A thrilling tale of high-altitude death and survival set on the snowy summits of Mount Everest, from the best-selling author of The Terror.
The year is 1924 and the race to summit the world's highest mountain has been brought to a terrified pause by the shocking disappearance of George Mallory and Sandy Irvine, high on the shoulder of Mt. Everest. By the following year, three climbers - a British poet and veteran of the Great War, a young French Chamonix guide, and an idealistic young American - find a way to take their shot at the top. They arrange funding from the grieving Lady Bromley, whose son also disappeared on Mt. Everest in 1924. Young Bromley must be dead, but his mother refuses to believe it and pays the trio to bring him home.
Deep in Tibet and high on Everest, the three climbers - joined by the missing boy's female cousin - find themselves being pursued through the night by someone…or something. This nightmare becomes a matter of life and death at 28,000 feet - but what is pursuing them? And what is the truth behind the 1924 disappearances on Everest? As they fight their way to the top of the world, the friends uncover a secret far more abominable than any mythical creature could ever be. A pulse-pounding story of adventure and suspense, The Abominable is Dan Simmons at his spine-chilling best.
©2013 Dan Simmons (P)2013 Hachette Audio
Dan Simmons writes long books. That's what he does, and he does it well. Carrion Comfort is the other I've listened to (around 30 hrs long) and that made me want to listen to others of his.
The Abominable is a story about an American, Jacob Perry who ends up on an expedition to Mt. Everest. The expedition has perils and secrets that a normal trip to Everest does not hold.
This story is great. There are a lot of details, scene development, and character development. I am very familiar with the terminology and technical details of mountianeering and rock climbing so I really enjoyed those sections of the book as they were factual and well researched.
The action of the story moved along nicely and the premise of the action and danger was believable. Simmons also did a nice job of setting the story up early so when situations happened later, they happened naturally and flowed well.
There were some flaws. I thought Carrion Comfort was pretty much perfect, so I was surprised that there were some distinct things about this book that I did not like.
The main character wasn't very likable. As the story went on he got more annoying and less likable. By the finale, I kinda wanted someone to punch him, or at least I just wanted him to stop talking. The narrator didn't help either. His tone didn't need to be quite as whiny and complaining as Jacob, which made him even less likable.
Also, I thought the extra side-story that could have brought some fun thrills into the story just fizzled and never developed.
With those criticisms, I still give it four stars because it was a great story that is worth the listen. The research and details are impressive and fit well within the story.
And there are a lot of details. I knew next to nothing about mountain climbing, climbing equipment, and summit expeditions etc. before reading this and had very little interest in the subject per se. But I do like historical fiction and adventure tales and this one really delivers. I cannot explain how I could listen to 29 hours of pre-WWII mountain climbing details and thoroughly ENJOY it but I did. It is a testament to Mr. Simmons' story telling skills. He superbly recreates the mind set and technology of the 1920s and ‘30s Western Europe in the context of an attempt to reach the top of Mt. Everest. It’s not just the technology and terminology but the mystique of an accomplishment so difficult and rare that many have died or been horribly injured in the attempt. Do not let the subject or the length of the book deter you. There is mystery and suspense but there really is magic in the details as well.
This was my first book by Dan Simmons and I must say I was impressed. But if you don't know much about hiking, mountain climbing, or the history of Mount Everest then this book is not for you. I could not stop listening to this story and I was very surprised with the direction it went towards the end. Jacob can be a bit annoying at times but I got over it. Definitely one of the best books I've heard all year.
Serving God For His Glory!
Undecided; his books are very long.
He did a good job with the German language and accents.
This book is about climbing Mt. Everest, not the abominable snowman (yeti).
I'm either the only person who hated this story or the only horror/fantasy fan that purchased it! I liked The Terror and the title and description is hinting towards a "creature" making an appearance so I gave it a try. why oh why did I give it a try. If you are a climber or have an interest in it then definitely you'd like this book. If you're a horror/supernatural/fantasy fan don't waste you're time. He just goes on and on and on and on with details. If he wrote a description of how to boil an egg it would go like this.......walk with one foot in front of the other. Cautiously so you do not fall. Concentrate on this task and do not get distracted. If you hear a noise for example, perhaps a doorbell it is best to wait until you've reached your destination to investigate the sound. You then lift your right hand, unless you are left handed in which case you would lift the left hand and grasp the refrigerator door firmly. If you don't grasp it firmly you will not have enough momentum to actually open the door. Once the door is opened search diligently and methodically through the contents looking for the egg carton...........you get the idea. By the time you learn how to boil an egg you've lost interest and anything he has to say is so boring you really just don't care anymore, assume the boiled egg would be just as boring and would grab a bag of chips. Off to get a bag of chips and look for another book!
I would not recommend this to any of my friends. They are, for the most part, experienced climbers who would find Simmons very elementary knowledge of climbing history, climbing equipment, and the effects of high altitude totally silly.
This is my second Dan Simmons' novel, and very likely my last. I am not much into melodrama, and I prefer that the author I read know at least as much about his subject as I do. Simmons doesn't. He breaks Hemingway's first rule, write only about that which you know and have experienced.
Collins is decent reader, although I prefer someone with a bit more "grit" in his voice. If I were reading this book myself, I would likely have tossed it long before the end. I found myself shouting at the speakers when Simmons' inane lack of knowledge of mountaineering practices and the actual nature of German climbers of the 1920s and 30s demonstrated a complete ignorance of the real people, many of whom were superb individuals without any political agendas. The NAZIs were scum. Most climbers were no different than climbers all over the world, just interested in reaching unclimbed summits for their own sake, not for their country or their party.
As mentioned earlier, scream at the speakers and want to puke.
I climbed and guided in the mountains for nearly 40 years. I have read hundreds of books on mountaineering, expeditions, biographies of climbers, and several on the discovery of George Leigh Mallory's remains. I found Simmons' use of that tragedy and pretense that the event took place almost three quarters of century earlier than it actually did to be in very poor taste. His description of the condition of the body taken from The Lost Explorer by Conrad Anker and David Roberts to border on plagiarism. Only one other book, The Eiger Sanction, irritated me as much as this one did. In both cases the authors read one or two books on the subject and proceeded to write their own with a minimal understand and knowledge of the subject they were exploring.
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