Top positive review
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DID THEY OR DIDN'T THEY?...
on 1 December 2002
This is a beautifully and lavishly illustrated, textually rich book. Its heavy, glossy pages demand the reader's undivided attention and are sure to enthrall all mystery lovers, Everest aficionados, nostalgia junkies, history buffs, and climbing enthusiasts. This book is sure to provide the reader with many hours of enjoyment.
The book chronicles the search for George Mallory and Andrew Irvine by the 1999 Mallory & Irvine Research Expedition. It juxtaposes the dramatic turn of events during their expedition with those of the 1924 British Everest Expedition which saw Mallory and Irvine attempt a summit climb, only to disappear into the mists of Everest, never to be seen again. It makes for a spell binding narrative, as past events are woven through present day ones.
The 1999 Mallory & Irvine Research Expedition was a meticulously well prepared and well organized venture. With its discovery of George Leigh Mallory's body, it enjoyed much success. The research and analysis that went into its ultimate, well thought out conclusions were comprehensive and fascinating, with its strong reliance upon forensics and deductive reasoning. Their reconstruction of Mallory's and Irvine's last climb is riveting. Unfortunately, the ultimate question still remains unanswered. Did they or did they not reach the summit of Mount Everest back in 1924?
The beautiful photographs of the personal effects found upon Mallory's person underscore a certain poignancy about the discovery of Mallory's well preserved body. The photographs which memorialize this discovery are amazingly lovely and tasteful, considering its subject matter, and hauntingly illustrate the finality with which Everest may deal with mountaineers, no matter how accomplished.
The photographs also highlight how ill equipped for the harsh climatic conditions were the early Everest expeditions. It is amazing, and a credit to those early expeditioners' courage and fortitude, in braving such an inhospitable and harsh terrain with the inadequate clothing and equipment available to them at the time. Mallory and Irvine were certainly intrepid explorers!
This book is a fitting tribute to two men who sought to make a historic summit and, in their attempt, would forever be a part of Everest.