To answer the review of someone who complained about the "American narrator": it surprised me too, until I realized that only the first part of the narration was read by Paul Reid, the co-author, he of the broad accent and mis-pronunciations. After he has described the character of Churchill, the competent (and British) Clive Chafer comes in and picks up the story. So just hang in there for the intro: it's a couple of hours long, but smooth sailing from then on. And after all, it was an American (in fact, two) who wrote this, so their voice should be in there somewhere!
Someone who spoke distinctly, and with a better modulation in tone: this read can be hard to listen to. The narrator has a low voice: she starts at mid-register and gradually works her way down to a deep breathy whisper, setting a pattern that all too often repeats. That in itself is tedious, but it also means the last few words of a sentence can be lost completely. She may have been chosen to make the racy bits seem more scandalous, but that too is a drawback. She doesn't have a corresponding tone for the serious history in the story: it all comes off sounding like scandal. And when something private or delicate or intimate, like a personal letter, has to be read, it is muttered throughout at a barely audible level. The last section of the book is plagued with this problem. And I am not hard of hearing! This is the first of dozens of audiobooks that I've listened to that was difficult in this way. I can only imagine what it would be like for someone without a good set of speakers and a great deal of patience.
Once is enough for the length of the book. But a good listen.
Books about Robert Falcon Scott and the Antarctic expedition. ITS also describes in detail the insane overconfidence of the Brits who tried a big adventure.
He mispronounced the names of important battlefields in WW1, such as Ypres and Passchendaele. Also had obvious difficulty with the Tibetan place-names: the little pause before each name is attempted, becomes tiring. The voice is beautiful: he should have had better advice.
The insane overconfidence of the expeditions was laughable. One sees them painfully learning how to do it (not very well). Their awful snobbery about all things and people non-British is an eye-opener, and led to some of their tragedies.
In comparison with a TV documentary I saw recently, the book told a true story in great detail, and tried not to romanticize it. Fairly clear that Mallory did not summit, and also that he was hardly the hero people imagine. But he was human, obsessed, and charismatic. He made Everest famous, with now-dubious results, as his is one of the corpses that now make the place a monument to folly.
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