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Download To a Mountain in Tibet Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample To a Mountain in Tibet, 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:
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To a Mountain in Tibet 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.

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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

  • “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 by 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 by 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 by 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 by 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. "

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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.