Thubron is also the author of several novels, including Emperor, Turning Back the Sun, To the Last City, and A Cruel Madness, which earned him the PEN/Macmillan Silver Pen Award. A fellow of the Royal Society of Literature since 1969, he lives in London.

About the Narrator

Steven Crossley, a graduate of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London, has built a career on both sides of the Atlantic as an actor and audiobook narrator, for which he has won twelve AudioFile Earphones Awards and been a nominee for the prestigious Audie Award. He is a member of the internationally renowned theater company Complicite and has appeared in numerous theater, television, film, and radio dramas.