2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Appraisal of the Alpine pioneers,
By A Customer
This review is from: Killing Dragons: The Conquest of the Alps (Paperback)
Killing Dragons discusses the characteristics of the Alpine pioneers. Unfortunately the focus is very much on their negative characteristics. However, the bitter rivalries and petty jealousies they held are portrayed well. The book's title refers to the mythical dragons that were said to inhabit the alpine peaks, and their metaphorical death as firstly scientists and latterly aesthetes conquered the peaks. It is a shame that the characters appear so one-dimensional; for example, there is no doubt that there was more to Whymper than the miserable git that Flemming describes. The reader's interest is maintained with gory details of a room full of semi-decomposed bodies of pilgrims on the Great St Bernard Pass and bodies hanging by ropes from the north wall of the Eigar. The last chapter, which addresses the conquest of the Eigar wall, is actually well balanced and doesn't accuse the protagonists of being raving Nazis. It is consequently the best chapter in the book.