Seven Years In Tibet

Seven Years In Tibet by Heinrich Harrer
Published by Flamingo
Published 24 June 2010
335 pages
Library book

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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.

More recently made into a film starring Brad Pitt, Seven Years in Tibet is a stunning story of incredible courage and self-reliance by one of the twentieth century’s best travel writers.


ALL our dreams begin in youth.


I became aware of the Dalai Lama and Tibet after reading Freedom In Exile (who broke my heart). Since then I have become fascinated by the Dalai Lama and everything Tibetan. So I had to read this book.

Seven Years In Tibet is a great book, part memoir, part history book, part cultural reflection. I loved the glimpse Harrer gives into the culture and people in this fascinating place called Tibet. I enjoyed the early chapters recounting the efforts of Harrer and his companions to flee authorities but the book really came to life for me when they are welcomed in Tibet. I loved Harrer’s stories about life in Tibet, how much the people accepted him, what he did for Tibet and his friendship with the Dalai Lama. I found the end of the book quite harrowing as it deals with the Chinese occupation and the Dalai Lama fleeing to India. I find it astonishing and horrible to think of how many peaceful Tibetans the Chinese killed and how a thousand years of culture and heritage was so easily torn to pieces. I loved Seven Years In Tibet and would highly recommend it.




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