The Snow Leopard

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'A beautiful book, and worthy of the mountains he is among' Paul Theroux 'A delight' i Paper This is the account of a journey to the dazzling Tibetan plateau of Dolpo in the high Himalayas. In 1973 Matthiessen made the 250-mile trek to Dolpo, as part of an expedition to study wild blue sheep. It was an arduous, sometimes dangerous, physical endeavour: exertion, blisters, blizzards, endless negotiations with sherpas, quaking cold. But it was also a 'journey of the heart' - amongst the beauty and indifference of the mountains ...

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DIANE G

Apr 12, 2012

great book and wonderful writing!

you will love this book if rich writing and visions of each page comning alive is your thing............

Val F

Mar 10, 2011

Every Man's Journey

The journey Peter Matthiessen embarks on into the depths of his soul is wonderfully shadowed by the elusive snow leopard. As Peter reflects on his past, family and his life in general he seeks a teacher in the far reaches of Nepal.To his amused realization several teachers and teachings were offered throughout this amazing journey to Shey Monastery at Crystal Mountain. A fabulous read as one appreciates the wonderful narrative and humanness of his writing. Over three decades later this book is timeless in its writing as a travel journal during which the spiritual journey is paramount.

martha29

Mar 25, 2010

A Wonderful Pursuit

This book may be read on many different levels. A study of Nepal and its people, wildlife and climate; interactions among many people of varying races, culture and belief systems; the glories and trials of trekking at the top of the world;and an opportunity to delve into Buddhism. It also is the adventure of seeking elusive creatures of an exceptional world. Matthiessen always impresses with his love of mankind.

Kamala

May 21, 2009

Fantastic book. It gets better as it goes along.The author has many spiritual insights on this journey. He is a phenomenal writer. Enjoy!

SeldomSeen

Mar 4, 2008

One of Our Great Writers

The Snow Leopard by Peter Mattheissen is a quirky book written by one of the best writers alive. It?s part adventure, part natural history, part anthropology, part memoir and part mediation on Eastern religion. An American Buddhist travels to a very remote part of Tibet, partnered with another scientist, to study a rare, blue sheep and possibly catch a glimpse of the fabled snow leopard. The expedition is under-funded, behind schedule and forever in danger of immediate collapse. Mr. Mattheissen?s keen eye for detail misses nothing and, for some readers, his poetic descriptions may become a little too much. Besides the exquisite details of the flora and fauna, there are long discourses into the religious and socio-political histories of the region and in-depth character profiles of the expedition members .

Though drama mounts as winter approaches, the physical danger takes a backseat to the psychological and spiritual trek. At its heart, the Snow Leopard is a personal journey of loss and redemption. Some critics have complained that this is the book?s greatest weakness. Here Mr. Matthiessen seems to withhold from us just a bit. We learn that his wife has recently died, but we get very little detail and only the briefest glimpse into his family life. I didn?t mind too much. It?s better to withhold some personal emotion than succumb to the kind of self-absorbed bulimia that seems so common in first person narratives today.

In the Snow Leopard, it?s the journey that matters. If you like natural history, adventure stories and philosophical discussion, Snow Leopard is a must read.

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