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Seven Years in Tibet | [Heinrich Harrer, Richard Graves]

Seven Years in Tibet

A landmark in travel writing, this is the incredible true story of Heinrich Harrer’s escape across the Himalayas to Tibet, set against the backdrop of the Second World War. Heinrich Harrer, already one of the greatest mountaineers of his time, was climbing in the Himalayas when war broke out in Europe. He was imprisoned by the British in India but succeeded in escaping and fled to Tibet.
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Publisher's Summary

A landmark in travel writing, this is the incredible true story of Heinrich Harrer’s escape across the Himalayas to Tibet, set against the backdrop of the Second World War. Heinrich Harrer, already one of the greatest mountaineers of his time, was climbing in the Himalayas when war broke out in Europe. He was imprisoned by the British in India but succeeded in escaping and fled to Tibet. Settling in Lhasa, the Forbidden City, where he became a friend and tutor to the Dalai Lama, Heinrich Harrer spent seven years gaining a more profound understanding of Tibet and the Tibetans than any Westerner before him.

Seven Years in Tibet was translated into 53 languages, became a best seller in the United States in 1954, and sold three million copies.

©1982 Heinrich Harrer (P)2012 Audible Ltd

What the Critics Say

"It deserves its place among the few great travel stories of our times." (The Times)

"Few adventurers in this century have had the combined luck and hardihood to return with such news as this. Fewer still have rendered it so powerfully unadorned." (Times Literary Supplement)

"Some books, like some mountains, are lonely and unrivalled peaks. This is one of them." (Economist)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (313 )
5 star
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Overall
4.3 (289 )
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3 star
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Story
4.3 (289 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
 (3)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Alexander Austin, TX, United States 09-03-12
    Alexander Austin, TX, United States 09-03-12 Member Since 2015

    Sculptor and costumer

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Excellent"
    Where does Seven Years in Tibet rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    It is in my top ten of true stories.


    Any additional comments?

    This is better than the movie counterpart. It really goes deeper, and the story is one that leaves you feeling. There is adventure, human development, cultural understanding, and beauty in this story.

    18 of 18 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carla M. Palmer 03-03-15 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great book"

    Loved the narrator, I had never seen the movie so now am anxious to see it. Such an incredible experience to go through and it gives you an appreciation for the Tibetan people.

    15 of 15 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Glenn 01-02-15
    Glenn 01-02-15
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "What a story!"

    This book had a really good narrator and kept your attention all the way through definitely recommend. A really good read.

    15 of 15 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brandon Reno, Nv 05-07-15
    Brandon Reno, Nv 05-07-15 Member Since 2015

    -Seventh-day Adventist youth pastor -Masters of divinity -Background in primitive/survival skills and rescue

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Very significant to history"

    Great book, worth the read. It can be a bit tedious at times, but you won't regret keeping on it. A rare peek into a lost civilization and culture.

    19 of 21 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Prsilla 06-24-15
    Prsilla 06-24-15 Member Since 2014

    Retired to mountains of California. Sell on eBay as Prsilla. No TV. Volunteer in wildlife rehab. Knit, sew or embroider while listening.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    389
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    ""Free Tibet!" is No Joke -- Most Excellent Read!"

    This is not Great Literature; it gets all the stars because it is one man's unique story of what happened when he was away from his native Austria climbing mountains in the Himalayas when World War II broke out. As a young man, in great physical condition, educated and quick-thinking, he took charge of circumstances, broke out of POW camp and got himself to Lhasa, Tibet. The story is well told and beautifully narrated. Mark Meadows sounds like a handsome Brit wearing a tuxedo. As Harrer's English would have been similarly accented, this makes perfect sense. The story has an old-timey feel to it. In fact, as it is a translation from German, I noticed some archaic usages which only remind the listener that this whole story is wonderful history. Apparently, Harrer presented himself extremely well. He also applied his wits and strength to the task at hand. He and his friend arrived in Lhasa ragged, dirty and barefoot with bleeding, blistered and frost-bitten feet after enduring great hardship on extremely high altitude mountain passes. They managed to get help and get work, and Harrer became tutor to the teen-aged Dalai Lama! Yes, the same delightful holy man still active in the world today. At fourteen, he was almost a prisoner in his own kingdom, a keen mind curious about the world, science, the future, and held back by ancient tradition, extremely conservative religious beliefs. Harrer brought order to the young man's studies and did his best to explain. When the Dalai Lama asked for what we would call a media room, Harrer constructed a fine little theater. The two men remained lifelong friends.

    Many years ago I had read all the books by an author called Tuesday Lobsang Rampa, describing monastic life in Lhasa. Later, I was told that he was a phoney, a Brit who "did his homework." I felt rather cheated and wondered how much of all that had been true. It had been my only introduction to Tibet. On second investigation, I think this author may have been a "walk-in." And now I have moved home from sea level to 3,500 feet and then to over 6,000 feet. Harrer mentions elevation quite often in his book, the thin air, physical adaptation. Visitors to high-altitude locations like South Lake Tahoe will notice they have to rest more often than they planned. Indeed, when you move here, it's like running in sand for a good six months until you adapt. At any rate, the Lobsang-Rampa lore and not-so-high-altitude experience all comes together in Heinrich Harrer's story, describing the pageantry, the humor, love of color, gorgeous clear air. If he sometimes seems to be bragging, well, it really happened and it had to be told! I deplore the Chinese takeover and trashing of Tibet. This is an entertaining and most worthwhile book!

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Coffee Lover Huntsville, AL 07-23-15
    Coffee Lover Huntsville, AL 07-23-15 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Fascinating!"

    I have actually read this book in hard copy a few times but loved this audible version of the book. This true historical account is all the more interesting because of the fact that Tibet was a closed country and in fact, is still somewhat difficult for the casual tourist to visit. There is nothing else that I'm aware of from this particular era that goes into such wonderful detail about the customs and everyday life of the Tibetans. I especially loved his relationship with his Holiness the Dalai Lama when he was a child. History has never been so entertaining.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    HIYBRID 06-24-15
    HIYBRID 06-24-15

    Former steelworker from Buffalo NY retired after 40 yrs. as a Registered Nurse. Viet Vet, did a lot of theater in HS... e-Clectic for sure

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "The movie did not do justice to this story"

    Sure I like the movie but this listen was more complex and involved and genuine than what they could do on film. I understand the mountaineering descriptions and hardships they had to endure to get to Lhasa. Their pluck in the face of rejection and luck pulled them through. I also found that Harrer is a much more compassionate character than I had previously known. Take your time. You'll enjoy this.... OK one flaw... I wanted a map upon which to follow the journey. My atlas does not list Tibet as a country.... Sadly it's tossed in as part of China...

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    aniajames 06-17-15
    aniajames 06-17-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Excellent book"

    Great book much more then a movie. I did really enjoyed it more shows whole adventure of Heinrich in Tibet then his friendship with Dalai Lama. It's a must for everyone who loves adventures

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Suzan memphis, TN, United States 06-16-15
    Suzan memphis, TN, United States 06-16-15 Member Since 2013
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    "Great read"

    A classic and a must read. If it is not on your reading list, it should be.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Linda Drabova New York City,NY 01-14-15
    Linda Drabova New York City,NY 01-14-15

    skerko2004

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great"

    It's a great book, just I didn't really like that voice too much:) would prefer softer one:) maybe a woman's voice?

    12 of 18 people found this review helpful
Sort by:
  • Jacqueline
    Bolton, United Kingdom
    4/14/13
    Overall
    "Fantastic a life we never see....."

    We are so convinced that Western life (fast paced focused upon the self and high achievement etc.) is the right way to live that we rarely get the opportunity to stop and think and consider our priorities in life.

    You would be very fortunate in your life if the sacred person of another culture was once your student/companion on a daily basis - you would be very fortunate.

    The intimate life of a Westerner in Tibet is a rare insight into another world another culture that is far removed from our materialistic yearnings. Come step inside and feel the desire to live a different life and pass on your worldly knowledge to another culture. A mesmerising view of another country listen and enjoy.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Nicholas
    2/25/15
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    "Inspirational story.."

    Inspirational account of extraordinary man who encounters an extraordinary people; Well narrated and thoroughly enjoyable.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Amazon Customer
    1/19/15
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    "Understanding Tibet....."

    Enjoy would be the wrong word but very satisfying to anyone with an interest in Tibet and for those who like travel writing. Well read too.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Ian Murray
    DUBLIN, Ireland
    12/3/14
    Overall
    Performance
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    "Fantastic"
    Any additional comments?

    Best book I've read this year. Wish there were more like it.
    As good as into the wild, into thin air..etc
    kept me interested all the way through.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Julia Brown
    1/1/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Brilliant first half, repetitive end."
    Would you listen to Seven Years in Tibet again? Why?

    Seven Years in Tibet was great for the first bit. It was inspiring listening to how Heinrich escaped the prison camp and the torment he and his friends went to, getting to Tibet. After that however, the book becomes a little dull and repetitive. However, I made it to the end, so worth a listen as it is so informative of the time.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • maxianson
    Kent, United Kingdom
    12/18/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Seven Years in Tibet - exceptional read"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Seven Years in Tibet to be better than the print version?

    an equal treat


    What other book might you compare Seven Years in Tibet to, and why?

    Shackleton / The Endurance .... historically correct .. both stirring inspirational accounts of survival against all odds


    Which scene did you most enjoy?

    all of the tale is a fabulous read


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    of course


    Any additional comments?

    this book took me to Tibet ... the nearest I will probably get in this life .. thank you.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Mrs
    CATERHAM, United Kingdom
    9/18/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Mark Meadows"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Maybe


    How could the performance have been better?

    Another reader


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Too long for that


    Any additional comments?

    Just the one comment: MarK Meadows was not a good, suitable reader

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Mrs. K. M. Fitzgerald
    Norwich, England
    4/7/13
    Overall
    "Travelogue With a Difference"

    Although I was attracted to this book because of its connections in the film version with the Dalai Lama, it is actually much more than this. At least half of it is about Harrer's escape from the POW camp and his journey to Lhasa and all of the difficulties that he overcame in that journey. The details about Tibetan culture - and the range of it in different areas - is fascinating to listen to. The reader's voice is a bit dry and unemotive, but it is clear and reasonably engaging. I have still given it 5 stars, because I have enjoyed the book's content so much.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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