- Buy this product and stream 90 days of Amazon Music Unlimited for free. E-mail after purchase. Conditions apply. Learn more
Dare to Dream Paperback – 1 April 2015
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
Matthew goes into a lot of detail in describing his adventures, but the book is in no way long-winded. He takes us through his first steps in planning how to get to Everest from a state of almost no climbing experience, building that experience up over the years, first Scottish winter season, first rock climbing trip, first big peak. His training routines are gruelling and demonstrate the lengths he was willing to go in order to achieve his goal. His first few expeditions to the greater ranges are also described vividly and throughout the book Everest looms as both a promise and a threat, overshadowing everything he does.
The writing style is really engaging and Matthew's cheerful, optimistic nature shines through on every page. Matthew is the hero of his own book, and I mean that in the best possible sense: we cheer him on at every stage, commiserate with him when he encounters roadblocks and pitfalls, and feel every moment of triumph along the way. It's impossible not to admire his tenacity and willingness to do whatever it takes to achieve his dream, particularly when he's laid low by illness or altitude sickness.
He also tells his story with considerable humour and I found myself chuckling on most pages! Again, his fresh, optimistic outlook help in this regard and the humour adds a light-hearted dimension often lacking from books of this genre.
Unusually for a climbing book, Dare to Dream delves into the financial side of planning an Everest expedition. This remains something of a taboo even in 2013, probably due to the (often unfair) stigma attached to commercial expeditions. We all like to think of mountaineering as a purely sporting endeavour, but the fact is that modern Himalayan expeditions are expensive and must be paid for. His struggle to obtain funding was almost as gargantuan as the struggle to climb the mountain and yet again his tenacity is impressive. I really admired the frank and straightforward way in which the author approached this necessary evil and even found many positive aspects to it. This won't be to everyone's tastes--after all, a modern Everest ascent is not quite the romantic battle against nature it once was--but the book is unwaveringly honest.
For all of Dare to Dream's good qualities, the writing feels a little unpolished in places, but if anything this only serves to highlight the youthful enthusiasm of the adventure. Some will criticise him for being part of the huge queues on Everest in 2012 that resulted in several deaths, but I believe it's unfair to single out any individual person for the cumulative problems that surround Everest. It's also clear from reading Dare to Dream that the range of climbing abilities to be found on Everest that year varied considerably and it's obvious that Matthew's team were amongst the better prepared.
Dare to Dream stands out from the recent spate of Everest books in offering a fresh and honest perspective about what it's really like for a young person to climb the world's highest mountain in the 21st century. Regardless of your Everest opinions or politics it would take a hardened cynic not to be uplifted by this well-written tale of humour, adventure and perseverance, and in my opinion the book deserves to do well. I look forward to future adventures from this author!
He does not hide that he uses an expedition crew, and explains a number of challenges along the way. The book is an excellent read, and well worth spending a couple of days taking time out to see how a 22 year old uses his noggin to fulfil a dream.
, in my case more so as the book was free.
Top international reviews
The author is a young lad who set his goal as Everest and proceeded to train like mad and work like a maniac raising funds to carry out his ambition. It doesn't pull any punches about the privations, the hard work and the elation of achieving his goal. On the way, he matures considerably and it's great to see early on how he realizes that being super-fit for one sport (squash) doesn't equate to being ready for another. This doesn't slow him down for a second, he just adjusts his program and carries on. He and his team-mates are to be congratulated on their achievement, even though this is one of the modern organized expeditions to Everest that get a lot of grief for "dragging clients up a mountain". In some cases, this description is justified, but certainly not in all, as this book makes clear.
This book should be required reading for people contemplating guided high-altitude mountaineering - the organizer of this trip, Todd Henry, clearly did a good job as the acclimatization of the group enabled them to be successful in spite of their considerable lack of experience. The author discusses this and is pretty scathing about the new cut-price operations that have appeared of late.
This sort of trip is not something I have the slightest desire to do, but this description is well worth reading - the author's determination and tolerance for hard work is quite impressive.