Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Seven Years in Tibet” as Want to Read:
Seven Years in Tibet
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Seven Years in Tibet

4.04  ·  Rating Details ·  11,755 Ratings  ·  628 Reviews
In this vivid memoir that has sold millions of copies worldwide, Heinrich Harrer recounts his adventures as one of the first Europeans ever to enter Tibet. Harrer was traveling in India when the Second World War erupted. He was subsequently seized and imprisoned by British authorities. After several attempts, he escaped and crossed the rugged, frozen Himalayas, surviving b
...more
Paperback, 330 pages
Published August 25th 1997 by Tarcher (first published 1952)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Seven Years in Tibet, please sign up.

Popular Answered Questions

This question contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
Emma
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Jeffrey Keeten
Jun 29, 2016 Jeffrey Keeten rated it really liked it
Shelves: travel, book-to-film
”Now the Living Buddha was approaching. He passed quite close to our window. The women stiffened in a deep obeisance and hardly dared to breathe. The crowd was frozen. Deeply moved we hid ourselves behind the women as if to protect ourselves from being drawn into the magic circle of his power.

We kept saying to ourselves, ‘It is only a child.’ A child, indeed, but the heart of the concentrated faith of thousands, the essence of their prayers, longings, hopes. Whether it is Lhasa or Rome--all are
...more
Andrei Tamaş
Feb 10, 2016 Andrei Tamaş rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Trebuie să-i contrazic pe cei ce spun că singura modalitate de a călători în toată lumea e aceea de a te folosi de un mijloc modern de transport ori pur şi simplu aceea de a merge pe jos. Nu! O carte -obiectul acela palpabil- te poate duce dincolo de hotarele imaginaţiei. Poţi călători în timp, citind istorie romanţată. Poţi călători în viitor, citind utopii romanţate. Poţi da nas în nas cu Dumnezeu, la porţile raiului, citind literatură religioasă. Poţi -în fine!- să vizitezi lumea întreagă, în ...more
Joselito Honestly and Brilliantly
I bought my copy of this book from a thrift shop last 27 January 2010. Handwritten on its first inside page is the former owner's name followed by:

"23 Jan 1999
"Los Angeles
"California
"7:00 pm."

I suspect he (or she?) was a Tibetan. It's typical of these religious and superstitious people to ascribe meaning to every event, or to the time, place and date it happened. Even when it is just a book purchase.

The former owner's name seems to read : "Yee Yitathajisi" but I'm not sure, especially the small
...more
Lynne King
Mar 16, 2013 Lynne King rated it really liked it
Shelves: tibet
This is a book that I bought way back in 1990. It was an excellent travel book and I purchased it because of my enjoyment of reading about life in Tibet (it always struck me as such an exotic place) and I was also very influenced by Buddhism at the time. It was so sad about the situation with China and the Dalai Lama.

I must reread this.
Chiara
Apr 12, 2016 Chiara rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Dovremmo leggere tutti Sette anni nel Tibet

"Nel giallo tremolio delle molte lampade le figure di burro sembravano acquistare vita. Strane corolle chinavano le testine in un immaginario alito di vento, pieghe di seriche vesti si muovevano frusciando, una maschera di demone torceva la bocca. Poi il dio-re alzò benedicendo la mano. Siamo anche noi preda di questo sogno conturbante? La luna piena, simbolo del mondo ultraterreno, al quale è dedicato tutto questo grandioso omaggio, sorride dalla sua a
...more
Nancy
Nov 02, 2015 Nancy rated it really liked it
Absolutely fascinating; it's a pity the prose was on the pedestrian side. One wonders what a Patrick Leigh Fermor or an Eric Newby would have made of the same material.
Linh
Aug 07, 2016 Linh rated it really liked it
Bản tiếng Việt (lấy tên Vùng đất thiêng Tây Tạng) cắt hết các đoạn nói về cuộc xâm lăng của Trung Quốc cũng như các tàn phá Tây Tạng sau đó, haizz
Chrissie
Heinrich Harrer, the author of this book, was a mountaineer and an adventurer. He was the first to climb the North Face of the Eiger Mountain in Switzerland. He did this int the 1930s. This book, originally published in 1953, is an adventure classic that recounts Heinrich Harrer's 1943 escape from a British internment camp in India, his daring trek across the Himalayas, and his seven years in Tibet, coming to an end with the Chinese invasion. He became a dear friend of the fourteenth Dali Lama. ...more
AndrewP
First off let me say that the writing of this book is nothing spectacular, it's adequate for this type of book and gets all the facts across without lots of embellishment. However, the content is an amazing travelogue of Heinrich Harrier's journey through Tibet and his eventual friendship with his Holiness the Dalai Lama. Quite a large portion of the seven years was spent actually travelling. Harrer doesn't go into a lot of detail about all the climbing and trekking his friend Peter and himself ...more
Daniel Clausen
Dec 01, 2014 Daniel Clausen rated it really liked it
I read this book in fits and starts between breaks in class. Restlessness has been the case for me lately. Perhaps the cure is travel books like these. Books that are easy to pick up, put down, and pick up again.

The book made no grand promises-- instead the author proposed to give me his notes plainly told about his journey through Tibet, a journey that began just prior to the second World War and ended a few years after it. The author did not over-promise, and sticking to his world, early on,
...more
Basham!
I'll be the first to say the movie version is... well, awful. It sensationalized aspects of Harrer's life (although the part about leaving his pregnant wife turns out to be true and was interestingly omitted by Harrer from the book itself). The film also created a stupidly melodramatic fake love triangle and gave short shrift to just how riveting the journey to Lhasa must have been. Of course, this shouldn't be the surprise. "The book is better than the movie" is a common refrain. Once you get i ...more
Ido
May 13, 2013 Ido rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a wonderful book and significantly different that the movie with Brad Pitt. While Harrar and his fellow PoW escapee, Peter Aufscnaiter, were simply trying to be free from the British in India during WWII (although Harrar seemed more interested not in Tibet itself initially but just making his way across Tibet and through China to the Japanese lines since the Japanese were Germany's ally) they both seemed to quickly fall in love with the people and the land of Tibet.

While at times the bo
...more
Auntie Pam
Un libro grazie al quale ho conosciuto e scoperto uno dei territori a mio avviso piú belli del mondo: il Tibet. Non ci sono mai stata, ma é come se oramai facesse parte di me. Non amo il freddo né la neve, ma amo quello che per secoli ha rappresentato, la pace e la spiritualità interiore. Purtroppo la minaccia cinese é arrivata fino al "tetto del mondo", ma se a ognuno che leggesse questo libro facesse lo stesso effetto che ha fatto a me, questo sarebbe uno dei testi per la pace nel mondo.
Buona
...more
MichelleG
While the writing style is somewhat dated and lacking, I still highly enjoyed the tales of Heinrich Harrer and his sojourn in Tibet. The settings are so well developed it allows you travel along with the adventures and the struggles.
Jean Poulos
Jan 29, 2016 Jean Poulos rated it it was amazing
Heinrich Harrer was an Austrian mountain climber. In 1939 he is in India when World War II breaks out. He is taken to a detention camp in Bombay. He escapes and heads toward Tibet. At that time Tibet did not allow outsiders into their country. He walks, hides and runs until he crosses the Tibet boarder. Then he has to use all his skills to trick and deceive his way past daunting Tibetan officials. He walks seventy days over rugged mountainous terrain before he reaches Lhasa, the capital of Tibet ...more
Shubhi Agarwal
Sep 12, 2014 Shubhi Agarwal rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The best part about travel books...? You see the entire world sitting within the four walls. The wonderful things the writer saw, his exhilarating experiences, the people he meets, all seem like they're happening to us as a first person.
Same applies to this travelogue. There is quite less the world knows about Tibet, and this book is the first person account of a German mountaineer who escapes British prison in India during WWII and seeks shelter in Tibet. His numerious encounters with Tibetan p
...more
Alexis
Mar 11, 2014 Alexis rated it really liked it
I read this on a train, and it was a perfect setting.
This is one of those books that reminds you of how much we, "in the modern world" take for granted. I have to admit that a lot of the story relayed in this book is not written in a way to enthuse and engage it's reader. It reads like what it is, an account of an unexplored world where we're much more engaged in what is happening in our life than the mythologies that we build up around it. I had to take several pauses throughout my reading to
...more
Vishal Khatri
Jan 24, 2016 Vishal Khatri rated it really liked it
Shelves: owned
"Some books, like some mountains, are lonely and unrivalled peaks."
Molly
Jul 25, 2013 Molly rated it liked it
Come on Heinrich! From what I’ve gathered independent of this book, Tibet is the shit. Have you heard of momos? Obviously Heinrich hadn’t. I get that they probably weren’t a thing before the Chinese invasion brought the dumpling but still, if you aren’t going to tell us about momos, then at least tell us what tsampa is, cause right now, 300 pages later, I’m picturing either some steamed weeds or a ball of paste. And no I won’t google it, you should have told me what it was more than once because ...more
Bubba
Jul 31, 2008 Bubba rated it it was amazing
When the movie "7 Years in Tibet" came out I made my girlfriend get in the car and drive 50 miles with me, to another city, just to see it. Since that time it has been one of my favorite films, despite the fact that I like to quote Brad Pitt's lines in a horrible Austrian accent ("shut up peter!"). However, the movie departs from Heinrich Harrer's account on several key points.

1) He never mentions a troubled marriage or a son he left behind (maybe this is referenced in his other writings), 2) H
...more
Becca-Rawr
May 25, 2011 Becca-Rawr rated it really liked it
'Seven Years in Tibet' is not a travel memoir, so do not call it one. This novel suffers from one of the greatest plagues in literature. It's placed in a genre, in a much too generalized subject, that it isn't admired for what it is.

How I came across this book is a long story, but needless to say it was on a whim and without recommendation. The first I heard about the possible plot of this text was when I had the chance to read the synopsis after bringing it home from the library. I was intrigue
...more
Richard
Apr 16, 2011 Richard rated it really liked it
Harrer, an Austrian, was a mountain climber/adventurer who the first person to climb the North Face/Wall of the Eiger Mountain in Switzerland in the 1930s. He was in India to climb mountains when he was imprisoned by the English merely because his native language was German. This book, originally published in 1953, is an adventure classic that recounts Heinrich Harrer's 1943 escape from a British internment camp in India, his daring trek across the Himalayas, and his happy sojourn in Tibet, then ...more
Sushant
Sep 13, 2016 Sushant rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This was one of those books which starts off really well but then kind of gets a little monotonous in between and never really gets back on track after that. In fact, I had a hard time finishing it. I am not saying I was accepting it to be a page turner but I have real quite a few travel monologues and this failed to keep me interested. I really appreciate that the author has done a good job in reporting true events and facts rather then choosing to sensationalize it. However, after a point of t ...more
Elena N
Jun 15, 2015 Elena N marked it as abandoned
Shelves: non-fic
There is another way to know what happened to Harrer during those years and that is to watch the movie. Much better than the book.
Alex
Nov 11, 2015 Alex rated it it was amazing
Beautiful story and beautiful country
Laura
Oct 12, 2015 Laura rated it really liked it
Shelves: film-only, read-2015
This the second time that I've watched this book
Tempo de Ler
Sete Anos no Tibete relata-nos a viagem do alpinista austríaco Heinrich Harrer após a sua fuga de um campo de prisioneiros na índia, aquando do início da Segunda Guerra Mundial.

Esta curta frase é suficiente para consolidar a perceção de que este é de facto um relato único! Escrevendo de forma bastante directa e sumarizando ao máximo uma extraordinariamente diversa exposição de factos, Harrer deixou-nos um relatório com imenso valor e interesse histórico. Desde a alimentação, cerimónias, crenças,
...more
Laura Greenwood
Nov 18, 2014 Laura Greenwood rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: august-2013, 2013
Review forthcoming on http://a-reader-lives-a-thousand-live...

Seven Years in Tibet follows the astonishing true story of the Austrian, Heinrich Harrer, who became the teacher to the fourteenth Dalai Lama. Arrested and put into a prisoner of war camp in India, Harrer was determined to escape, planning to make his way to the Japanese frontier in an attempt to get home. But Harrer, and his companions, find that even the best laid plans can sometimes fail, and Harrer, along with his sole remaining c
...more
Kristen
Sep 28, 2008 Kristen rated it liked it
Interesting and inspiring book, made even more poignant by my trip to the mountains of Uzbekistan while I was reading it. I wrote that I still have to read the post-movie copy with the Afterward by Harrer (but of course I don't know what this means any more as I hardly even remember having read the book).

The quote below sounds patronizing now ("stage of evolution"), but I do often miss the pace of life in Uzbekistan and think that much would be lost if suddenly Uzbeks had to live their lives at
...more
Derek Lamb
Jan 10, 2013 Derek Lamb rated it liked it
Seven Years in Tibet by Heinrich Harrer provides a fascinating view into Tibetan culture. Harrer, an Austrian, tells of his capture in India by British forces during World War II and how he escaped from a POW internment camp. The only safe haven that he saw was the isolated nation of Tibet. Tibet was famous for its exclusion of outsiders. It was impossible to travel there without a permit, people would refuse to trade, and officials would prevent travel further into the land. Harrer uses all his ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Book or Movie; Yo...: December Genre Adventure - Seven Years in Tibet 8 10 Jan 04, 2015 06:30AM  
  • News From Tartary
  • My Journey to Lhasa: The Classic Story of the Only Western Woman Who Succeeded in Entering the Forbidden City
  • A Short Walk in the Hindu Kush
  • The Heart of the World: A Journey to the Last Secret Place
  • Starlight and Storm
  • Scrambles Amongst the Alps (National Geographic Adventure Classics)
  • My Life as an Explorer
  • Arabian Sands
  • Travels Into the Interior of Africa
  • To a Mountain in Tibet
  • Stranger in the Forest: On Foot Across Borneo
  • Travels in West Africa
  • Full Tilt: Ireland to India with a Bicycle
  • Kabloona
  • Everest: The West Ridge
  • Waiting for the Dalai Lama: Stories from All Sides of the Tibetan Debate
  • The Mountain of My Fear / Deborah: A Wilderness Narrative
  • Dalai Lama, My Son: A Mother's Autobiography
38329
Heinrich Harrer (6 de Julho de 1912 – 7 de Janeiro de 2006) foi um montanhista, investigador, geógrafo e escritor austríaco.
Heinrich Harrer nasceu em Hüttenberg na região de Caríntia. Entre 1933 e 1938 Harrer estudou geografia e desporto na Universidade Karl-Franzens em Graz.
Harrer fez parte da primeira equipe que escalou a face norte do Eiger na Suíça, junto com Anderl Heckmair, Fritz Kasparek e
...more
More about Heinrich Harrer...

Share This Book



“We have a saying in Tibet: If a problem can be solved there is no use worrying about it. If it can't be solved, worrying will do no good.” 30 likes
“All our dreams begin in youth.” 21 likes
More quotes…