17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
Beautiful, but standing on the shoulders of giants.,
This review is from: The Beckoning Silence (Paperback)
Joe Simpson doesn't seem to be the man I'd choose to try climbing with - some major catastrophe always seems to be just over the next pitch. In 'Beckoning Silence', Joe wrestles with the deaths of some of his closest friends, and a couple more near escapes, and attempts to capture his deliberations as to whether to leave climbing altogether.
Simpson continues with his great writing style in Silence, with an ability to capture the emotion of the mountains that he is climbing. He manages to make you feel involved in each of his expeditions, even if you've never climbed before. His choice of drama gives the book a power to take your breath away, and he can make you feel like you are hanging eight feet out over a two thousand feet drop, all from the safety of your living room.
However, I don't feel this is his best book. I felt he was guilty of borrowing too heavily from other authors, particularly 'The White Spider', and the rapid changes of continent deny the reader the chance to feel part of the sustained climb that drove you forward in the other books. My greatest disappointment though was a feeling that he trivialises the deaths of other mountaineers, which is sad, as I think this is the opposite of his intent in writing the book. In attempting to set each scene, he uses descriptions of each accident, I feel, rather too sensationally. With unnerving rapidity, he moves from one macabre scene to the next, more to maintain momentum, than perhaps offer a fitting memorial to each climber. Without spoiling the latter part of the book, as he describes the deaths of some climbers on the Eiger, you feel more like a gory tourist, rather than a comrade to the souls described, and this left me very empty. I wanted time to contemplate each of these men, the lives abruptly ended, and I felt the pace of the book denied me this.
This ultimately prevented the book from reaching a conclusion, and although this may be where Simpson ended up in his personal journey, I do not feel it is a fair place to leave the reader.
Sort: Oldest first | Newest first
Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 2 Apr 2016 15:19:27 BDT
Amazon Customer says:
It seems this review is in the wrong section. This is a review of The Beckoning Silence which is being displayed under "The Crystal Horizon: Everest - The First Solo Ascent" by Reinhold Messner.
‹ Previous 1 Next ›