The young Austrian who climbed the North Face of the Eiger as described in the White Spider is humbled in this account. From the high hopes to climb Nanga Parbat to the capture by the British and incarceration in Dera Duhn the early chapters set the scene for what is to come. It is an account of a humbling time spent in a prison camp and then escaping to sojourn on the Tibetan Plateau until he and his companion Peter Aufschnaiter arrive in Lhasa. It is his encounter with Tibetans of all social status and the young 14th Dalai Lama that makes this such a great book to read. It tells a lot about this fascinating country, its people and its spiritual effect on those who visit as it should be visited. It is a snapshot of all that was taken from this country and its people and also a symbol of what can be restored also. More importantly it is Heinrich Harrer's testimony to the resilience of all that is good in human beings and it is that which he discovers in himself also. It has much in common with other books written by people who spend time in wild and desolate places whose journeys are literal, metaphorical and incidental, but which when put together lead the writer into a refreshment of life. From such books even the less well travelled can share the experience of a journey through life with companions who have so much to tell.