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The Abominable Paperback – 2 Jan 2014

3.4 out of 5 stars 51 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 736 pages
  • Publisher: Sphere (2 Jan. 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0751548707
  • ISBN-13: 978-0751548709
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 4.8 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 368,585 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

I am in awe of Dan Simmons (Stephen King)

Dan Simmons is a giant among novelists (Lincoln Child)

The Abominable by the talented Dan Simmons is a sprawling high-concept novel that synthesises historical fact and very modern pulse-raising adventure set on the slopes of Mount Everest in the 1920s, with tangled but subtly well-ordered plots . . . The Abominable may be his most impressive book to date (Good Book Guide)

His last 'cold' book, The Terror, was terrific. This appears to have sprung out of that and is cleverly presented as if true. It's a wonderful, chilling tale of an Everest expedition just after Mallory vanished . . . It is stunning (The Bookseller)

Set aside a few days to read this book that will enlighten and reward you with a story of heroism and decency in the face of appalling cruelty. A story of such emotional resonance it will still be with you long after you turn the final page. It will feel as though you are saying goodbye to friends you have grown to love and respect. It is amongst the best of books (Forbidden Planet)

Book Description

An epic, genre-defying thriller, The Abominable blends historical fact with spine-tingling drama to create one of the most chilling and unforgettable novels you will ever read. From the bestselling author of Hyperion and The Terror.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The Abominable is a novel of peaks and troughs, unfortunately more troughs than peaks. To start with, the blurb on the back is very misleading, hinting at a supernatural thriller instead of a book anchored solely in the art and lore of high-altitude climbing. Yetis are hinted at in the book very briefly, yet they never appear despite the hints offered by the blurb, cover and the title of the work (this in itself would be fine, yet I can't help but feel that this was a cynical and intentional misleading to cash in on the success of Simmons' much more successful effort The Terror). Instead, in true Simmons' fashion we are inundated with a deluge of climbing facts and minutiae, have obscure name after name and fact after fact thrown at us until we sometimes forget we are reading a novel and become sure we have picked up a training manual.

Simmons once again provides us with a door-stopper of a tome, flaunting his penchant for grossly over-writing and his disregard of the benefits of a good editor. For me the author's pompous, opinionated and egotistical leanings become more obvious with each book he writes. His disdain of editors is evident in this needlessly lengthy, often repetitive book. Sometimes his prose leans towards the unbearable; certain passages are rehashed repeatedly, are inexplicably drawn out and jam packed with huge chunks of baffling and/or confusing facts and explanations.

The story proper starts atop the Matterhorn as the novel's lead trio of Jake Perry, Jean-Claude Clairoux and Richard 'The Deacon' Deacon learn about the disappearance of famous climbers Mallory and Irvine on Everest and resolve to go climb the mountain to discover more about their fate.
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Format: Kindle Edition
This book should have been at least, at the very least, 150 pages shorter than it is. 300 pages shorter would have been better, effectively leaving off the entire ending. I found the whole 'here we are on the mountain, look how clever we are, such brilliant climbers, oh hell, there's a bunch of Germans pointing guns at us' scenario utterly laughable and the reason they were all there equally laughable.

I do a lot of editing. Therefore it follows I do a lot of reading. My insistence always when reading a story is - does this have any logic to it? The most obscure horror/fantasy story can still retain an element of logic. Unfortunately logic took one look at Everest and went walkabout. Pity the characters didn't follow suit.

Speaking of which, none of the characters were 'real' people. They came with strong prejudices which nothing shifted, despite extreme circumstances, they were racist and difficult, and should have learned from their experiences not to be either. We were asked to suspend belief in Super Woman and Super Man along side her, to believe the Germans, not having the crampons carefully designed by the French expert climbing with them, still got to the levels they did with no apparent loss of breath or strength...

Mallory and Irvine were thrown in as coincidental people. Everything focussed on a) the summit and b) Lord Bromley, dead on the mountain somewhere. And guess what? despite all that snow, ice, howling gales, blinding blizzards and all, they found all the bodies. How clever is that?

Truthfully, I am grateful I found this in a charity shop and didn't pay the full cover price for it. I won't be looking for any more of Mr Simmons' books. That's one thing trawling the charity shops is good for - checking people out before paying full price for either a paperback or a kindle copy. I've deleted so much from my kindle it's untrue and I'm going through paperbacks the same way. Is no one providing a decent read these days?
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Very dissapointing. This is a long and very slow tale that is more a history of mountain climbing than a tale of horror. The best bits are just trying to copy the success of "The Terror" while the supposed true story approach is tedious at best. Unless you are specifically interested in reading a novel about climbing I would suggest giving this one a miss.
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Format: Paperback
Let me cut straight to the point , I bought this book purely on the merits of it being a Horror / thriller , it is no such thing. The inside cover reads ' As the winds rise and the temperature and oxygen levels drop, Deacon (one of the main characters) and his companions hear howls in the distance. A dark creature is tracking them up the mountain, sending them scrambling blindly into Everest's dangerous heights to escape it'
SPOILER ALERT (Read no further if you don't want to know what happens)
There is no 'Dark creature' , there is no 'Abominable' snowman - as suggested by the title of this book. The abominable in question is supposed to be some candid photographs of Adolf Hitler with several young boys, taken before his rise to power in Germany. The book is a deliberately miss-marketed and promoted as something it isn't. Its dull as dishwater and obviously the marketing people realised they had a stinker of a book and decided to deliberately mislead people into thinking it was a horror novel.
The plot concerns three climbers who mount an expedition to find the remains of a english nobleman, at the behest of his rich family and who is feared lost on Everest in mysterious circumstances .The book is set shortly before the second world war and involves a German plot to recover some damning photographs of Adolf Hitler, eventually , after a long and very very dull plod , we discover that both threads are interwoven, unfortunately by this time you simply couldn't care less, as you realise you've been tricked into buying a book that isn't anything like its been marketed.
I found this a slow, unrelentingly tedious read,with the author ( a mountain climbing enthusiast in real life ) taking almost full chapters to describe the type of knot used when tying a rope .
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