Beginning with the early exploration in and around the mountain, Walt Unsworth provides a detailed and fascinating account of all the attempts on the peak until its eventual first ascent, then continues with further accounts of the major milestone ascents and accomplishments that followed, right up to the present: the final main chapter deals with the start of the 1999 season and the discovery of Mallory's body.
The Appendices to the book have been expanded, though the list of ascentionists (and fatalities) only takes us up to 1989. However, the wealth of information makes fascinating reading nevertheless, with Audrey Salkeld giving her encyclopeadic contribution as usual!
Written in a refreshing, non-technical style, the armchair mountaineer will reap as much enjoyment from the wealth of detail and drama that unfolds, as will the modern-day climber who has an interest in the history of Chomolungma, the 'Goddess Mother of the World'.
I first read this book more than 15 years ago when I borrowed it from the local library, having just begun a voyage of discovery of mountain literature, and have been awaiting the opportunity since then of purchasing a copy for my own library. The book, then, whet my appetite for further reading and anyone who has read accounts of other mountains - such as Heinrich Harrer's excellent 'The White Spider', an account of the Eiger, focussing mainly on the North Wall - will find that Walt Unsworth's book compares favourably.
All in all a great read. If you love mountain literature and hold a fascination for the peak, then this book is for you.