- Paperback: 272 pages
- Publisher: Pimlico; New edition edition (6 Feb. 1997)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0712673938
- ISBN-13: 978-0712673938
- Product Dimensions: 13.6 x 1.9 x 21.7 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 413,986 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Annapurna: The First Conquest of an 8000-Metre Peak Paperback – 6 Feb 1997
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"After being swept off his feet by an avalanche and left dangling by a rope around his neck, Herzog``began to pass water, violently and uncontrollably'. Your reaction may be only slightly less extreme as you move from one nail-biting moment to the next in this wonderful 1952 tale of triumph and frostbite." (Outside)
"Quite simply the greatest mountaineering book ever written." (Joe Simpson, from the Introduction)
One of the great works of mountaineering literature- long out of print and now reissued with a new introduction by Joe Simpson.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
Herzog (though you'd never know it from his account) was the only amateur and the least able member of the two lead ropes on Annapurna and the only amateur, but he was selected as the expedition leader by the organizers for largely financial and political reasons.
Before the team left France, Herzog made the other climbers sign an oath of silence that they would not speak or write about Annapurna for five years after their return. Only one person was going to get to tell the story of this expedition, and that was Herzog. The result: Herzog was lionized as the "Great White Chief" of the expedition--and the three legendary guides who actually got him to the summit -- including Lachenal -- were relegated to "mere accessories" (Terray's words).
Herzog told a nationalistic fairy tale that was just what post-war France wanted to hear, but he ignored the serious conflicts among the team members and the fact that "Lachenal was the guide [on the final assault], and Herzog the amateur." (Read Rebuffat's biography if you have a doubt on that score!Read more ›
I first read this book in the early 1960s as a young teenager. I recall being enthralled by it and amazed at the hardships the climbers endured to bring glory to France. In reading it again as an adult, I find myself still enthralled, but more attuned to the fact that it is written in a somewhat self-serving style.
The book itself chronicles the attempt by the French to climb an 8,000 meter peak in the Himalayas. They had two alternatives: Dhaulagiri and Annapurna. In those days, the Himalayas were largely uncharted and any topographical maps which existed at the time proved to be largely incorrect. So, the French expedition spent a large portion of their time in reconnaissance. Not only were they there to climb the mountain, they first had to find a way to get to it and then map out a route on the unknown terrain to the summit. Ultimately, they chose to climb Annapurna.
In reading this book, one must remember that the climb took place without the sophisticated equipment or protective clothing available today. This was before gortex and freeze-dried foods. This climb was made before Nepal or climbing the Himalayas became a major tourist attraction. The conditions for travellers were extremely primitive and difficult under the best of circumstances.
When the expedition finally finds a route to Annapurna, the reader almost feels like cheering for them.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
One of the classic mountaineering books which (whether it is an accurate account or not) has inspired a generation of climbers. Read morePublished on 10 Nov. 2000
I read the spanish version of this book and I found it simply fascinating! The author takes you with him in his adventure. Read morePublished on 11 April 2000
I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys reading about mountaineering. It reads very much like a diary, and has occasional slow patches, but as it gathers pace it cannot... Read morePublished on 6 Sept. 1999
I am not a serious climber, can't be due to disability, but I love reading about climbing and the mountains. Read morePublished on 11 Aug. 1999