Top critical review
5 people found this helpful
Good but not great, just good!!
on 26 October 2008
I read this book after reading 'Touching the Void' and I have a basic level of mountaineering experience so I wasn't to phased by any of the jargon of which there is a little. Having ravished 'Touching the Void' I suppose anything is going to be a let down, but I certainly enjoyed his accounts of various climbs and the picture he paints of the climbing community within this book. I was however disappointed by the first few chapters covering his childhood which to me seemed to fill space and wasn't really anything worth reading, as it was no more than a story of kids getting up to mischief, which most kids do. I also began to tire of his inner questioning of why so many of his friends had perished in their pursuits on the mountains as it came across as repeated and non conclusive. I can understand the inner anguish to him given his experiences but again there were times when I felt he was writing about the tragic loss of friends to fill space because his editor needed more. I don't want to belittle the loss of these people however the book was written to be sold and to make money.
Overall though this isn't, by any stretch of the imagination, a bad book. I think Joe Simpson has a talent for writing and he introduces the reader to a world, and a thrill, most will never know in a very emotional way, and includes a good few highly amusing 'laugh out loud' moments along the way. I read it quickly and there are a lot of good sections and interesting accounts of climbs, medical recoveries and friendships and experiences, there were just a few sections where I read to finish it not to enjoy it though.