Lost in the Valley of Death

A Story of Obsession and Danger in the Himalayas

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Pub Date 11 Jan 2022 | Archive Date 18 Jan 2022

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Description

In the vein of Jon Krakauer's Into the Wild, here is a riveting work of narrative non-fiction centering on the unsolved disappearance of an American backpacker in India—one of dozens of tourists who have met a similar fate in the remote and storied Parvati Valley.

For centuries, India has enthralled westerners looking for a getaway, a brief immersion in yoga and meditation, or in rare cases, a true pilgrimage to find spiritual revelation. Justin Alexander Shetler, an inveterate traveler trained from adolescence in wilderness survival, was one such seeker.
   In his early thirties Shetler quit his job at a tech startup and set out on a global journey: across America by motorcycle, then down to South America, and on to the Philippines, Thailand and Nepal, in search of authentic experiences and meaningful encounters, while also documenting his travels on Instagram. His enigmatic character and magnetic personality gained him a devoted following, many living vicariously through his adventures. But the restless Shetler was driven to seek out greater extremes, and greater risks, in what had become a personal quest—his own hero’s journey.
   In 2016 he made his way to the Parvati Valley, a remote and rugged corner of the Indian Himalayas steeped in mystical tradition yet shrouded in darkness and danger. There, he spent weeks studying under the guidance of a sadhu, an Indian holy man, living and meditating in a cave. At the end of August, accompanied by the sadhu, he set off on a “spiritual journey” to a holy lake—a journey from which he would never return.
  Lost in the Valley of Death is about one man’s search to find himself in a country where, for many westerners, the path to spiritual enlightenment can prove fraught. But it is also a story about all of us who are searching for meaning, and the ways, sometimes extreme, we seek fulfillment in life.
In the vein of Jon Krakauer's Into the Wild, here is a riveting work of narrative non-fiction centering on the unsolved disappearance of an American backpacker in India—one of dozens of tourists who...

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ISBN 9780735279469
PRICE CA$32.00 (CAD)

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