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Surviving the Dragon

A Tibetan Lama's Account of 40 Years under Chinese Rule
Narrated by: Mark Ashby
Length: 9 hrs and 26 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (11 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

On a peaceful summer day in 1952, 10 monks on horseback arrived at a traditional nomad tent in northeastern Tibet where they offered the parents of a precocious toddler their white handloomed scarves and congratulations for having given birth to a holy child - and future spiritual leader.

Surviving the Dragon is the remarkable life story of Arjia Rinpoche, who was ordained as a reincarnate lama at the age of two and fled Tibet 46 years later. In his gripping memoir, Rinpoche relates the story of having been abandoned in his monastery as a young boy after witnessing the torture and arrest of his monastery family. In the years to come, Rinpoche survived under harsh Chinese rule, as he was forced into hard labor and endured continual public humiliation as part of Mao’s Communist "reeducation".

By turns moving, suspenseful, historical, and spiritual, Rinpoche’s unique experiences provide a rare window into a tumultuous period of Chinese history and offer listeners an uncommon glimpse inside a Buddhist monastery in Tibet.

©2010 Arija Rinpoche (P)2014 Audible, Inc.

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Communism: An Eyewitness's Account

This audiobook details a Tibetan lama's life and his eyewitness knowledge of Chinese Communism over a period of decades. The author's qualities which shine brightest to me as an audiobook listener are endurance, courage and faith. Although I have never experienced Communism, I know that endurance is necessary for survival under oppression. Similarly, courage can be a result of endurance because it demonstrates a desire to practice what one deems to be right rather than simply "going along" with a crowd or oppressive government. I believe both of these qualities are a result of the monk's faith. I think that it is because of the author's faith that he chose to eventually go into exile.

The audiobook narrator, Mr. Mark Ashby, was the perfect narrator selection in my mind. Mark has decades of narration experience as a contract narrator, having narrated both for Audible and the U.S. National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped's talking book program during his narration career. To me, Mr. Ashby brings the correct tone and reading speed to the text, providing an engaging listen.

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  • SMHoff
  • Coon Rapids, MN, United States
  • 01-29-15

Interesting story, distracting narration

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

Only to someone with an existing interest in Tibetan Buddhism or Chinese communism. The book itself is filled with meaningless asides and dead end stories, interesting because of the context, but individually, boring and lend nothing to the story.

What did you like best about this story?

The inside glimpse into the history of the Chinese occupation of Tibet.

Would you be willing to try another one of Mark Ashby’s performances?

I would avoid books with this narrator. He annoyingly tries to pronounce names with and absurd accent and when he isn't butchering Tibetan he sounds like a newscaster from the 1950's.

Do you think Surviving the Dragon needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

No.