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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on 12 January 2011
It's a shame that this book didn't get the blaze of publicity that other mountaineering publications received, as it really is a little gem and I would heartily recommend it to anyone who wants to read a first hand account of George Mallory's legendary attempts to scale the worlds highest peak, Mount Everest.

Peter Gillman the author of The Wildest Dream: Mallory - His Life and Conflicting Passions has realised a lifelong ambition, to bring together and publish the works of George Leigh Mallory. Not an epic tome by any stretch of the imagination as Mallory has only six published articles written for two of the more eminent climbing publications of the day. However if you seek an insight into the man who became part of the biggest mountaineering mystery ever known then you will not be disappointed, for his dedication and tenacity abounds from each page and will keep you in a sometimes icy grip, a grip you won't want relinquished. This book will demand your attention!

Suffice to say that Mount Everest dominates this book, however the attempt on Mont Maudit 1916 and Mont Blanc 1921 provide a captivating interlude. The descriptive ability of Mallory will take your breath away and even those with the dourest of imaginations will almost feel the Himalayan wind buffeting them as they read. I was most interested in the detailed accounts of the reconnaissance of Everest and the logistical nightmares of the day, the coping with altitude sickness while dealing with sometimes wayward porters was an eye opener. What he wouldn't have given for a helicopter or even a jeep!!

If you have any interest in the often quoted but seldom understood George Leigh Mallory then this book is an absolute must have. So wrap up warm, grab a brew and enjoy.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 23 March 2013
I would have loved to be able to rate this higher. As an avid reader of anything to do with mountaineering I have a library full of accounts of high altitude adventures. George Mallory therefore is undoubtedly one of my heroes and there was never any doubt that I would purchase this book as soon as it was available. It is a must have for any follower of mountain exploits and being compiled solely by the hand of Mallory himself makes it even more desirable. I really tried to enjoy this book as much as I thought I would but I have to admit to it being hard work at times. I cannot remember how many times I started it and then put it down having to start it all over again. It just did not seem to flow. There were some truly magical accounts such as the climbing of Mont Maudit and Mont Blanc where you felt as though you were right there with the author and were almost breathless with the excitement, terror and anticipation. These were some of the best passages that I have ever read. The account of Everest itself I found a little confusing at times before realising that some of the latter chapters were the re-telling of earlier ones with more detail. Some of these were indeed spellbinding and it is hard to believe how much these brave men accomplished with the primitive tools at their disposal. To read Mallory's first hand account of these attempts is spine tingling at times and what can surpass the great man's own words? The chapters 'The Mountaineer as Artist' and 'Mountain Craft' I found a little hard going however. 'Artist' appeared stilted and did not quite work for me whilst 'Mountain Craft', although it was commendable in parts, I found both condescending and with more than a hint of cleverly disguised sarcasm although it was amusing to muse on whether the person against whom this was aimed actually realised. All in all a book that I am glad I own with some truly memorable passages together with some that are not so memorable. Did Mallory reach the summit? One is desperate to believe that he did but it would have been an almost superhuman achievement in the circumstances existing at the time.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 13 May 2013
When I ordered the DVD of The Wildest Dream, I had no idea that George Mallory was also a writer.
This book is not just a description of his 3 expeditions to Everest. It is everything he ever wrote including articles on the philosophy of climbing which will appeal to climbers today. Nor is it a complete account of his Everest trips either, as the description of the 1931 expedition researching routes to Everest from Tibet, when Nepal was closed and Tibet accessible, unlike the situation more recently, is much longer and more complete than the accounts of the other two unsuccessful expeditions when he was probably capable of reaching the summit and delayed by weather and bad luck including the final expedition in 1934 when he died giving rise to suspicions that he may possibly have reached the summit 18 years ahead of Hillary. The book also includes some monochrome photos taken by him with a full plate camera high on the glacier. An excellent read but not his complete story - only what he wrote himself.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Great read about one of climbings most mysterious men and for all appearances a true gent, highly recommend! In hope this brief rating can help on some small way to your buying choice.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 8 August 2013
Excellent- all the better to have this amazingly inexpensive compendium of his writings after you've read Wade Davies' brilliant book on these early Everest attempts in the context of the Great War aftermath. Don't miss this, armchair and real climbers!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 21 July 2013
Bought as a present for a close friend and he was delighted as he found it to be both interesting and informative.
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on 7 November 2014
Disappointing, read many pages trying to get in to the book. I have read numerous books of a climbers adversity and struggle but this book concentrates on the philosophical problems associated with all climbing! I am waiting for Everest in the hope! Glyn Jones
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on 23 June 2013
Very good book if you are interested in mallory. Like any book, i would like to have read more about his private life
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on 13 July 2015
Lost my first copy. Had to have it on the shelf. Brilliant book!
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on 13 July 2014
V good.
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