Ms. Kolata has too few facts and too many superlatives. Her writing style is labored, sprawling and cliched. Worse, her voice is not suitable for narration as she has a strong accent and slurs her words. I am very interested in this issue, but this book is intolerable.
An impressive tale of survival is fatally flawed by the author's approach. This is a tedious and repetitious recitation of the ardours of research. With a background in mountaineering, but no scholarship, he is badly prepared for the difficulties he faces. He hires a small army of researchers, translators and guides who actually do the bulk of the work. Throughout the narrative of his efforts to unearth this interesting story, he stultifies the reader by relentless focus on his own conquests. It is a shame that this remarkable account of desperate courage has been drowned in petty academic oneupmanship.
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