White Mountain: A Cultural Adventure Through the Himalayas by Robert Twigger

White Mountain: A Cultural Adventure Through the Himalayas

Home to mythical kingdoms, wars and expeditions, and strange and magical beasts, the Himalayas have always loomed tall in our imagination.  These mountains, home to Buddhists, Bonpos, Jains, Muslims, Hindus, shamans and animists, to name only a few, are a place of pilgrimage and dreams, revelation and war, massacre and invasion, but also peace and unutterable calm. They ar...

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White Mountain: A Cultural Adventure Through the Himalayas Reviews

  • Peter

    If you enjoy Twigger's unique mix of physical and mental exertion, his ability to find worlds of meaning in the unregarded, his making plain complex issues through real common sense, if you have found his previous books as rewarding as I have, then buy and you will fiind much happy reading.

  • Prachiti Talathi

    White Mountain - Real and Imagined Journeys in the Himalayas.. the title sound interesting. I picked up the book because of this title. The book is quite a door stopper size. Starts with Ancient history of the Himalayas and tribes there. It discusses about some beliefs and rituals in those tribes.

    In the beginning it sounds like an reasearch paper but as you progress it becomes interesting.

    Different styles of author comes across as you progress through the book.

    There is only on drawback with t

    White Mountain - Real and Imagined Journeys in the Himalayas.. the title sound interesting. I picked up the book because of this title. The book is quite a door stopper size. Starts with Ancient history of the Himalayas and tribes there. It discusses about some beliefs and rituals in those tribes.

    In the beginning it sounds like an reasearch paper but as you progress it becomes interesting.

    Different styles of author comes across as you progress through the book.

    There is only on drawback with this book, no pictures. May get little too much to read sometimes.

  • Ulrika Eriksson

    There are a lot of small goodies in this book in which Twigger is mapping how people through the ages have tried, or not tried, to conquer these mountains, by many regarded as holy or magic. Intertwined is the history of the area and beautiful and poetic reflections: “one purpose of life is to reconcile ‘dropness’ with ‘oceanness’ in as much as the drop contains a consciousness of being both the ocean and the drop…” and funny proverbs: ‘If you have no problems, buy a goat’. It was interesting re

    There are a lot of small goodies in this book in which Twigger is mapping how people through the ages have tried, or not tried, to conquer these mountains, by many regarded as holy or magic. Intertwined is the history of the area and beautiful and poetic reflections: “one purpose of life is to reconcile ‘dropness’ with ‘oceanness’ in as much as the drop contains a consciousness of being both the ocean and the drop…” and funny proverbs: ‘If you have no problems, buy a goat’. It was interesting reading about different breathing techniques, for example the gTummo technique, and mushrooms that gave a Viagra effect; and the fatal effect Roosevelt´s naïve view upon Stalin had on Eastern Europe. And then you get to learn how a new Dalai Lama is chosen, thoughtfully, in no hurry and in this case, during several years.

    Actually … I think I must read this book again and take a closer look on the lovely hand drawn maps with their naïve sketchings. Did Twigger do them as well?

  • David

    Part travelogue; part cultural anthropology; part history; part philosophy; part adventure narrative. Unfortunately, the parts do not form a great whole. There is much to recommend this book for the moments it offers but in its entirety White Mountain is lacking cohesion.

    Rating 3 out of 5 Stars

  • Peter

    An enjoyable mix of short stories, from the simple (climb this mountain) to the obscure (history of Buddhism). I enjoyed some and found other impossible to read. Definitely a sideways look at the Himalayas and worth a read

  • Tfalcone

    Thank You Net Galley for the free ARC.

    The Himalayas have always had a mythical quality for me and I imagine for many others.

    This book does a great job of bringing you the history, the mythology, the influence of religions and the science of life at altitude. Historically speaking, the influence of the British Colonialism and the continuous struggle between China and Tibet are enlightening (pun intended).

    My favorite parts were the history of the mapping expeditions and, of course, the history

    Thank You Net Galley for the free ARC.

    The Himalayas have always had a mythical quality for me and I imagine for many others.

    This book does a great job of bringing you the history, the mythology, the influence of religions and the science of life at altitude. Historically speaking, the influence of the British Colonialism and the continuous struggle between China and Tibet are enlightening (pun intended).

    My favorite parts were the history of the mapping expeditions and, of course, the history of the mountain climbing and summiting the first peaks.

    Yes, the Yeti gets a chapter, too.

    Great Book!

  • Rachel

    Awesome, beautiful read! But definitely read Into Thin Air and 7 Years in Tibet first, and be familiar with Himalayan geography. The book is very contextual and expects a baseline of knowledge haha.

  • Kirsty

    I came across a copy of Robert Twigger's

    whilst browsing for books to take on holiday. I hadn't heard of it before, but was very much intrigued by the title and blurb. I love travelogues and travel literature, and imagined that this would be a mixture of the two. Its blurb says: 'These mountains, home to Buddhists, Bonpas, Jains, Muslims, Hindus, Shamans and animals, to name only a few, are a place of pilgrimage and dreams, revelation a

    I came across a copy of Robert Twigger's

    whilst browsing for books to take on holiday. I hadn't heard of it before, but was very much intrigued by the title and blurb. I love travelogues and travel literature, and imagined that this would be a mixture of the two. Its blurb says: 'These mountains, home to Buddhists, Bonpas, Jains, Muslims, Hindus, Shamans and animals, to name only a few, are a place of pilgrimage and dreams, revelation and war, massacre and invasion, but also peace and unutterable calm.'

    In

    , Twigger professes that he wishes to look at and explore the links between real and imagined journeys over the vast range of the Himalayas. His father was born there, and he therefore feels a connection, which pushes him toward exploring the mountains himself. In his own trips to the region, he 'encounters incredible stories from a unique cast of mountaineers and mystics, pundits and prophets. The result is a sweeping, enthralling and surprising journey through the history of the world's greatest mountain range.'

    did not live up to my expectations. Rather than the geographical biography which I was expecting, I was met with an incredibly imbalanced range of chapters, some of which are so short as to say barely anything, and others which are so long that they ramble and meander around points which could be interesting, had they been focused upon. The historical detail was fascinating; the religious detail was rather overblown, and saturated the whole. The nods to science are rendered intelligently.

    However, Twigger has an odd habit of repeating himself throughout, and giving the same details over and over again. Much of White Mountain, indeed, is about Twigger himself; he comes across as rather self-righteous, and often overshadows the fascinating stories of explorers in the region with his own experiences. Quotes from others have been included, but these are often left alone, and not analysed in any way.

    Upon finishing

    , I awarded it three stars, but after mulling my decision over, I have decided to downgrade it to two. The book had such a lot of potential which simply has not been reached, and the way in which it has been structured is jarring, and lacks balance. Photographs have been randomly placed throughout; they have little bearing for the most part about what has been written, and serve to interrupt the narrative. I would, for all of these reasons, steer clear of Twigger's books in future.

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