'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 intrigued, and quite excited. What made this even more of an adventure was my lack of experience on Tibet, and then meant I'd learn something new.
The first half of this book is a bare-knuckle adventure story, with all the survival and foot-trekking you could possible imagine. The narrator and his companions are fleeing from a British internment camp during the second world war, and are roughed up by the elements and humans alike.
The second half of this book is the half that reached me as a reader and also as a person the most. Harrar's narrated interaction with the Tibetan people was inspiring. His ascension from poverty laden wanderer to what would soon become and influential player in the Dalai Lama and his court was what this novel truly should be admired for.
Far from being a travel memoir, this books is a testament of human beings. Tibetans are pr oven to be some of the most hospitable peoples in the world, and I was awe struck as to their complexity and depth. As a reader I saw this as an epic, something to be admired for it journey a well as its destination. As a person, a huge culture lover with an open mind, this is a favorite.