Beneath Blossom Rain

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 12 February, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 12 February, 2012, 12:00am


Beneath Blossom Rain
by Kevin Grange
Audible (audiobook)

Beneath Blossom Rain should have been whittled into a magazine travel story. Written by American Kevin Grange, who is an able yet halting narrator, it tells of the challenging 24-day Snowman Trek he embarked on in 2007 with eight other men, a female journalist, seven trekking staff and 30 horses. Although the volume contains much that is interesting about Bhutan, its culture and people, it includes hours of dross: 'I had a wonderful sense of surrendering to the adventure, of looking resolutely forward, and feeling ready for what may come,' is but one sentence flouting the show-don't-tell rule of travel writing. Instead of expanding on the landscape, or giving details about the journey itself (which fewer than 60 people a year finish), he recounts less-than-funny exchanges with locals. Threaded through the book are references to blossom rain - the rainbow light that occurs when it's raining and sunny at the same time - whose meaning becomes clear to the author after he has already left Bhutan. Grange's family and expedition friends may enjoy the book. Few other readers will.