Damn. This book started out so well.
However, after only a few pages it seems to have turned into a version of Log from the Sea of Cortez, complete with philosophical and religious musings on the author’s own life, his experimenting with different drugs, and his understanding on Buddhism – in none of which I have any interest at all.
The parts where Matthiessen describes the natural environment of his trek through Nepal are fascinating. Unfortunately, these are too few and too far between for my enjoyment.
I read 85 pages, then skipped to the end. The only sighting of the snow leopard is literally mentioned in the last 3 pages – and he doesn’t go into much detail because he wasn’t even there. He simply included a very short letter from George Schaller which briefly stated that he did manage to see one in the end (and after Matthiessen had returned home).
I get that there may be some beauty in Matthiessen’s writing, his musings, and his dealing with grief after the loss of his wife, but all that esoteric babble just isn’t for me, especially not when I expected the book to focus more on the expedition and the wildlife.