The Abominable Paperback – 2 Jan 2014
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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)
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.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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?
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 .Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
God book and I would recommend it to anybody to read with or with out an interest in claiming .. 5 star readPublished 6 days ago by SUE
It appears that Dan Simmons is like Marmite, and he attracts criticism because of expectations based on previous novels. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
Another thoroughly detailed alternate history novel from Simmons. Thematically related to his _The Terror_ but lacking the deep horror fantasy (and rich original true storyline),... Read morePublished 7 months ago by D. Kittrell
I have really enjoyed this novel by Dan Simmons. This is only the third book that I've read that he has penned but I can say with confidence that he is one of my favourite authors. Read morePublished 17 months ago by Imajicaman
Vivid description of high altitude climbing but not what the cover, endorsement or back-cover led me to believe. Read morePublished 18 months ago by sean cutter
The book was just as I required and I was very pleased with orderPublished 18 months ago by Peter read
What a totally brilliant book . The reader is taken on a roller coaster of a ride taking in adrenaline fuelled adventure , technical mountaineering travelogue , historical thriller... Read morePublished 20 months ago by a reader