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Follow the Author
Becoming a Mountain: Himalayan Journeys in Search of the Sacred and the Sublime Kindle Edition
About the Author
A rich, satisfying memoir that plumbs the depthsand acknowledges the limitsof both man and mountain. There are many treasures to discover in this insightful memoir of hiking and healing in the Himalayas. . . . [Alter] convincingly brings to life the culture, terrain, flora and fauna of the Himalayas . . . [and] offers a multifaceted consideration of life's tough truths and stunning splendors.”Kirkus Reviews, starred review
"Climbing out of the ache and nightmare of a vicious, life-threatening attack at his home in the Indian hill town of Mussoorie, Stephen Alter writes beautifully of his forays into the Himalaya. By turns rigorous and enlivening, his ascents, circumnavigations, and retreats deliver him back to himself, refreshed, chastened, healed, and fully alive. A wondrous book.”Gretel Ehrlich, author of Facing the Wave
In the tradition of the best nature writers, Stephen Alter combines an intimate knowledge of the landscape and a scrupulous attention to detail with a profound awareness of its sublime and sacred nature that underlies and unites it all.”Anita Desai, author of The Artist of Disappearance
Becoming a Mountain is a gorgeous piece of writing: Richard Haliburton’s thrilling adventure stories combined with Annie Dillard’s close observation of nature combined with Anne Morrow Lindbergh’s quiet philosophical and personal reflection. I don't think anyone could write about a personal journey through nature more beautifully or thoughtfully.”Alan Lightman, author of Mr g and Einstein's Dreams
No writer describes a Himalayan quest with greater insight and clarity than Stephen Alter, whose Becoming a Mountain is a lovely and compelling book, a delight to read. Alter seeks spiritual solace on treks among such high Himalayan peaks as Nanda Devi and Kailash. His radiant vision of the mountains includes the joy of walking, natural history, violent storms, and local myths and religious ceremonies, all filling him with bliss and exhilaration, as they do the reader.”George B. Schaller, vice president of Panthera and author of Tibet Wild
I had the good fortune to grow up with Steve Alter in the Himalayas. The mystery and majesty of that place stay with you forever. His own experiences there have been unimaginably difficult . . . and unimaginably wonderful. In this book he beautifully illuminates the power of those mountains to heal, and to inspire.”Chris Anderson, TED Curator
"Beautifully written . . . a source of joy to anyone interested in knowing about Nature and our connection with it, especially if mountains are involved." Bani Sodermark, Bookpleasures.com --This text refers to the hardcover edition.
- ASIN : B00SMDT4VI
- Publisher : Aleph Book Company PVT Ltd (1 November 2014)
- Language : English
- File size : 1341 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 290 pages
- Best Sellers Rank: #943 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from India
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To heal the pain, Stephen embarks on a pilgrimage to Nanda Devi and other mountains in the Himalayas. While the author provides great facts and
folklore of the mountains, it is the tone of the writing and narration which I find so disappointing. I hate to say this, but the whole narration is dry. Dry as a desert.
Rarely do we come across dialogue or interesting characters. Rarely the book sparks or touches your soul- at times it can just be one long monotone. And I think its because the presentation of the whole matter is highly intellectual
The author is an atheist, but he often talks about the Divine and spirituality. Which is fine, especially cause he is kind and open-minded. But hell, you cant find the Divine in books, or by intellectualising. And that's what the author does for most of the book.
The book lacks heart, it lacks poetry; the poetry of say Ruskin Bond, (who is from the same locality) who carries his writing and spirituality with such easy grace.
References of other authors & mountaineer's experiences at sundry places make it a rich, knowledgeable & interesting read throughout. Stephen has beautifully described the shamanistic link between the human race and other creatures on this planet as to how we co exist by understanding each other's territories, limitations and rights in background of mountain's sacredness. His references of Flag Hill and from there an urge to 'keep moving' led him to trek to Nanda devi, Mt.Kailash & Bandarpunch is a fascinating account of journey written with a beautiful prose..
Individually I could connect at many places with author's longing for solitude, walking, unraveling myths, folklore & legends associated with these mountains, aestheticism and meaningful view of religion/life, nature & healing (spirituality).
Its aptly said- 'Its not the mountain we conquer, but ourselves'
Top reviews from other countries
Stephen Alter was born and raised in the Himalayan hill station of Landour, India, and many of the excellent books he has written over the years convey his deep love of this land. This bond was tested in 2008 when thieves broke into his home in Landour and attacked him and his wife Ameeta, leaving them both critically wounded. As he recovered, Mr. Alter determined to re-connect both physically and spiritually with his homeland by trekking to four sacred mountains of the Himalayas: Flag Hill nearest his home in Landour and made sacred by local Tibetans; Nanda Devi, one of the highest and most sacred of the Indian snow peaks; Mount Kailash in Tibet; and Bandarpunch in the Garhwal range. "Becoming a Mountain" is a beautifully written account of these expeditions. It describes in poetic detail the landscape, culture and mysteries of each region, recounts stories of previous expeditions and references the similar journeys of fellow naturalists. Every page of this book, like Alter’s previous book "Sacred Waters", allows the reader to share in the sanctity and beauty of the Himalayas.