Customer Reviews


9 Reviews
5 star:
 (3)
4 star:
 (3)
3 star:
 (2)
2 star:
 (1)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pretentious Perrin
Biographies already exist for Eric Shipton and Bill (H W to my generation) Tilman, and this pair of legendary mountaineers themselves produced numerous autobiographical accounts of their expeditions and explorations. It is important for readers to appreciate Jim Perrin's `Shipton & Tilman' is what it subtitles itself - `The Great Decade of Himalayan Exploration'. It...
Published 3 months ago by D. Elliott

versus
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Erudition
I enjoyed the book especially as Shipton and Tilman are among the adventurers I most admire. However, the author has spoilt the text by the frequent inclusion of highfaluting words eg impaludistic when alternatives would still give the same meaning. Perhaps, I am not as erudite as Jim Perrin. I think his book on Don Whillans ' The Villain' was much better written.
Published 7 months ago by rhodie


Most Helpful First | Newest First

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pretentious Perrin, 13 Jan 2014
By 
D. Elliott (Ulverston, Cumbria) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Shipton and Tilman (Hardcover)
Biographies already exist for Eric Shipton and Bill (H W to my generation) Tilman, and this pair of legendary mountaineers themselves produced numerous autobiographical accounts of their expeditions and explorations. It is important for readers to appreciate Jim Perrin's `Shipton & Tilman' is what it subtitles itself - `The Great Decade of Himalayan Exploration'. It focuses on the 1930's and it is largely about the combining of Shipton and Tilman into an inspired partnership, with their revolutionary approach bequeathing an adjective to mountain literature whereby `Shipton and Tilman style' with exactitude defines small, self-reliant, lightweight, low impact expeditions.

In addition to his exhaustive examination of Shipton's and Tilman's books Perrin has had personal contact with the mountaineers and families, and he has accumulated a large amount of original and sometimes unknown material in the form of letters, notebooks, journals etc. `Shipton & Tilman' quotes this fresh material extensively and uses it to expose jokes between the mountaineers as well as writer and reader. There are glimpses into their early lives, together with commentary on later circumstances such as Shipton's treatment over the 1953 Everest expedition, his consular duties in Kashga, yeti hunting etc, or Tilman's return to war, sailing exploits etc. However Perrin relies heavily on already well recorded quotations and exerts from his protagonists' books to present an in-depth account of their adventures, which perhaps only lacks a few more detailed maps or diagrams.

In spite of incorporating unpublished material I personally felt there was not that much new, but of greater consequence this was offset by my appreciation of how `Shipton & Tilman' investigates and assesses the manner of the friendship between the 2 mountaineers being an enabling factor in their travels and climbs. Over the exceptional decade 1930 to 1939 from Kilimanjaro and Mount Kenya to Nanda Devi, Everest and other Himalayan destinations Perrin stresses their mutual trust and reliance, with Shipton initially the leader, but then the evolution of an equal and true partnership where the sum was greater than the parts. Unfortunately, for me, Perrin's florid language often does not entirely mask a truculent style, and his writing can seem akin to an assertive textbook.

I enjoyed portrayals of both Shipton and Tilman as ironists and humourists not to be taken too seriously, and also Perrin's own humorous subtleties, but I was somewhat perplexed by his analytical deductions on writing styles, and his added meanings to events where narrative is little more than supposition. I became irritated by Perrin's countless footnotes, where in addition to employing these to identify sources and provide explanations, he also uses them to advise on subjects he would be returning to, and to prompt scrutiny and consideration of a huge volume of publications, poetry etc. of often only peripheral interest. Perrin is quite critical of other writers, he corrects their `errors', and he seems to be repeatedly underlining his own literary prowess. To me this comes over as pretentiousness and self-aggrandisement. He tells a 5-star story, but his telling is disappointingly flawed, and not up to the standard of previous biographies as `The Villain' and `Menlove'.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars A Must Have, 2 Feb 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Shipton and Tilman (Hardcover)
Whilst in later life Shipton & Tilman went their seperate ways the ten or so years that they were exploring together was so spectacular that it must go down as one of the greatest periods of exploration in British history. I'm sure that some people will use the words "imperialistic" - ignore them and live for the moment, they weren't doing this for their country, they were doing it for the world.
Oddly neither of them were knighted! How things change - today they would have received that for a hundreth of what they did!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent review of the partnership between tese two in the Thirties., 25 Oct 2013
By 
Citygent (West Yorkshire) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Shipton and Tilman (Hardcover)
As an aficionado of mountaineering before the age of mobile phones on the top of Everest, I enjoyed this retelling of the Shipton and Tilman story. As usual Jim Perrin gives us an in depth analysis of what made these two men tick - he has the advantage of having known Tilman in his later years in Wales. I particularly enjoy Perrin's extended footnotes.

A must for any serious student of pre-war Himalayan expeditioning.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Erudition, 6 Sep 2013
This review is from: Shipton and Tilman (Hardcover)
I enjoyed the book especially as Shipton and Tilman are among the adventurers I most admire. However, the author has spoilt the text by the frequent inclusion of highfaluting words eg impaludistic when alternatives would still give the same meaning. Perhaps, I am not as erudite as Jim Perrin. I think his book on Don Whillans ' The Villain' was much better written.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Probably Very Good, 4 May 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Shipton and Tilman (Hardcover)
I came to this book as an avid reader and re-reader over 50-odd years of Tilman's sailing / mountain exploration titles, and with the simple and tardy aim to learn more of his earlier climbing career. Having no domain knowledge, and not being widely-read in a literature apparently prone to rancour and rivalry, I can only take "Shipton and Tilman" as I find it. Which is an utterly convincing and I believe well-informed account. Unlike Mr Nunez I found the psychological insights interesting and valid, and unlike him again I am persuaded by the author to make a start on at least his main recommendations among the 15 or so pure climbing books by both the subjects which I have so far avoided. I should add that I have read Jim Perrin before on more personal subject matter, and seen him speak, and have found his florid and metaphysical manner unconvincingly OTT and in some sense 'too good to be true', and smacking of one or two other authors I could mention who had us all (and perhaps themselves) fooled for a while. But with this job of work to do, and perhaps feeling a responsibility to posterity on his shoulder, he has controlled his excesses. I like the leavening of humour, and his opinions are worthy of respect if not always agreement. For me anyway, he is at his best here. As for the 'probably' - well it's definitely a good read, whether it does right by the subjects I'm simply not qualified to say, but I'm glad I read it.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing, 16 April 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Shipton and Tilman (Hardcover)
This book was somewhat disappointing to me. Having read The Vilain, the biography of Don Whilans written by the author, I expected a more or less straightforward narrative of the exploits of Shipton and Tilman, which would make fascinating reading. It is true that the book provides many interesting insights into the psychology of its heroes, but it leans so far in the intellectual aspect that it reads rather like a PhD thesis (do we need to know so much about the evolution of the writing style of Shipton?). Moreover, it is so loaded with footnotes and asides that the reading is constantly disrupted and one loses the thread of the action. This action is moreover limited to the decade of 1930, which looks like very little for so long a book, knowing that the protagonists did some magnificent work later. The author returns often to his unrelated favorite gripes, such as the debunking of George Mallory, something which may be excusable by irritation at the recent plethora of hagiographies. While it is impossible to make us dislike such sympathetic figures as Shipton and Tilman, the present book provides a strong incentive to desire not to know any further details about them; details which surely would have been judged irrelevant by these admirable explorers.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


7 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Heroic anti-heroes, 30 Mar 2013
By 
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Shipton and Tilman (Hardcover)
Had you called them heroes, they would have turned an amused look on you and walked the other way. Yet these two men have been taken as the models and exemplars of all that is best in mountain exploration for the last fifty years. This weighty and definitive book examines their joint activity through the 1930s. The first few chapters set the scene - Shipton the colonial boy who became a young prodigy of an alpinist; Tilman the war hero who was on the Western Front before his eighteenth birthday - and they re-assess previous accounts, adding in much new material that is very revealing about what the men became. Some may find the first third of the book slow going, but the author knows what he's doing, is carefully laying the foundations for the main narrative once it starts to flow and reveal what the men were and what they achieved both together and separately, smashing all the 1930s altitude records in the Himalayas and establishing a style of adventurous and ethical journeying that is now admired worldwide.

What the book is "about" is the friendship between Shipton and Tilman, if you could ever call it such. There's one poignant moment when Shipton, out in wildest Garhwal, laments not having a companion with whom he can celebrate the fact of having become an uncle. It's subtly slipped in to the narrative and it tells you exactly on what level their relationship worked. But that relationship still enabled them to undertake together some of the most extraordinary journeys in the annals of mountaineering history. It's quite a literary work, as you'd expect of this author, and it carries his usual complement of footnotes on most pages. I love these, think them very informative, and often wryly humorous. Others may find them distracting. One thing that I have to say is that his understanding of the psychology of climbing is exceptionally acute. He also tells a good story, and you have to be on the look out continually for his tongue-in-cheek humour. It comes in little flashes (this on the Bullock Workmans, for example: "Fanny in particular has become iconic in women's studies over recent years"), or in longer and more elaborate gags - the yeti story in the epilogue for example is hilarious.

What's for sure is that within the notoriously po-faced literature of mountaineering, the sly comedy that runs through this book is a rare and precious commodity! As is its implicit critique of those heroes and false gods the general public demands. A wonderful, absorbing book from someone who knows what he's talking about, and worth buying just for the previously unpublished material it includes by Shipton alone. I don't think it's an accident this book being published in the diamond jubilee year of the "conquest" of Everest. It brings the reader right back to where the real values of mountaineering are to be found.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An Unlikely Friendship, 13 April 2013
This review is from: Shipton and Tilman (Hardcover)
The names Shipton and Tilman are inextricably linked in the annals of mountain exploration. Relatively unknown outside the world of mountaineering they, and what they achieved, deserve a wider audience.

Shipton & Tilman gives an affectionate and humane portrait of two apparently disparate characters with a shared love of spaces beyond the reach of what passes for civilisation and united in a passion for exploring them. Their preferred minimalist mode of conducting these explorations put down a marker that subsequent practitioners were slow to adopt, but which became acknowledged as the gold standard. Both protagonists were to some degree subversives, clearly sharing an affinity with the author who throughout the narrative seldom misses an opportunity to challenge received wisdom.

Shipton & Tilman chronicles the arc of their individual lives and, gives a vivid reconstruction of their Himalayan explorations over roughly a ten-year period. It details how, through their exploits, their partnership developed from mutual respect into sparing friendship. Determined characters each with a distinct vision sharing a common purpose: To have spent time in their company would have been a delight; this is the nearest we'll ever get.

Here is an insightful, entertaining and thoroughly researched book laced with their peculiar brand of ironic self-effacing humour and with an appeal far beyond the apparent limits of the genre.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Inadequate credit given to Shipton and Tilman, 27 Jan 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Shipton and Tilman (Hardcover)
More a demonstration of the writer's wordmanship than clear, useful information about the explorations of Shipton and Tilman. I don't needs chapter and verse on what makes people 'tick' to appreciate their tremendous travels, climbs and surveying. It was clear to everyone how badly wronged Shipton was over the leadership of the 1953 expedition and no justification can be given by saying that Shipton preferred lightweight expeditions which lived off the land. Shipton would have gone with the same size of expedition as Hunt and would have succeeded in climbing the mountain. Almost certainly he would also have given preference to Bourdillion and Evans, and given them the huge advantage of a higher camp, so ensuring that the first ascent of Everest was a genuine British affair
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


Most Helpful First | Newest First
ARRAY(0xa08de480)

This product

Shipton and Tilman
Shipton and Tilman by Jim Perrin (Hardcover - 7 Mar 2013)
16.75
In stock
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews