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Annapurna Paperback – 1 Jun 1997

4.3 out of 5 stars 23 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: The Lyons Press; Reprint edition (Jun. 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1558215492
  • ISBN-13: 978-1558215498
  • Product Dimensions: 19.4 x 14 x 2.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,271,389 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Review

"Those who have never seen the Himalayas...will know that they have been a companion of greatness." --"New York Times Book Review"

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

By lawyeraau HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on 6 Mar. 2006
Format: Hardcover
This book is a romanticized, sanitized account of the 1950 French expedition to the Himalayas by its ostensible leader, Maurice Herzog. It is a book that is reflective of the times in which it was written. Still, it should be a must read for anyone who is interested in high altitude climbing.
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 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 travelers 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.
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By lawyeraau HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on 22 Feb. 2003
Format: Paperback
This book is a romanticized, sanitized account of the 1950 French expedition to the Himalayas by its so called leader, Maurice Herzog. It is a book that is reflective of the times in which it was written. Still, it should be a must read for anyone who is interested in high altitude climbing.
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 travelers 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 ›
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By A Customer on 1 Nov. 1998
Format: Paperback
The story line in "Annapurna" rivals that of the recent book, "Into Thin Air", by John Krakauer, but being half a century old, and having been translated from the French, is written in a slightly less exciting prose. It tells of a three month French expedition to the Dhaulagiri and Annapurna region of the Himalayas which began with much correcting of erroneous maps, and ended in near disaster. Two men did summit, but suffered severe frostbite for their efforts. Also interesting were some of the difficulties in transporting equipment from the railways in India to and from the Himalayas, which are probably not so great for moderen climbers. I enjoyed the read, and recommend it to anyone interested in high adventure stories.
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By lifeclearout VINE VOICE on 5 Aug. 2008
Format: Paperback
Robert Macfarlane mentions this book in his "Mountains of the Mind", and being a sucker for tales of high-altitude torment I gave it a go. It's worth reading from a historical point of view more than anything else. After all, Herzog conquered Annapurna three years before Everest was climbed. The world has changed since then and, as other reviewers have noted, this book is very much a product of its time, with references to "coolies" and the "gibberish" they are speaking (otherwise known as Nepalese). Still, there is no getting away from Herzog and his expedition's achievements. Before beginning to climb Annapurna, they first had to find out exactly where it was and how to reach it. Only then could they start the ascent and, with the monsoon approaching, time was fast running out. Success came at no small price for Herzog. His long journey home is punctuated by excruciating treatments from the team doctor as various frost-bitten appendages are "snipped" off.
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