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Product details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Oneworld Publications (2 May 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1780742304
  • ISBN-13: 978-1780742304
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2.1 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 70,851 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

I've been making documentaries and writing books for over 20 years, mainly for the BBC but also for the History Channel and Discovery. Find out more at my website: mickconefrey.co.uk

Product Description

Review

Groundbreaking... a magnificent book that deserves to become the definitive version. We cannot hope for a more human, funny or meticulous account of what was a very British expedition ’ - Independent

‘An exciting, moving account... a fascinating piece of documentary writing, as readable and poignant as Into Thin Air or Touching the Void.’ - Spectator

‘Conefrey describes this frenetic scramble for ownership of the mountain brilliantly... I often found myself deeply moved.’ - Observer

‘Mick Conefrey painstakingly studied the vast volume of detail surrounding the British expedition and can claim to have filled in some significant blanks on the map.’ - The Times

‘Surely [the] definitive account’

--Daily Mail

‘[The] cliff-hanging chapter endings had me feverishly turning pages long after midnight, eager to follow the team through danger, despair, and delight. Hugely enjoyable and highly recommended.’ - New Books

‘Fascinating [and] poignant. Conefrey has consulted obscure documents, interviewed all the right people and written a magnificent book.’ - Geographical Magazine

‘A very real and very readable story... what makes it special are the lost and hidden details revealed through Conefrey's access to diaries, archives and interviews ’ - We Love This Book

&lsquoA wonderful addition to the Everest literature... thoroughly researched and compelling.’

--Wade Davis bestselling author of Into The Silence: The Great War, Mallory and the Conquest of Everest

‘A gripping narrative underpinned by meticulous research. With the same forensic eye for detail that informs his documentary films, Conefrey reminds us that this was actually a great team effort, which only just succeeded at the eleventh hour.’ - Stephen Venables first British mountaineer to summit Everest without oxygen and author of Higher Than The Eagle Soars: A Path to Everest

‘Outstanding. Conefrey has found fascinating hitherto unpublished material and woven it cleverly into one of the most famous tales in mountaineering history. Eminently readable and valuable.’ - Julie Summers Chair of the Mountain Heritage Trust and author of Fearless on Everest: the Quest for Sandy Irvine

‘A highly readable and comprehensive account of a landmark mountaineering achievement.’ - Peter Gillman author of The Wildest Dream: Mallory His Life and Conflicting Passions

‘A thorough and well-researched book which tells the ‘inside’ story of an often misunderstood expedition. Essential reading for anyone with a fascination for Everest.’

--Matt Dickinson author of The Death Zone: Climbing Everest Through the Killer Storm

Review

‘excellent’ Financial Times

‘superb’ New Zealand Herald


Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By DAVID EVANS on 27 Dec. 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Whether you're new to the subject, or an aficionado of Everest literature, there's something for you in Mick Conefrey's new book on the 1953 Ascent of Everest.
This splendid book covers the story from the early reconnaissance expeditions, to the aftermath of the 1953 Ascent.
The contemporary controversy over the sensitive question of who actually stepped onto the summit first is particularly well handled, as is Tom Bourdillon's personal disappointment at missing out on what he felt was a good chance of being the first to the top.
Sir John Hunt is rightly brought to the forefront of the narrative, as this modest man has been subsequently somewhat overshadowed by Hillary and Tenzing.
Highly recommended.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By D. Elliott TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 13 Jan. 2013
Format: Hardcover
It may be thought by some, myself included, that not enough is left unwritten to justify and fashion another book about the first ascent of Mt. Everest, but I found `Everest 1953' to be a captivating commentary with new material and new perspectives. A brief assessment of author Mick Conefrey's numerous sources, the wide ranging bibliography and the detailed notes confirm his indepth research and analysis of what has gone before with fresh insights revealed via unpublished private diaries, letters, released papers etc. plus interviews with expedition members and other associated personnel. A comprehensive index further endorses the scholarly and meticulous approach of Mick Conefrey.

Unlike the rather dry undemonstrative official expedition book `The Ascent of Everest' by John Hunt, or the blatant controversy publications, `Everest 1953' aims to get behind both the formal account and the hyped drama to present a definitive statement on the successful 1953 ascent of the highest mountain in the world. It commences with the reconnaissance expedition in 1951, then refers to the 2 Swiss attempts in 1952 whilst the British prepared on Cho Oyu for another Everest undertaking. Up to now this has gone largely unrecorded but with its aftermath it is used by Mick Conefrey to clarify succeeding machinations over choice of leader for 1953.

There is not that much unfamiliar in the content of the actual expedition of 1953 but instead of repeating the original account of success dependent on highly organised military type planning and a cohesive group of climbers Mick Conefrey exposes a variety of crises, setbacks and wranglings interwoven with John Hunt's leadership skills and teamwork issues.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By alapper on 3 Jan. 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
With so many people climbing everest annually now, it is hard to remember the time when it appeared unassailable and only one or two expeditions attempted the peak each year. I do remember the day when news of the ascent reached the UK and subsequently saw the film and read several of the books - Wilf Noyce's 'South Col' was best but John Hunt and Ed Hilary both wrote reasonable accounts. This book is a good summary of all those accounts with a few extra details that would not have been made public at the time, although some later books have mentioned lesser known aspects.
In particular the change of leadership at the start is fairly well described here. However there is still a lot of detail omitted from this book and a focus is made of the key players at the expense of other team members. I enjoyed reading it and reliving the memories, but would have preferred a longer and more detailed tome. Given the length of time that has elapsed since the expedition, I would have thought this might have allowed a better historical perspective than that available at the time.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By markr TOP 500 REVIEWER on 7 July 2013
Format: Paperback
This is an interesting and informative book which covers the first ascent of Everest in 1953, and outlines both the lead up to the expedition and its aftermath. Well researched from interviews, diaries and other documentary sources this book makes clear the human achievement of the expedition, as well as the very different political and social world in which it took place.

It is also a very enjoyable book for the armchair explorer, although the account of the final ascent somehow seems to lack in
drama, despite the scale of the achievement.

A good read though
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By CMJ Cook on 10 Jan. 2013
Format: Hardcover
This was not the first book I had read on the 1953 expedition, so I was amazed how much extra information the author was able to include. This can only be due to some exceptionally thorough research, but this was backed-up by excellent quality of writing.
A thoroughly informative and enjoyable book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jacqui Wales on 20 Sept. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
What a wonderful account of a great achievement in mountaineering history, very well written, thoroughly enjoyed it, recommend it to anyone who loves mountains
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Ian Archer on 3 Sept. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
An excellent overview of the early expeditions and their circumstances, along with the characters of those involved. a timely tome for the anniversay of Everest's conquest.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Matthew Turner on 16 Aug. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
really interesting book. a great read. i knew very little about the ascent originally and have learnt a lot and made me read more books about it
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