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Customer reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
18
4.5 out of 5 stars
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on 15 April 2016
Completely compelling reading. Gripped from start to end.
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on 16 May 2011
I found this to be a truly excellent read. Venables maintains a compelling account of a truly epic first ascent, interspersed with insightful passages giving the reader an accessible history of the Panch Chuli Massif. At no point does he revert to gratuitous sensationalism, describing his incredible adventure with near-objectivity, whilst still maintaining a sense of passion and pace. His prose is eloquent yet to the point.

My one criticism would be that at some points his self-crippling modesty becomes tiresome; the magnitude of his incredible achievement and experience is not quite conveyed fully. However this is more of a defect (although some might regard it as a positive) of his personality than his of skill as an authour.

The novel also serves as a written expression of gratitude for all those he helped save his life - Venables constantly reminds the reader of how highly he regards his companions.

Please ignore any misguided reviews that fail to understand that any personal shortcomings conveyed are due to his modesty and professionalism as an author rather than being a reality - having climbed with the man and read most of his works I can confirm that as one of the best mountaineers of his generation he is the very opposite of the person he professes to be.
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on 1 March 2010
As an armchair mountaineer I have to say that i absolutely love this book. It describes what i imagine to be stunning places to visit and also the trial, tribulations and views in the Himalaya. Stephen Venables is one of the best out there in terms of his mountain skills but also his ability to describe the adventures he goes on. I would recommend this book to anyone interested in this genre....
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on 8 August 2001
Stephen Venables latest offering, A Slender Thread - Escaping Disaster in the Himalaya is a truly brilliant book. It offers the reader all the elements of an exciting novel, adventure, disaster, courage, love, fear and more besides. This is of course not the point however, as it is not a work of fiction. This realisation takes it to an entirely different level of appreciation. Venables writes with a passion for the life which he has chosen, and makes it possible for those of us mere mortals who aspire to great heights to see a little more clearly into the world of mountaineering. The book unfolds the story at a tantalizing pace, and an all-star cast makes the readability for anyone with an interest in this subject immense. Names synonymous with the world of mountaineering, Harish Kapadia and Chris Bonington lead an expedition to Panch Chuli V, on the borders of Tibet, Nepal and India. This exploration becomes a feat of both mental as well as physical strength as the worst happens; an accident at high altitude. Reading this book is an unmissable insight into an often misunderstood and harshly portrayed community of people.
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on 22 October 2013
I bought this book as a present for my son and just glanced at the first few pages. 24 hours later I had completed it, sucked in by Venables' engaging writing style and his honest account of a thrilling escape from the high mountains, made possible by a generous and very skilled team.
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on 14 April 2013
Stephen Venables writes really well. If you're an armchair mountaineer like me then Stephen's writing sucks you in and you're right there on a knife-edge ridge in a fierce storm. I can also highly recommend 'Everest Alone at the Summit' and one a very different note 'Ollie' his heart-wrenching story about the loss of a son.
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on 9 October 2014
A fine account of the conflicting aims and emotions of a mountaineer operating at the cutting edge of the sport, and the impact of those aims on others.
Derek Fordham
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on 20 July 2013
Brilliant read! Venables writes with great passion and honesty. This book had me on the edge of my seat many times. I'll definitely read more of his books after this.
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on 27 December 2013
The book was fantastic, but the colour photograph pages started to fall out, which was dissappointinmg. Maybe it wqas not in quite such good condition
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on 4 December 2016
Just needs to be read, regardless as to whether you're into climbing or not. Gripping, thoughtful and philosophical. Read his other books too.
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