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I'VE FALLEN AND I CAN'T GET UP...
on 1 December 2002
This book is well written, but much of it is decidedly dull. The author writes with all the passion of a dead fish. There are, however, some interesting passages about the history of a remote section of the Himalayas known as the Pancha Chuli massif, which are actually five peaks close to India's border with western Nepal.
It is to this region that the author went in 1992 as part of an expedition led by world reknowned British climber, Chris Bonnington. Quite frankly, the author makes himself out to be a less than ideal climbing partner. He had choice words for everyone, including Chris Bonnington. He is lucky that they are apparently better men than he, or he would never have survived his accident, a three hundred foot fall while 19,000 feet up the mountain. But for his fellow expeditioners, the author would still be up there, a silent, frozen reminder to other climbers of the peril that may sometimes await one while climbing.
His account of what happened both before and after his accident, and upon his return home, as well as what occurred on his next expedition, gives the reader a measure of the author as a person. There are certainly those who may find him wanting. Yet, notwithstanding his readily apparent, personal shortcomings, his dispassionate account of his travail high up on a remote Himalayan peak is still a worthwhile read, if you are a devotee of mountaineering literature. If you are not, deduct one star from my rating.