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What would have made Everest 1953 better?
I've read many mountaineering stories and can remember vividly reading Edmund Hillary's account of the assault on Everest; it literally gave me the chills and made my palms sweat.
I really wanted to like this book and was hoping for a similar thrill. Sadly, the book doesn't include much description of the climb (about 45 minutes 3/4 of the way through the book). I could almost never "see" the action from the description and overall the book left me wanting.
I would recommend Hillary's "High Adventure: The True Story of the First Ascent of Everest" (not on audiobook). On audiobook I'd strongly recommend "Into the Silence" by Wade Davis which gives an excellent historical account of Mallory's attempt at climbing the mountain or for a later description of climbing Everest, two modern-day thrillers like Anatoli Boukreev's "The Climb: Tragic Ambitions on Everest", or Krakauer's "Into Thin Air". On the whole Conefrey left me wanting much more than he delivered.
Finally, the narrator did a credible job of portraying quoted passages of the characters in the book (English, French, New Zealander, and Asian) although there really wasn't a great deal of that in the book.
15 of 15 people found this review helpful
What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?
Nothing - it's not the narrator, it's the material.
Any additional comments?
If you enjoy detailed accounts of memos, stuffy British gentleman's clubs, meetings, and committees, then this book is for you. But if you want a story about Everest, it is not. It is all the bureaucratic stuff that happened before the ascent. Dull dull dull.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Any additional comments?
This book can be divided into three parts. First is the history of discovery and attempts to summit the Everest. I found it fascinating how late Europeans actually got anywhere near the mountain, not to mention the summit.
Second part is about the British attempts. There are moments when you think that, surely, author is joking, creating caricatures of men in power, grandiose characters with outdated racial, national and cultural attitudes. But than you realise, that it really was like that. And you just love it.
Third part is about 1953 attempt itself. It's a story of experience, preparation, racial and cultural tensions and the hell a lot of good luck.
If I wasn't obliged to go to work I would have listened it to it non-stop it was so good.
9 of 9 people found this review helpful
If you could sum up Everest 1953 in three words, what would they be?
engaging, interesting, frightening
What other book might you compare Everest 1953 to, and why?
it's an adventure book, which really held my interest, despite my knowing the outcome. it included loads of details which didn't hinder the telling of the story at all. i also found myself becoming really involved with the story and wondering how the mountaineers held their nerve.
What does Barnaby Edwards bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?
he kept my interest - he included a few varied accents, etc., but generally played a straightforward game. really good.
If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?
(like the book): epic
8 of 8 people found this review helpful