Friendship Highway, The

Carroll, Charlie

  12 Reviews

Charlie Carroll had always wanted to visit Tibet. When he finally arrives there, not only does he have his own fascinating journey to recount, but also that of Lobsang, an exile who grew up in India and Nepal but returned to Tibet.

Told through alternating chapters, this is a comprehensive reckoning of Tibet: its history and culture, its relationship with China and foremost, its people.

A moving and provocative account from the roof of the world.



TAKA 001
Fascinating peep into a mysterious country. Group was quite divided in opinion - all gained new knowledge. Some loved it but some felt we really didn't need more graphic description of fear, torture, killing, repression and loss of hope. Lobsang's story was gripping, but Charlie's autobiographical travel account was, of necessity, 'once over lightly'. Workmanlike, but superficial.
Overall our group thought this book was pretty "ho-hum". Everybody read it through - those who didn't know the history found that interesting, but others felt it got in the way. Nobody liked the ending, and we talked about how implausible it was to write a book on what seemed like a 7 hour interview with Lobsang.
GORE 001
A harrowing account of what has happened/what is happening in Tibet. Well-written, without rhetoric or hyperbole, but with heartfelt emotion and clarity. A positive mixture of research and personal experience. Not "putdownable". All group members were deeply touched.
CHCH 277
We enjoyed the interesting information about Tibet but found the writing lacking, and we were left feeling flat at the end.
CHCH 240
A mixed reaction to the book. Many felt the historical and political sections were a bit heavy whereas others enjoyed reading this aspect. Without the interaction with Lobsang it would have been a dry travel blog but this alternating stores brought the book to life. A story of love and the love of a country. Tragedy, historical and geographical travel, culture, religion, tradition, adventure - it had it all! A great insight into Tibet - the lifestyle, family life, and history. All felt sorry the two characters never met again so we never knew whether he made it back to Nepal.
MAST 005
Mixed comments - some found it to be a bit 'lecturing' when it came to the politics of Tibet. Most enjoyed the story component but because there was no final closure, were left wondering what happened. Not our favourite book.
TAUR 016
This book evoked a lively discussion. Most of us felt it was a very worthwhile read, well told and engaging. We liked the simple device of alternating the two narratives, and we felt that they were effectively woven together. We also liked both protagonists; good-sort, thoughtful adventurer Charlie, and clever, brave, determined and nave Lobsang. We all felt that the book shone the spotlight unequivocally on the appalling abuses the Chinese have perpetrated not only on the Tibetans, but on their own people.
WELL 134
Our group liked this book, and felt they had learnt a great deal about Tibet. We were glad that the historical and political commentary was interspersed with the human interest of Lobsang's story.
One of our members visited Tibet in 1986, and found the book reflected her experiences precisely and accurately. It expanded our understanding of the impact of the Chinese invasion and domination of Tibet, and is one of the most worthwhile reads of the year.
GISB 006
Very interesting. Created a great discussion on the politics of 'colonisation', and perceptions of 'truth' and 'propaganda'.
We found this a bit hard going, but definitely worth persevering with - we learnt a lot about Tibet. We had probably our longest discussion yet.
We all enjoyed the book, although we felt that it got rather bogged down in history in the middle which slowed the pace. Everyone was captivated by Lobsang's story, and saddened by the inference at the end of the book that he didn't make it out of Tibet. Tibet itself comes through clearly and sympathetically, and we discussed at length the atrocities inflicted on it, the Chinese part of the story, and the culture in such a forbidding environment.