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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Impressive
12.50 pm on June 8 1924, Noel Odell looks toward the summit ridge of Everest, his gaze becomes transfixed on two slow moving " dark specks ", watching intently his view is obscured by the sudden appearance of a malevolent storm cloud. Odell pushes the nagging doubts and dark sense of foreboding to the back of his mind and focuses on the task at hand, supporting the summit...
Published on 17 Dec 2009 by Foxylock

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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting but passionless
This is an interesting account of the lives of Mallory and Irvine and their (successful?) attempt to summit Everest, combined with a narrative about a modern project to recreate and film their exploits. However, it's a workmanlike job and reads like what it probably is - a piece commissioned from a journalist to go with the film currently on release.

This means...
Published on 14 Oct 2010 by James Lizard


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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Impressive, 17 Dec 2009
12.50 pm on June 8 1924, Noel Odell looks toward the summit ridge of Everest, his gaze becomes transfixed on two slow moving " dark specks ", watching intently his view is obscured by the sudden appearance of a malevolent storm cloud. Odell pushes the nagging doubts and dark sense of foreboding to the back of his mind and focuses on the task at hand, supporting the summit bid of George Mallory and Sandy Irvine. For decades the " Mother Godess of the World " would keep hidden the answer to the burning question. Did they make it ?

May 1 1999, Conrad Anker and a small party of climbers were 26000 feet high on the North side of Everest. Searching an area pinpointed by a German mountaineering student as the most likely resting place of Mallory and Irvine, Anker strayed off the search grid. What happened next was to bring him both fame and notoriety, some daylight was to be shed on the mountains biggest mystery. To find the body of George Mallory was akin to finding the Holy Grail, a triumph. However, disturbing the remains, prising him from the mountain, searching the pockets and even cutting some flesh from the forearm for DNA testing was labeled " high altitude grave robbery ". The media flashed inappropriate photos around the globe and the villification of Anker was replete with angry quotes from the most respected mountaineers including Sir Edmund Hillary and Chris Bonnington.

Upset by the criticism but undeterred Anker would return on several occasions to conduct more research, culminating in an attempt in the spring of 2007 to emulate his heroes by recreating the climb of 1924, complete with period equipment and a free climb of the second step. Hoping to prove to his peers that this feat could be accomplished. What follows is truly fascinating as the expedition mirrors the events of 1924 in ways in which even this highly trained and experienced team didn't expect.

Mark Mackenzie has made a fine debut here, the subject matter is truly fascinating but for his part Mackenzie engages the reader with some well researched and informative writing. I particularly enjoyed the biographies of the main players and the chapter layout has the reader constantly moving forward and back in time ensuring we never get too settled, contributing to a sense of unease throughout. Whether you're an accomplished mountaineer or an armchair adventurer I have no doubt that this book will hold your attention.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting but passionless, 14 Oct 2010
This is an interesting account of the lives of Mallory and Irvine and their (successful?) attempt to summit Everest, combined with a narrative about a modern project to recreate and film their exploits. However, it's a workmanlike job and reads like what it probably is - a piece commissioned from a journalist to go with the film currently on release.

This means that there are irritating "product placement" sections about a sponsor (The North Face) and lots of bigging up of the film company and the film's director. It also reads as if quite a few people other than the author had a chance to veto or "suggest" changes.

The result is that the book is too distanced from its subject - for instance conflicts between the various climbers on the modern project are hinted at but then hurriedly painted over.

In general the writing is good and clear, but there are a couple of horrendous bits of clunky purple prose such as: "For all his swagger, he knew that most fatalities happen when people push themselves beyond their ability, when their body is unwilling to guarantee the cheques that their ambition is writing."

Summary - interesting but strangely bloodless. By the way I've seen the film - it's also very interesting on Mallory and Irvine and features some spectacular photography.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the mystique of Everest, 19 Oct 2010
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for anyone like myself who hates heights but has a fascination about them and those who challenge them, this is a book to stimulate those fears. The unanswered questions regarding Mallory and Irvine will probably never be answered but this goes a long way towards the big one, did they reach the summit? just the detail of the difficulties overcome by those two explorers, which is what they were, is amazing. Equally amazing is the feat of finding the body of Mallory and the perfect preservation of his body after 75 years. Just climbing Everest is a huge risk and challenge but to recreate the conditions and equipment that was used in Mallorys' day and still be successful makes just as riveting reading. I have read a lot of books on Everest and I found this as good as any.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A mountain of errors, 4 Jan 2012
Was really looking forwards to this as loved the film but upon reading the prologue last night I couldn't believe how poorly researched and edited this book was. In the prologue itself were more than a dozen errors in actual known facts and in the speculated scenarios. This really killed my desire for the rest of the book although I did find some interesting readings.
Yes Mallory had rolled a stove of the mountain but it was not the one they still had at Camp VI. To not melt snow and go without would never be an option. George's note about the cooker was written and handed to porters and referred to the one at camp V. See 'The Wildest Dream' by Peter and Leni Gillmam p 269 Hardcover 2000; although this book too has a howler on p280 about Wang Hung-boa's death which was actually in 1979, four years after he came across 'an English dead' on his little walk in 1975.
And Mackenzie has , p12, a 90 foot ladder on the 2nd step, oh well things sometimes grown over time. The whole of the 2nd step is 90 feet and the ladder is only part of it.
And if Mackenzie would have read Thom Pollard's account of the findings when Mallory's body was re-examined and searched again, this was when the watch in his trouser pocket was found, then Mackenzie would have discarded the baseless erroneous scene of the fall. There where no rope jerk marks at all, Mallory was wearing gloves which time had removed, only leaving a trace of a fur cuff, and minutes here never turned into an hour for George Mallory, as the neurologist at the US hospital, who saw a photo of George's head injury said, death would be almost instant or soon after.
So very disappointing that the writer was so careless with the truth.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Wildest Dream, 22 April 2012
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This review is from: The Wildest Dream: Conquest of Everest (Kindle Edition)
An excellent book following on from the equally good documentary on the subject. An inspirational journey in the footsteps of a legend
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5.0 out of 5 stars A fascinating tale, 15 Dec 2013
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Excellent story beautifully written. Did not put my book down till the last page. A beautiful tale of an unimaginable adventure.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Flawed Gem, 26 Jun 2013
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Michael F. Freer - See all my reviews
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In reviewing this book I accept there are a few inaccuracies contained within it in respect of the official history of the 1924 expedition, and I note that there are a surprising number of typos. Having dealt with those negatives, I consider this to be an exceptional account of the 1924 tragedy; also of the discovery of Mallory's body in 1999 and of the historic 're-enactment' ascent in 2007 where the notorious 'second step' was free climbed as Mallory would have had do so, if he and Irvine did 'summit' in 1924.

There is a surprising amount of detail, skilfully told in a way to keep the reader's interest.

The mystery of whether or not Mallory and Irvine were the first to reach the summit of Everest remains but we now know more intimately of the trials and tribulations that they had to endure in their endeavour to do so. In an age of technological advancement, the ascent from the North is still formidable.

To say much more could spoil the story for potential readers and therefore I will conclude by giving this book my strongest recommendation.

I have the film, the soundtrack of the film and this book. I have enjoyed all three. However, the book succeeds as a stand alone purchase.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Exploration at a very reasonable price, 21 Jan 2013
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This was a Library copy in good condition, although absolutely fine for my needs.
I can't wait to read it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Read, 25 Nov 2011
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This review is from: The Wildest Dream: Conquest of Everest (Kindle Edition)
I could not put this amazing book down. Have gone on to read more in a similar vein and even from an armchair you can get a real sense of the danger, cold and excitement.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Wildest Dream, 25 Nov 2010
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I would like to clarify the name of this book, as it appears to carry three separate titles. One of these is The Wildest Dream. In 2000 Headline published The Wildest Dream, a biography of the Everest climber George Mallory. My wife Leni and I were the co-authors and we created the title from a passage of Mallory's writing. The book received wonderful reviews and notices and won that year's Boardman Tasker prize for mountaineering writing.
In 2007 we became consultants to a film being made about Mallory and his 1924 attempt on Everest which was then provisionally called A Patch of White. Not long afterwards the film producers decided to change the title to A Wildest Dream. They asked if we had any objection, and we gave our consent.
We had no idea then that another book would be published with the same title as ours. Indeed, when we learned about the other book, the publishers assured us that it would not be called The Wildest Dream. That book, which is the official movie "tie-in", has now appeared.
We would therefore like to make it clear that our book is the original Wildest Dream. It tells the full story of Mallory's wonderfully rich and varied life and is still receiving widespread praise - indeed, at the London premiere of the movie the producer called it a "wonderful book". It has just been reissued in a new paperback version which contains information about the movie and a new appendix with fresh material about Mallory's climbing.
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