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Paperback The Hotel on the Roof of the World: From Miss Tibet to Shangri-La Book

ISBN: 1571431012

ISBN13: 9781571431011

The Hotel on the Roof of the World: From Miss Tibet to Shangri-La

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Format: Paperback

Condition: Like New

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Book Overview

When marketing wunderkind Alec Le Sueur signed on for a five-year stint at the Holiday Inn on the roof of the world in Lhasa, Tibet, no one told him the job required the wit and wisdom of a psychiatrist, the nose of an exterminator, the artistry of an emergency medical technician, and the diplomatic talent of a mortician. A staff trained with Fawlty Towers videos (until the comedies were seized by Communist authorities) served an eclectic mix of celebrities,...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

Amusing and Educational

Although not a side-splitting, Fawlty Towers type of romp, "Running A Hotel . . ." is nonetheless a funny and yet informational book and I'm glad I finally had the chance to read it. M. LeSeuer deftly and often humorously exposes and enlightens the reader to some of the mystery that is Tibet. He also treats the political and cultural climates of that time very ably, with a keen awareness of the delicate balances needed to maintain the working and social environments harmonious during trying times. I learned a great deal about Tibet from this book and recommend it highly. Even though it was published about 10 years ago, the writing and the narrative detail remain fresh and entertaining.

Amusing & Informative Book

I enjoyed this book thoroughly for the author's sense of humour. What a sigh of relief reading a book about Tibet discussing issues which aren't related with the human rights issues. This is a travelling book, a book of observation which continues on the tradition of Bill Bryson & Jan Wong (of China Blues' fame). Still, we learnt a lot about the country by reading between the lines. I have read countless of books about Tibet & China & most of them were about how the authors survived their ordeal. Cliche`. Here, we also read about the author's ordeal but of a different kind. We were brought behind the scene of an international hotel & I'm adamant that most hotel operators haven't removed 200+ dead rats from their hotels before, rode in their hotel vehicle which were devoid of suspensions & driven in break neck speed by their driver who hardly spoke any English, etc. There's so much to be written but it's better to let the prospective readers discover for themselves what a wee gem this book is. I finished this book in 2 days as I couldn't afford to put it down. Damn hilarious, compatible with the Fawlty Tower as claimed, & truly a memesrising experience. Keep up the good work!

A must for Bill Bryson and Basil Fawlty fans

If you were to cross National Geographic, Bill Bryson and Fawlty Towers, then I'm sure that this book is what would pop out at the other end. Covering the author's 7 years working in the most unlikely Holiday Inn in the world - in Lhasa Tibet - this is a real treat. From the rains of dead flies at a banquet to the bizarre Miss Tibet contest in the hotel swimming pool, back to the dead guest who nobody seems to be able to get rid of, and encountering various smells, accidents and infestations on the way, Le Sueur emerges as a Basil Fawlty for the 1990's, tackling each catastrophe with crossed fingers and invention in equal measures. It's genuinely hilarious, and more so because it isn't the product of a comedy writer's brain, but an account of real, if at times surreal, events. Le Sueur is a very likeable protagonist who not only brings us the humour found in trying to run a top class hotel in a communist coutry cut off from the rest of the world, but also explores the effects of China's rule on Tibet and its people. What prevents the politics of the book becoming staid and stuffy is Le Sueur's naive angle - he sees the Tibetan situation in the same way that any other ordinary person might, with a mixture of fascination and outrage. It's clear he has a great deal of love and respect for Tibetans, and writes in a highly acerbic tone about their relationship with the Chinese. But at the same time, he is not afraid to show his downright frustration with both the Tibetan and Chinese staff in the hotel who it seems, will never understand the basic principles of customer service, or even hygiene. It's a nice balance, and the book works on both the levels Le Sueur is obviously trying to explore. The humour is so abundant it's ticklish, the anecdotes are so interesting, you won't want to put the book down; in short, "Running A Hotel" is a very entertaining read.

A really good holiday read

I took this book on holiday and read it from cover to cover in one go! You cry with laughter at this guy's English sense of humour but the really clever thing is that you also learn sub-consciencly about the situation in Tibet. You end up falling in love with Tibet and the Tibetans and want to go there yourself. (Although if you're afraid of flying read this book before you book your tickets!). There's a lovely romance story that picks up half way through the book. It leaves you curious as to what happens next, so I hope he writes some more.

Great stories about the Tibetian way to do things

Le Sueur told about his stay in Tibet - with great sense of humour & ability to put things in perspective - what must have been nevertheless quite a strain on a person's moral. Even so that it seemed appealing, though one knows better as one gets further into the story. A relaxing way to get to know the country; and this way only the strong-minded ones still want to go; & not the weenies who can't miss out on luxury items!
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