May 09, 11
Read from April 30 to May 09, 2011
This is not Colin Thubron's best book, but it's probably his most poignant.
The mountain is Kailas, regarded as holy by one-fifth of the world's population. It has never been climbed, but it has been circled by countless pilgrims of Hindu, Buddhist and Bon faiths. This is what Thubron does for this book, after approaching the mountain from Nepal, almost entirely on foot.
"To a Mountain in Tibet" lacks the quirky characters and misadventures of Thubron's other books. It's not as lively a read as some of his others.
Thubron appears to be on a spiritual journey of his own. His mother died before he began this project; his father was already dead and his sister had died young. He had no one left.
It's the occasional glimpses of Thubron's family that lends this book its poignancy. That's particularly true near the end of the book, when he finally explains how his sister died.