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The Snow Leopard

Matthiessen, Peter

9,693 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0670653748 / ISBN 13: 9780670653744
Published by Viking Press, New York, 1978
Condition: Very Good Hardcover
From Jack Skylark's Books (West Covina, CA, U.S.A.)

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About this Item

Book is square, tight & clean. Has light soiling to page edges and covers. BroDart protected jacket has wear to the extremities and a closed tear to the cover fore edge. Ships in bubble wrap in box. Bookseller Inventory # PC 66-17

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Bibliographic Details

Title: The Snow Leopard

Publisher: Viking Press, New York

Publication Date: 1978

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:Very Good

Dust Jacket Condition: Very Good

Edition: 1st Edition

About this title

Synopsis:

An account of the author's two-hundred-fifty-mile journey, on foot, from Kathmandu, Nepal, to the Crystal Mountain, in Tibet, in search of the Himalayan blue sheep, the rare snow leopard, and distances of the spirit

Review:

In the autumn of 1973, the writer Peter Matthiessen set out in the company of zoologist George Schaller on a hike that would take them 250 miles into the heart of the Himalayan region of Dolpo, "the last enclave of pure Tibetan culture on earth." Their voyage was in quest of one of the world's most elusive big cats, the snow leopard of high Asia, a creature so rarely spotted as to be nearly mythical; Schaller was one of only two Westerners known to have seen a snow leopard in the wild since 1950.

Published in 1978, The Snow Leopard is rightly regarded as a classic of modern nature writing. Guiding his readers through steep-walled canyons and over tall mountains, Matthiessen offers a narrative that is shot through with metaphor and mysticism, and his arduous search for the snow leopard becomes a vehicle for reflections on all manner of matters of life and death. In the process, The Snow Leopard evolves from an already exquisite book of natural history and travel into a grand, Buddhist-tinged parable of our search for meaning. By the end of their expedition, having seen wolves, foxes, rare mountain sheep, and other denizens of the Himalayas, and having seen many signs of the snow leopard but not the cat itself, Schaller muses, "We've seen so much, maybe it's better if there are some things that we don't see."

That sentiment, as well as the sense of wonder at the world's beauty that pervades Matthiessen's book, ought to inform any journey into the wild. --Gregory McNamee

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