Charlie Carroll’s obsession began with his chance discovery of Seven Years in Tibet in the “Adult Reading” section of his grade school library. The battered hardcover with faded gold lettering sparked a twenty-year obsession with Tibet, and after combing through every book, article, and documentary on the mysterious and controversial nation, Charlie finally decided it was time to stop reading other people’s records and thoughts. A high school English teacher by then, he took a sabbatical and set out to experience the shrouded land for himself. Contending with Chinese bureaucracy, unforgiving terrain, and sickness-inducing altitude, Charlie sought entrance to twenty-first-century Tibet in all its heart-stopping beauty.
In this impressive debut, Boelte sets up a dual narrative: one investigates San Francisco’s climate to explain the science behind the omnipresent fog; another explores Boelte’s memory as well as letters, notes, newspaper articles, and other artifacts that tell the story of his brother’s short life and eventual suicide.