The Snow Leopard

The Snow Leopard

4.12 (9,697 ratings by Goodreads)
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An unforgettable spiritual journey through the Himalayas by renowned writer Peter Matthiessen (1927-2014), the National Book Award-winning author of the new novel In Paradise In 1973, Peter Matthiessen and field biologist George Schaller traveled high into the remote mountains of Nepal to study the Himalayan blue sheep and possibly glimpse the rare and beautiful snow leopard. Matthiessen, a student of Zen Buddhism, was also on a spiritual quest to find the Lama of Shey at the ancient shrine on Crystal Mountain. As the climb proceeds, Matthiessen charts his inner path as well as his outer one, with a deepening Buddhist understanding of reality, suffering, impermanence, and beauty. This Penguin Classics edition features an introduction by acclaimed travel writer and novelist Pico Iyer. For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 336 pages
  • 131 x 197 x 17mm | 263g
  • Penguin USA
  • New York, NY, United States
  • English
  • Frontispiece; Maps; Illustrations, black and white
  • 0143105515
  • 9780143105510
  • 52,629

Review quote

Stunning . . . Fiercely felt and magnificently written.
"The Washington Post Book World"
A magical book, a kind of lunar paradigm and map of the sacred.
Jim Harrison, "The Nation"
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About Peter Matthiessen

Peter Matthiessen was the cofounder of The Paris Review and is the author of numerous works of nonfiction, including In the Spirit of Crazy Horse, Indian Country, and The Snow Leopard, winner of the National Book Award.
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Rating details

9,697 ratings
4.12 out of 5 stars
5 42% (4,080)
4 36% (3,447)
3 17% (1,610)
2 4% (412)
1 2% (148)

Our customer reviews

The author journeys across the Himalaya into Tibet facing the mountains and his true self. High in the mountains, awesome in their stillness and silence and yet vibrating with energy, Emptiness is only an illusion that contains all Life. Looking through clear air at a landscape of snow and rocks shimmering in the sunlight the author perceives his own reflection as he takes part in the perpetuating life, but realizes that he's unable to completely abandon his thought habits and freely follow the timeless flow of life. Understandably he cannot forget his responsibilities and affections and let go of his daily reality forged by "yesterday" and "tomorrow". The detailed descriptions of the land, of the occasional encounters with people and animals, of the sky, enveloping everything and alternatively filled with snow, sun or wind transport the reader on the icy trails, making him feel the precipices, see the sheep grazing, meet villagers quietly intent in their daily tasks, enter monasteries clenched on rocky peaks, designated passageways between earth and sky. Blue sheep, wolves, birds go their own ways through the mountains, the snow leopard observes unseen and leaves tracks. It's not the story of a quest but of a life experience that the author lives intensely moment by moment, attentive to his changing feelings and reactions. Expect nothing, stay aware and accept what comes: the journey is as intense in the Himalayas as anywhere else, anywhere life is. "Have you seen the snow leopard?" "No! Isn't that wonderful?"show more
by Agnese Mariotti
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