Exquisite. Magical. Memorable. I read it in 1989, and when I finished it I opened it again to the first page and read it all over again. Nearly 3 decades later I still recall parts of it. With a grandson now of my own, I can still feel choked up when he wrote about singing "you are my sunshine" to his toddler son who said, "I'm your sonshine, right, Daddy?" This book is on my list to have if I were stranded on that proverbial desert island.
I gave this an A grade. The author's wife has died from cancer and he is lost. A fellow scientist and friend invites him to accompany him to Nepal and aid in animal research. Matthiessen agreed and they set off with porters and sherpas from Pokhara. On the surface, Peter wants to see the rare snow leopard, but beneath that is a search for himself after the loss of his wife. His journal is the basis for this book, a winner of the national Book Award.
Part travelogue, part nature study, and part spiritual odyssey (my least favorite kind of odyssey), "The Snow Leopard" is Peter Matthiessen's 1978 National Book Award winner about the author's travels in the Himalayas. Mathtiessen writes well and I liked the travel parts far better than the mushy b.s. enlightenment spiritual quest aspect, which I found unbearable. Matthiessen's other major books include "At Play in the Fields of the Lord" and "Far Tortuga."
November for Book Club
This book did a lot to enhance my appreciation of nature an in particular being in high remote places.
I loved this book which won a National Book Award in 1980. The author said to Dr. Schaller (who invited him on the 250 mile hike into the Himalayas), "if I can't get a good book out of this, I ought to be taken out & shot." I think he succeeded beyond his wildest expectations. His description of the foreboding yet beautiful scenery & the feelings it evoked in him is spell-binding. He describes it as "walking into the past."
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