Tim Madge's book is fair and exacting. It highlights Tilman's titanic strengths and achievements-- as a climber, soldier and sailor, as well as his weaknesses-- as a stubborn, sometimes slapdash adventurer. Quoting widely from Tilman's many books, it highlights his humour, his simplicity and his overarching drive and determination. His references also include many of Tilman's letters home to his sister and niece, and comments from those he adventured with and fought alongside.Tim Madge's book could not be a substitute for Tilman's books, but it does provide a crucial, accessible resume of what is an amazing life of achievement. And in case you doubt whether Tilman was one of the greats, just think of what he achieved: Military Cross in WWI, farming in Kenya, solo cycle trip across Africa, multiple first ascents of extreme routes on East African peaks, years of exploring in the Himalaya, dozens of first ascents of peaks there, first expedition through the Rishi Gorge, first ascent of Nanda Devi, 1936 (the highest ascent until Everest in 1953), DSO and bar in WW2, special forces soldier in Bosnia, Albania and Northen Italy (awarded freedom of the city of Belluno), 114,000 miles of trans-ocean sailing, first crossing of the Patagonian icecap, etc etc. Read Tim Madge's account and weep!