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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, highly readable.
Whether you're new to the subject, or an aficionado of Everest literature, there's something for you in Mick Conefrey's new book on the 1953 Ascent of Everest.
This splendid book covers the story from the early reconnaissance expeditions, to the aftermath of the 1953 Ascent.
The contemporary controversy over the sensitive question of who actually stepped onto...
Published on 27 Dec. 2012 by DAVID EVANS

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
A good read, if a little disjointed in parts.
Published 10 months ago by MR PAUL BRASSINGTON


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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, highly readable., 27 Dec. 2012
By 
DAVID EVANS (New Milton, Hampshire, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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Whether you're new to the subject, or an aficionado of Everest literature, there's something for you in Mick Conefrey's new book on the 1953 Ascent of Everest.
This splendid book covers the story from the early reconnaissance expeditions, to the aftermath of the 1953 Ascent.
The contemporary controversy over the sensitive question of who actually stepped onto the summit first is particularly well handled, as is Tom Bourdillon's personal disappointment at missing out on what he felt was a good chance of being the first to the top.
Sir John Hunt is rightly brought to the forefront of the narrative, as this modest man has been subsequently somewhat overshadowed by Hillary and Tenzing.
Highly recommended.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Captivating Commentary, 13 Jan. 2013
By 
D. Elliott (Ulverston, Cumbria) - See all my reviews
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It may be thought by some, myself included, that not enough is left unwritten to justify and fashion another book about the first ascent of Mt. Everest, but I found `Everest 1953' to be a captivating commentary with new material and new perspectives. A brief assessment of author Mick Conefrey's numerous sources, the wide ranging bibliography and the detailed notes confirm his indepth research and analysis of what has gone before with fresh insights revealed via unpublished private diaries, letters, released papers etc. plus interviews with expedition members and other associated personnel. A comprehensive index further endorses the scholarly and meticulous approach of Mick Conefrey.

Unlike the rather dry undemonstrative official expedition book `The Ascent of Everest' by John Hunt, or the blatant controversy publications, `Everest 1953' aims to get behind both the formal account and the hyped drama to present a definitive statement on the successful 1953 ascent of the highest mountain in the world. It commences with the reconnaissance expedition in 1951, then refers to the 2 Swiss attempts in 1952 whilst the British prepared on Cho Oyu for another Everest undertaking. Up to now this has gone largely unrecorded but with its aftermath it is used by Mick Conefrey to clarify succeeding machinations over choice of leader for 1953.

There is not that much unfamiliar in the content of the actual expedition of 1953 but instead of repeating the original account of success dependent on highly organised military type planning and a cohesive group of climbers Mick Conefrey exposes a variety of crises, setbacks and wranglings interwoven with John Hunt's leadership skills and teamwork issues. What is supplementary to most commentaries is an objective evaluation of what happened after success in reaching the summit. This is accomplished with reference to the climbers' return to honours, to media involvement causing embarrassment and stressful pressures, and also to many publications spawned by the event and to various claims and counterclaims. In addition there is an `Epilogue' to bring readers up to date on the lives of Everest participants and to highlight huge changes in attitudes and to note ongoing achievements.

After my praise for `Everest 1953' why do I grant only 4-star rating? Unfortunately there are some silly minor errors, there are too many typos, and there is some poor grammar. More importantly I am disappointed at the limited selection of photographs, and though drawings on endpapers are delightful I think the maps are below par. Map1 of the area lacks definition, Map 2 of the Khumbu icefall is pretty meaningless, and Map 3 of the Lhotse face is rather misleading. Nevertheless the narrative of `Everest 1953' does justice to the epic story of Everest's first ascent and Mick Conefrey's contemporary captivating commentary deserves to become a classic in mountaineering literature.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good account of a memorable ascent, 3 Jan. 2013
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With so many people climbing everest annually now, it is hard to remember the time when it appeared unassailable and only one or two expeditions attempted the peak each year. I do remember the day when news of the ascent reached the UK and subsequently saw the film and read several of the books - Wilf Noyce's 'South Col' was best but John Hunt and Ed Hilary both wrote reasonable accounts. This book is a good summary of all those accounts with a few extra details that would not have been made public at the time, although some later books have mentioned lesser known aspects.
In particular the change of leadership at the start is fairly well described here. However there is still a lot of detail omitted from this book and a focus is made of the key players at the expense of other team members. I enjoyed reading it and reliving the memories, but would have preferred a longer and more detailed tome. Given the length of time that has elapsed since the expedition, I would have thought this might have allowed a better historical perspective than that available at the time.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars on top of the world, 7 July 2013
By 
markr - See all my reviews
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This is an interesting and informative book which covers the first ascent of Everest in 1953, and outlines both the lead up to the expedition and its aftermath. Well researched from interviews, diaries and other documentary sources this book makes clear the human achievement of the expedition, as well as the very different political and social world in which it took place.

It is also a very enjoyable book for the armchair explorer, although the account of the final ascent somehow seems to lack in
drama, despite the scale of the achievement.

A good read though
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A definitive account of the 1953 ascent., 10 Jan. 2013
This was not the first book I had read on the 1953 expedition, so I was amazed how much extra information the author was able to include. This can only be due to some exceptionally thorough research, but this was backed-up by excellent quality of writing.
A thoroughly informative and enjoyable book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Jacqui Wales, 20 Sept. 2013
This review is from: Everest 1953: The Epic Story of the First Ascent (Kindle Edition)
What a wonderful account of a great achievement in mountaineering history, very well written, thoroughly enjoyed it, recommend it to anyone who loves mountains
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must for all interested in the subject, 3 Sept. 2013
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This review is from: Everest 1953: The Epic Story of the First Ascent (Kindle Edition)
An excellent overview of the early expeditions and their circumstances, along with the characters of those involved. a timely tome for the anniversay of Everest's conquest.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars really interesting, 16 Aug. 2013
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This review is from: Everest 1953: The Epic Story of the First Ascent (Kindle Edition)
really interesting book. a great read. i knew very little about the ascent originally and have learnt a lot and made me read more books about it
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent read, 23 Feb. 2013
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This review is from: Everest 1953: The Epic Story of the First Ascent (Kindle Edition)
Excellent read.......I would recommend this to anyone with even just a passing interest in the 1953 ascent.

I was sorry when I finished the book - well written.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent and Well Researched, 14 Feb. 2013
By 
B. L. Tooley "Norma & Brian Tooley" (Middlesbrough) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Everest 1953: The Epic Story of the First Ascent (Kindle Edition)
I really enjoyed this account of what is perhaps a somewhat forgotten but momentous and (these days) underrated acheivement. It is informative and gives much information on the background, the event itself and the follow up. Would recommend.
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