Storms Of Silence Paperback – 6 Feb 1997
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"Excellent...Simpson is a born writer" (The Times)
"'To mix a metaphor, Joe Simpson is a streetwise mountaineer...He takes you close to the nitty-gritty, the nuts and bolts of professional climbing in the 1990's. He is used to dealing with totalitarian policemen. He is passionate and moving on the subject of Tibet and the agonies inflicted on it by the cruel Chinese occupation...Above all, Simpson is a born writer'" (Paul Johnson The Times)
"'The book's major theme is the nature of aggression. A skinhead in a Sheffield bar sets the reader up for the genocide that is modern Tibetan history...What makes Joe Simpson stand out is his belief that there is more to life than a crampon, and his dogged refusal to leave the highest mental peaks unclimbed'" (Sara Wheeler Daily Telegraph)
"'THis immensely accessible book offers a unique re-interpretation of masculinity...In doing so, it offers a ray of hope to an increasingly bleak and vicious society'" (Martin Booth Independent)
About the Author
Joe Simpson is the author of several best-selling books, of which the first, Touching the Void, won both the NCR Award and the Boardman Tasker Award. Touching the Void has become a classic and an international bestseller, translated into fourteen languages and made into an award-winning feature-length documentary film (winner of the Outstanding British Film of the Year BAFTA 2004). Joe currently lives in Sheffield.
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Top Customer Reviews
The book is vaguley episodic, covering periods in Simpson's own life and career, from his recovery from the horrific accident he described so vividly in Touching The Void, to his Greenpeace activities, as well as a more general discussion on the appalling human cost of China's invasion of Tibet. Simpson's often acerbic humour shines throughout, as does his refusal to shy away from the difficult questions. His style has grown more confident, and the range of material he tackles is often exceptional. A wonderful book.
Highly, highly reccommended.
Harrowing eye-opener about the plight of the people in Tibet. He writes with a passion and strange detachment when he encounters the boys along the paths.
This book made me look at how much we all are compatmentalising the plight of the people in far away countries. How much can we do just by raising the awarenss? Thanks very much to Joe for including his personal reactions to the political events.
It also cleared up some misconceptions I had about mountaineering. I thought that you would get all mushy about the closeness to nature, and the quiet and feel the awsome wonder of it all, hone your instincts etc, instead they are unaware of approaching avalances because the walkman is blaring out "White wedding...or some such stuff"
Joe's morals are sound, I stand firmly in agreement with his views on the Chinese occupation of Tibet and on the desecration of the hill but when he talks of turning up his Sony walkman and storming off up a trail with his head down I can't help feel a little like I'd rather be reading something a little more upbeat that would make me WANT to get on the hill. The counter argument of course is that he is holding up a mirror to what mountaineering has become. However I can't help feel this was done a little more interestingly by John Krakauer in INTO THIN AIR (Think I got the correct title)
I wouldn't advise not reading this book but it doesn't enthuse me to get out there in the same way BONNINGTON, SMYTHE, KIRKPATRICK and even FEINNES' writings do. Perhaps this would be more relevant to a conscientious objector to modern mountaineering?
The action-filled pages of many hold-on-by-your-fingernail mountaineering writings often ignore the obvious fact that these mountains exist in countries where people live. In Simpson's famous Touching the Void the natives only get a mention towards the end of the book when Simpson and co crash land back in civilisation. Reading many mountain climbing accounts you could be forgiven for believing that mountaineers generally turn up at the bottom on a bus from the airport, before scaling their peaks and return home the same way.
Storms of Silence foregrounds the base camps, sherpas, travel routes and stories that mountaineers encounter before and after they go on their epic rock-scaling endeavours. There are some beautiful moments in here. In one chapter Simpson and his fellow climbers - acclimatising before scaling a peak on the Nepalese/ Tibetan border - encounter a bunch of Khampa refugees, fleeing away from Tibet. It's a vivid example that life in the mountains is a million miles from the experience of the Goretex-clad westerners who walk the same paths.
Sometimes the travel vignettes lack narrative thrust, and dissolve into mere observation, which is all very nice but can get a bit dull. But you can forgive Simpson this - he's obviously trying to move mountain writing away from page-turning accounts of extreme physical endeavour towards something a bit more, well, human.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
More interesting this book than previous ones for me.
I really liked how Simpson came to terms and delved into the morality behind climbing and trekking in areas that... Read more
as always joe simpson can do no wrong!!! a powerful book about a powerful time in our history.....a must readPublished 13 months ago by MARILYN
Although there are some decent mountaineering chapters in here, most of the content is just boring, egotistical rubbish, about a potential bar fight, a crush on a school teacher or... Read morePublished on 6 Mar. 2014 by A C
The book was in the condition as stated and delivery time good. All joe simpson s books make excellent reading. Would reccommend to all mountaineers.Published on 11 Dec. 2013 by d westdyk
I'm a Joe Simpson fan. If Joe does it - I like it and I'm inspired buy him. Joe is not everyones "cup of tea", but I 'get' him. Read morePublished on 24 April 2010 by Mr. S. C. Hamnett