Based on interviews with surviving climbers and others, as well as five decades of journals, expedition accounts, and letters, The Boys of Everest provides the closest thing to an answer that we will ever have. It offers riveting descriptions of what Bonington's Boys found in the mountains, as well as an understanding of what they lost there.
©2006 Clint Willis; (P)2007 Blackstone Audio Inc.
"A dramatic and romantic look at the greatest generation of climbers." (Library Journal)
"[A] gripping adventure saga...of life spent teetering on the edge of the abyss." (Publishers Weekly)
"A death-haunted saga of the scalers of heaven...the same class and caliber (as) Into Thin Air." (Kirkus Reviews)
This exhaustive tome sustained me on a cross-country trip. With sustained moments of poetic description that suits mountaineering perfectly, it details everything you ever wanted to know about Chris Bonnington's climbing life--except its context in his life outside climbing. I found the lack of contextual information in this otherwise methodically-researched book increasingly frustrating as this audiobook unfolded over 15 plus hours. We learn everything about the lives of Bonnington's Boys in the mountains, including their unique spiritual journeys and fates, but the disconnect with their "worldly" responsibilities in their everyday lives is too jangling. The result is too much hero worship of characters whose flaws we sense but cannot ever really grasp.
That said, thre's nothing lovelier than James Adams's soothing, authoritative voice with its appropriate upper class English accent. If you like great recordings of nonfiction, this should go on your list.
Facinating study of the evolution of the British Climbing establishment. Although the descriptions of some of Bonington's actual expeditions are certainly interesting, the real attraction of this book is the interaction between the key players and how their different, yet similar experiences on the highest peaks in the world shaped climbing and mountaineering into what it is today.
The narrator does not add to an already dry story. I love mountain stories but found this to be too full of details, dull and anticlimatic. I got through 3/4 of the book and wished I would have given up earlier.
I thought this was an excellent book, it took you through the lives of Chris Bonington and a group of climber as they grew up and became mountaineers.
"Beauty, Determination and Tragedy"
This book really is a gem of climbing literature, mountaineering history and both riveting and poetic prose. It is a book for those who are interest in British climbing, the nostalgic end to the 'golden age' of mountaineering just after the 8000m peaks had been climbed, a history of the British on Everest and Bonnington.
The writing and therefore narration, is beautifully poetic. There are many paragraphs that are admittedly assumed and presumed thoughts of those climbers involved, but I believe the mountaineers that survived, have praised the accounts in this book.
It is odd that a book that deals with an activity that is frightening at times, exhilarating at others and all too often sadly tragic, should marry so well with the dialogue which is so soulfully exquisite. Perhaps the best way of describing a book which is, at its core, a grand adventure of determinism, patriotism and courage, is 'sublimely and picturesquely written...and read.'
I havent read the print version. As its a very busy life its certainly easier to listen rather than read.
Other mountaineering books as they are about mountains and why people choose to risk their lives climbing them
No havent listened to any of the others and the performance does its job by telling the story without being distracting
Its a story of triumph in adversity but also the tragedy that mistakes and bad luck costs lives.
The purely fanciful speculation of how the climbers felt in their last moments is a pointless distraction and begs the question why do it.
"great book, shame about the reading"
exciting and insightful...it made me feel as though I was being introduced to the people involved and learned about them as individuals....I began to understand 'why' and also 'how'. This was despite nearly terminating the book several times due to the appalling reading!
"so good it gives you vertigo"
As a non-climber I wondered if I would enjoy this book, but I really really did. Well written, some of it in prose style, rather than just a dry factual account, it transports you to the cold, dangerous and wind bitten faces of the worlds great mountains. It makes you wonder why they do it!
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