Three Cups of Tea: One Man's Mission to Promote Peace... One School at a Time
By: Greg Mortenson
I had a very hard time getting into this book. I admired what Mortenson was trying to do and how he kept pushing forward despite failure. The thing that held me back was the writing style. Long descriptions are written about eating all of the animal; however, I felt that it glazed over some key moments- like his descent down the mountain--the failed attempt at climbing K2, the reason for building the schools in the first place.
The way this book was written, made my mind wander into wild cartoony imaginations. When he describes his journey up the mountain, with all his belongings in the car and him sleeping on top- made me think of a Disney Hercules type character. Greg, too, was blonde and taller than most Afghani people. I picture the blonde Disney Hercules going up the mountain in this little cartoon-y car with crates and goats flying off. After that image- I had to put the book down for awhile because I know that what Greg Mortenson did was not a laughing matter.
A month later, I picked up the book again and pushed forward. The middle section read like a geography/history book- so I skimmed that. I did think the last 100 pages were the best part of the book, the 9/11 reaction to what Mortenson was trying to do. This part was written the most realistically with the descriptive parts highlighting the importance of his efforts.
The thing that I did not enjoy was the book neglected to mention his wife's reaction to his insane schedule, his midnight emails/phone calls to the other side of the world, his kidnapping, the fact that he was unable to get home directly after 9/11--the fact that he didn't want to come home, but finish the school on schedule, and the fact that he was gone for most of the year.
I just couldn't get into this book. Sorry for all you out there who loved it. I admire Mortenson for his ambition, determination, and desire to make the world better. I envy his ability to face his failures and do something.
"The enemy is ignorance." Perhaps it is because I know nothing about that part of the world, the people, customs, land, religion and daily life struggles- that I didn't like the book. It's because I don't know enough about what he is talking about.