7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
, 16 April 2013
This review is from: Shipton and Tilman (Hardcover)
This book was somewhat disappointing to me. Having read The Vilain, the biography of Don Whilans written by the author, I expected a more or less straightforward narrative of the exploits of Shipton and Tilman, which would make fascinating reading. It is true that the book provides many interesting insights into the psychology of its heroes, but it leans so far in the intellectual aspect that it reads rather like a PhD thesis (do we need to know so much about the evolution of the writing style of Shipton?). Moreover, it is so loaded with footnotes and asides that the reading is constantly disrupted and one loses the thread of the action. This action is moreover limited to the decade of 1930, which looks like very little for so long a book, knowing that the protagonists did some magnificent work later. The author returns often to his unrelated favorite gripes, such as the debunking of George Mallory, something which may be excusable by irritation at the recent plethora of hagiographies. While it is impossible to make us dislike such sympathetic figures as Shipton and Tilman, the present book provides a strong incentive to desire not to know any further details about them; details which surely would have been judged irrelevant by these admirable explorers.
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