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Paths of Glory Hardcover – Unabridged, 6 Mar 2009

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Macmillan; Main Market Ed. edition (6 Mar. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0230531431
  • ISBN-13: 978-0230531437
  • Product Dimensions: 16 x 3.3 x 24.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (195 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 88,111 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Jeffrey Archer's writing career has spanned over 30 years. His first novel, Not a Penny More, Not a Penny Less, was an immediate bestseller in 1975. He went on to publish a string of international market-leading bestsellers including Kane & Abel, A Matter of Honour, First Among Equals and most recently A Prisoner of Birth and Paths of Glory, both of which were number one bestsellers in the UK, Australia, Canada and India. His volumes of short stories, such at Quiver Full of Arrows, Twelve Red Herrings and Cat O'Nine Tales have made him arguably the bestselling short story writer in the English language. Now published in 97 countries and more than 33 languages, Jeffrey Archer remains firmly established as one of the biggest authors of his generation with continuing global international sales surpassing 135 million copies. He is married with two children and lives in London and Granchester.

Product Description


'The author has cleverly woven fact and fiction to write a deeply moving love story.'
-- Refresh

From the Inside Flap

This is the story of a man who loved two women, and one of them killed him.

Some people have dreams that are so outrageous that if they were to achieve them, their place in history would be guaranteed. Christopher Columbus, Isaac Newton, Florence Nightingale, Thomas Eddison, Nancy Astor, Charles Lindbergh, Amy Johnson, Edmund Hilary and Neil Armstrong are among such individuals.

But what if one man had such a dream, and when he’d achieved it, there was no proof that he had fulfilled his ambition?

Paths of Glory, is the story of such a man. But not until you’ve turned the last page of this extraordinary novel, will you be able to decide if George Mallory should be added to this list of legends, because if he were, another name would have to be removed.

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Dr. R. Brandon TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 5 Oct. 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This gripping book based on the life of the Alpine and Everest climber George Mallory is an excellent read. We are reminded in the first chapter of the tragic outcome of the June 1924 attempt to scale Everest, however, Archer is still able to build and hold the tension right up to the final dénouement. The life of Mallory is told in a masterly fashion, with pace, a lucid style and very good characterisation. The dialogue is well handled and the descriptions of the Everest Committee meetings at the Royal Geographical Society capture the tensions between the competing interest groups superbly well. As far as I can tell from reading a biography of Mallory (The Wildest Dream by Peter & Leni Gillman) the book stays largely with the known facts, although one or two side-tracks in Mallory's life are ignored, possibly to maintain the magnificent pace and focus on the main story. A short section at the end of the book provides thumbnail sketches of the later careers of the real-life characters who appear in the story. I have no hesitation in recommending this excellent book which, in the old phrase, once picked-up, readers will find hard to put down.
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60 of 62 people found the following review helpful By Bluebell TOP 500 REVIEWER on 11 April 2009
Format: Hardcover
Having greatly enjoyed Jeffrey Archer's A Prisoner of Birth I had no hesitation over getting this book. I wasn't disappointed. Paths of Glory is very different from the former, except in-so far as it is a book about one man's quest, in this case, George Mallory's goal of climbing the highest mountain in the World. The book could have been a dry catalogue of achievements and set-backs, but Archer is a consummate story-teller and here he has woven fact with fiction and created an epic tale of one man's obsession.
It's a testament to Archer's skill that I was engrossed by the story, considering that I cannot fathom the enjoyment of rock-climbing.
I had a vague knowledge about Mallory, and his attempt on Everest, and that there was a question-mark over whether he actually made it to the top. Archer has illuminated Mallory's character through his loving letters to his wife and his principles and actions through his contacts with other climbers and various committees on which he served. It's a gripping "What If?" book of what might have happened.
The book is also a toe-curling reminder of the snobbery, chauvinism and favouritism exhibited by the upper classes in England well into the 20th century.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Secret Spi on 9 Aug. 2010
Format: Paperback
Reading "Paths of Glory" is rather like watching the film "Titanic". You know that it will all end in tears and that dramatic licence will have been applied liberally, massaging historical facts into a more commercial story. But despite it all, you find yourself wound up in the drama and read on.

It is would be easy to be critical of this book, both in terms of the liberties taken with the historical facts and the writing style itself. The 1921 reconnaissance expedition to Everest is missed out completely and not even referred to, which seems odd. Many of George's exploits as a boy and a young man - climbing this, scaling that - certainly have to be taken with a pinch of salt and push credibility somewhat. The writing style is littered with "and then" and "suddenly", reading almost like a children's book from the 1950s at times.

And yet, I enjoyed "Paths of Glory". It is a rattling good yarn which never purports to be anything other than "inspired by a true story". There is a certain charm in the way that Archer has breathed new life into Mallory's story and made it accessible to many people with no interest in mountains or climbing. And I wanted to read on, despite knowing the conclusion.

For anyone who wants to discover more about the depth and complexity of the real George Mallory, a film has been released this year - "The Wildest Dream" - which features George and Ruth's letters. The book of the same name by Peter Gillman is well-worth reading as is Charles Lind's extraordinary work, "An Afterclap of Fate: Mallory on Everest"
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By J B Bookworm on 19 July 2010
Format: Paperback
Being an Archer fan, I have read all of his previous books. I wasn't sure about reading this one though, as the mountain climbing aspect along with the idea of it being based on historical fact made me think it might be a little tedious and not my cup of tea. How wrong I was! I picked the book up and read the prologue and was compelled to read more. It's informative, historical, compelling and moving all at the same time. One knows the outcome of the main character from the prologue but the book leads the reader on a journey by the end of which you feel you know the characters personally. It provides food for thought and leaves you to draw your own conclusions regarding an historical event. Written in good old Archer style, I definitely recommend you give this one a read.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Jon Campbell-harris on 16 May 2009
Format: Hardcover
I have read all of Jeffrey Archers novels including his Prison Diaries. I have always rated his work extremely highly. This latest work "Paths of Glory" is in my opinion his best work yet. He captures your mind and imagination from the very first page. Whilst the reader is told in advance that this is a novel and not a complete work of fact, it is clear from the very first page that Archer has reserched his work well, putting the reader in a position of not knowing where the fact ends and the fiction begins.
In my opinion he has got it just right, he has not written an adventure story for young boys but a very interesting and absorbing story based on the true life of a more than interesting Explorer/Adventurer.
Did Mallory or did he not reach the top of Everest? It is a question that has been asked by many for many years, but having read Archers work which again I add is based on fact, I truly believe that he did.
An absorbing read which must not be missed.
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