The Man From Tibet – Clyde Clason (1938)

I’m a sucker for a story within a story.  Think the likes of the breathless French Revolution flashback midway through John Dickson Carr’s The Red Widow Murders, or the sea captain’s bizarre yarn in Anthony Boucher’s The Case of the Baker Street Irregulars.  When executed well, these miniature tales sweep you right out of the core story and leave you with the drunken feeling of “wait, what book am I reading?”  It’s like you get an extra short story for free along with the novel.

Clyde Clason’s The Man From Tibet starts off with an absolute whopper of a story within a story; a 20 page account of a westerner’s perilous journey into Tibet, which at the time was completely closed off from the outside world.  I found myself so absorbed in the tale that I simply didn’t want it to end.  The fact that I had sought out The Man From Tibet for the locked room murder that it offered was the furthest thing from my mind.  And thus I became enamored with Clyde Clason.

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