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Customer Review

on 28 December 2002
I shall not try to review this book because this has been more than adequately covered by others on this website. I would rather explain to you my reactions to reading the book:-
I was first introduced to Joe Simpson when I was given a copy of Touching the Void as a talking book. The raw excitement and danger made me eager for more of the same. As a non-climber, I was aware of the North Face of The Eiger as a challenging climb – but remained otherwise uninformed. And so, I turned to The Beckoning Silence merely as an interesting and hopefully exciting read. I didn’t expect that this would be the only book that I have ever read and then immediately re-read .
Joe Simpson has a way of telling his story that is effortless to the reader – the text is plainly worded but this does not detract from his powers of description. Mr Simpson has taken a good story and interwoven it with tales of other climbers and the incidents of friends and acquaintances in such a way to produce a superb read. The section of the book where Joe and his friend Ray start to climb the Eiger was absolutely gripping – the palms of my hands and the soles of my feet were sweating with the vicarious thrill.
Much of the book is spent describing the dangers of climbing and examining where the acceptable danger threshold is. As one who has taken part in dangerous sports, I have asked myself many of the same questions – and resolved them at an earlier age. At the end of the book, I remained unconvinced that Joe was ready to hang up his climbing gear – and am hopeful that there is another climbing book or two in him yet.
The selection of the photos used in this book amplifies the interest in it. Each and every one of the pictures is relevant to the text and is part of the story – I returned time and time again to view each one in turn.
A great adventure book that will remain on my bookshelf: Read it soon.
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