Sunday, 8 June 2008

The Snow Leopard by Peter Matthiessen

This is a wonderful book! Originally published in 1978 and republished a couple of years ago, it follows the author's journeys through Tibet and Nepal to find the snow leopard. The writing throughout is beautiful and full of delightful details of the countryside, people and wildlife, as well as with observations on the erosion and deforestation often found. The journey is hard, days are spent trekking through snow and along narrow ledges on the side of impossibly vertiginous mountains. The journey isn't just physical either, as the author reflects on Buddhism and his grief at the recent death of his wife. My only criticism is that the title really should be something like: In Search of the Snow Leopard', but otherwise I would whole heartedly recommend it to anyone interested in wildlife, Nepal and Tibet and Buddhism.

Gautami also reviewed this book here.

7 comments:

gautami tripathy said...

My brother received this book for some academic achievement way back in 1982. I read it thereabouts. Now instead of my brotrher, I still possess that old yellowing copy. After reading your review, I have a good mind to re-read it.

polona said...

sounds interesting... i wonder if it is translated otherwise i'll have trouble finding it here

Billy said...

Thanks for the heads-up. Sounds fascinating.

gardenpath said...

This was a good book. I heard him speak about it on a public radio program first, then went looking for the book.

Affan Laghari said...

Is it available anywhere online in an e-book format?

gautami tripathy said...

I finished reading this. I am linking your review to mine. If you wish to do the same then my link is here:

The Snow Leopard by Peter Matthiessen

Susan Richardson said...

The Snow Leopard is one of my all-time favourite books :) I also thoroughly enjoyed Matthiessen's book on Antarctica - 'Ends of the Earth'. And I'm reading his beautiful book on cranes - 'The Birds of Heaven' - at the moment. Have been working (slowly!) on a series of crane poems and am finding it to be such a wonderful source of inspiration.