A Novel of the Himalayas


Lot of fun to read

"Read it to my wife while she made dinners and we ate out less because of that. Great story, realistic and knowledgeable Buddhism, sympathetic and non-judgmental treatment to all sides with political, religious, and national peoples polarized in conflicting attitudes. A very good treatment of women and men and sex and what they're thinking. The story took me places I'd only go to in a book. Glad I went there."

Unforgettable Characters and Settings

"This action-filled novel of the Himalayas provides a gripping sense of place and offers an intricate espionage story with an unforgettable cast of characters and settings. The droll humor of the tale's madcap plot delivers a dramatic braid of political intrigue, sexual ambition, and mystical meditation practice where everything is linked."

A fascinating read

"While developing into a fast-paced action/romance adventure, the book reveals an encyclopedic knowledge of mountaineering, politics, Buddhism, and a variety of other topics. For a reader such as myself who is inclined toward non-fiction, this wealth of information was sufficient reward in itself, and the well-crafted plot and characterizations were frosting on the cake."

Men, Mountains, Love and Strange Dealings

"This is a remarkable book, tight, rich story of spies, Chinese smugglers, wise men, lovers youthful and lovers who have lived life. Padwa is a terrific writer, direct, able to give us a fierce sense of place, in this story many places, and to make his players real and immediate to us. The novel could hold attention with its subject matter -- climbing, China, conservation, locale, love -- but it is appealing and engaging first and most because it is a terrific novel."

Remarkable and amazing!

"It's a great read. So much specialized & little known information as to blow half a dozen covers. It is several educations with excellent specialties: the inner life of going to sleep, erotic fantasies, and those of power, wealth or status, plus sly profound talk of breath and mind, and great climbing-writing!"

Bloody accurate portrayal

"Picked up your book and never put it down except for lunch break. Descriptions and scene settings are bloody accurate and also portrayals of the different politics involved. Excellent writing qua writing! Brilliant tempo. Saludos."

Pynchon meets Tom Robbins at 19,000 feet in the Himalaya

"David Padwa's "Incident at Lukla" is a labyrinthine, Pynchon-like tale of espionage that unravels high in Nepal's Himalaya. An elaborate but fragile drug and weapons trafficking infrastructure has grown up around the collection, transport, and sale of a rare alpine mushroom, Cordyceps sinensis, with an unusual life cycle and highly sought after medicinal properties. Against this backdrop our cast of characters is set: two CIA officers, a Peace Corps Volunteer, a Nepali mountaineer, a Lama, a Maoist guerilla commander, a colonel in the Chinese Border Forces, and a Chinese general. There is a richness to the novel that is derived in part from the wry humor of a crazy plot in which everyone and everything are linked, and in part from Padwa's ability to move fluidly between swashbuckling action and thick description. It's all there in compelling detail: the cultural and spiritual history of Buddhism and allusions to the American obsession with it, hints at a science of consciousness and spirituality, the history of relations among Nepal, China and India, Nepali social customs and Sherpa culture, the geology and ecology of alpine environments, mountaineering basics, and an amazing chase scene at 19,000 feet. A great read at basecamp or anywhere."

A must for Himalayan trekkers

"A great book for reading while trekking in the Everest region. Taken along with a trekking group, everyone will read it in turn."

Mount Everest Plus

"David Padwa's "Incident a Lukla" is a complex well crafted tale of complex interwoven relationships involving Himalayan mountaineering, international politics including our own CIA operatives, Tibetan, Nepalese, Indian, Japanese and Chinese well-drawn officials and entrepreneurial characters involved in sexual and marital unions, smuggling, murder, diplomatic intrigue, mystical and religious practices et al. Padwa has the physical and geographical detail familiarity which puts the reader directly on the scene within a recent time frame. A convincing and suspensory tale of adventure previously in an area mostly explored by scholars and academics."

Spies at the top of the world

"If you like The Man Who Was Thursday or the books of Jo Nesbo this one's for you. "Incident at Lukla" is a fast-paced multi-character espionage thriller I couldn't put down until I finished. Its characters are well thought out people you like to follow. Unlike so many one-sided and gruff special agents or drunken detectives Ripp, Lukla's main guy, is a genuine person; a man really, like any other man (but, of course, he's still a CIA agent). There are no far-fetched or hard to follow plots here, but one continuous plotline that is strengthened by an unforgettable cast of characters and settings. Lukla travels all over Asia to deposit the reader in the Himalayan mountains for a climax worth all the dimes I invested (time, cash, thought). If you like the spy novel, mycology or are just totally into mountain climbing (I mean real, hardcore, several thousand ft. mountain climbing) don't pass up this read. If you’re flying Asiaward this novel is also for you as it is ideal plane reading that fits easily into a briefcase or Kindle."

Entertaining and Intelligent

"Padwa knows whereof he writes regarding mountaineering, geopolitics and the challenges to intimacy that confront adults. Five Stars for "Incident at Lukla", and recommended for readers desiring a thrilling journey into the world of international politics, espionage, and high-altitude hijinks. There’s plenty of humor playing counterpoint to the tension, and just enough Zen and Tantric Buddhism to titillate one’s imagination!"

Superb, should become a movie

"Incident at Lukla is a superb book. It is set in the Himalayas and surrounding areas, an adventure tale of trade in a mushroom that enhances sex drive throughout Southeast Asia. Padwa's broad and stunningly wide knowledge of this area, where he has obviously traveled extensively, fill the book with tense, and context rich drama. The story is gripping, the cultural flavors rich and textured, and the settings geographically dramatic; and the interwoven stories of political efforts in these regions makes the book really special. It could become a top movie."

A smooth fast read

"This intriguing novel hits on several themes in recent and contemporary Nepalese life, society and politics. It is a well-hewn character study of several individuals caught up in intriguing and dramatic events and relationships. The characters are well developed and believable. … Padwa’s "Incident at Lukla" rings true with its exotic, and sometimes erotic, plot. It is fun to read, trying to guess what happens next and sometime being entirely fooled by the author. Combining good character development with elements of suspense and surprise are some of the hallmarks of good novel writing. We’ll look for more from David Padwa."