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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping and Masterly Storytelling
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,...
Published on 5 Oct. 2009 by Dr. R. Brandon

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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Mallory Mills and Boon style
George Mallory, Sandy Irvine - not to mention Edward Norton - have been heroes of mine for longer than I care to remember. It's not that Archer does them a deliberate disservice, rather that he reduces them to a series of "I say ol' boy" stereotypes. Moreso the supporting characters than Mallory, to be fair. Having said that, he has Mallory climbing up the Eiffel Tower...
Published on 29 Mar. 2009 by W. H. Keery


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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping and Masterly Storytelling, 5 Oct. 2009
By 
Dr. R. Brandon (England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Paths of Glory (Paperback)
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
5.0 out of 5 stars A great biographical story, 11 April 2009
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Bluebell (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Paths of Glory (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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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book by a Great Author, 21 Sept. 2010
This review is from: Paths of Glory (Paperback)
I have read all of Jeffrey Archer's books except "First Among Equals", which I could not get into. But it is based on politics and that is just not my cup of tea. I have enjoyed all of Jeffrey Archers books, and this one "Paths of Glory" is my favorite. What a great story teller Archer is and on this book he could not have done better. It will keep you turning pages and wondering what is coming at you next. You find yourself wrapped up in George Mallory's quest to be the first to the top of Mt.Everest and what it took to make it happen. We all can only hope that Jeffrey Archer continues to write books as good as this one, for all of us readers to journey into his world and enjoy his stories. I understand that he won a French award for this book, and it is well deserved. I only hope that I can read more from this great author.

Jtotman719
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Everest, blockbuster style, 9 Aug. 2010
This review is from: Paths of Glory (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
5.0 out of 5 stars Informative & compelling, 19 July 2010
This review is from: Paths of Glory (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
5.0 out of 5 stars Paths Of Glory, 16 May 2009
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This review is from: Paths of Glory (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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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Paths of Glory, 30 Aug. 2010
By 
Jaybird (Salisbury, Wiltshire United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Paths of Glory (Paperback)
I read this as a local Library book, and found it so thought-provoking that I bought the hard-cover version for a friend. From about 2/3rds into the book onwards, you really can't put it down. I can honestly say it is the best book I have ever read, and being an avid reader all my life, that says a lot! Read and enjoy, and decide for yourself who REALLY conquered Everest.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderfull tale of a British Hero, 13 Oct. 2009
This review is from: Paths of Glory (Paperback)
This is a superb book. So unlike his (excellent) novel 'A Prisoner of Birth' that it could have been written by a different author.
Archer brings George Mallory back to life for readers such as myself who had heard of him but had no idea about his life and acheivements.
It must be strange to write about a real person in a novel, but like his tory chum Michael Dobbs who brought Churchill vividly back to life in his series Archer makes it look easy.
This is a book that works on many levels. The action during the climbing scenes is exciting and vivid, but also the enduring love story between George and his wife Ruth is handled sensitively. Archer is generous to acknowlege Mallory's socialist views as well.
A great book about a great man.Was Everest conquered in 1924 and not 1953? Read and decide.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pinnacle of excellence, 27 Dec. 2010
This review is from: Paths of Glory (Paperback)
Having read nearly every single one of Archer's work, I thought I knew what to expect when I picked up this book. But, this is by far his best work! Set in the era of Scott and the Royal Geopraphical Society, one is transported to the age where much of the world was being opened up, Archer's skill as a storyteller raches its pinnacle. A truly gripping story/biographical of the life of George Mallory, it tells of his trials and life, the challenges and sucesses, and encompasses the controversy of the final climb in a succinct and beleivable manner, without challenging history. The life of Mallory is told in a masterly and credible fashion, the book staying largely true to known facts. This book is an excellent story and biography, and throughly recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A WALK ALONG A DIFFERENT PATH FOR ARCHER, 31 May 2009
By 
Mrs. T. Mannell "mannelltoni" (hampshire, england) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Paths of Glory (Hardcover)
I initially read the review of this book in the Mail. A fan of Archer's fictional books, I ordered and read this one, and knowing zilch about mountaineering, and not particularly interested in learning, I was pleased to find Archer doesn't inundate his reader with terminology and jargon.

He invites you to make your own decision as to whether Mallory and Irvine succeeded in their quest, and I personally hope they did.

The end chapter, where you learn the fate of the other characters was an interesting one.

Overall I enjoyed this book enormously. I know no more about mountaineering than when I picked it up, but know a lot more about Mallory, his team and their feats of endurance in trying to conquer Everest.
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Paths of Glory
Paths of Glory by Jeffrey Archer (Hardcover - 6 Mar. 2009)
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