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
Not nearly as good as "The Terror" which was outstanding. He does his research though and I now know a lot more about mountaineering than before.
Dan Simmons is one of my favorite authors. This tale was middle of the pack for me. The Terror is his best in the historical fiction genre. Hyperion for Sci-Fi and Carrion Comfort in horror are favorites.
If you like back stories of heroes, villains and .....well I can't say. I do not want to give this one away but I think almost anyone would enjoy this book.
I enjoy authentic characters, in believable circumstances, mostly fiction, blended with historical fact, of any genre, with romance added.
Wonderful historical reinvention
Into Thin Air - A similar venture into the Mt Everest imagination
No. Excellent performance.
Yes. The perspective of it being told by someone that has passed away and wrote their story to be passed on to the author.
Brought tears to my eyes. Loved listening during my long commutes.
Those that have no experience or previous exposure to Mount Everest or it's history, or mountain climbing in general.
Caveat: I'm a fan of Mr. Simmons. I really enjoyed The Terror and feel that this type of historical fantasy/fiction is unique and worth pursuit as a genre.
But this one felt like a HUGE book with a very very small pay-off.
Yes. Performance was alright but the poor guy had to wade through hours of climbing.
Anger and disappointment - huge investment with very little payoff.
Edit about half of it out. There was a lot of information about climbing, which wasn't bad. Until it was repeated several times. There were also step-by-step descriptions of how a character climbed a particular rock wall and lengthy descriptions of equipment.
This information might have worked if it had been blended in with action, but it was an info dump worthy of the Sears catalog (of sporting goods).
I enjoyed The Terror and I wanted to enjoy this, but 14 hours into the story I just could not bear to listen to the info dumps any more.The "As you know, Richard," type of writing was just too cliched, and only served to introduce an info dump (and possible reader coma).
Driving in the car to Snowdonia before they did any climbing.
I never finished the book, so I'd have to say disappointment and boredom. I tried to finish it. I made it halfway - 14 hours out of the 29 or 30 hours, and then I just said, "Hey, I'm not enjoying this. There is no reason to make myself continue listening." I bailed out at the point just after the sky burials.
The main character Jake seems a bit of a jackass. He's young, but he's also a bit bigoted and after awhile it rubs thin. I had to wonder why climbing pros would take this irritating kid along with them.
Firstly, I am a huge fan of all things Dan Simmons. The Abominable is a great story with intriguing characters and lots of wonderful history. The bad part is there is so much detail about the logistics and technicalities of mountain climbing crammed into this book that you will find yourself zoning out during the descriptions of a 12-point crampon or what a rope is made of. I am a huge fan of all things Dan Simmons. If about 75% of the descriptive detail was taken out of this story, it would be a fantastic book. I normally give nothing less than a 4 or 5 star rating to all things Simmons, but this one's long, dragging technical descriptions pull it down to a 3 at Best. If you love mountaineering and climbing, you will love this book. If you are looking for a horror story about Bigfoot, Yeti or mythical creatures you will be a long way from it by the time you are neck deep in this one.
The narrator sounds lost or disinterested most of the time. On top of that his high, shrill, and cracking voice is beyond irritating and unpleasant.
This would be a good story with a different narrator.
The story only pays off if you listen to the very end - and like a climber on Everest, you might not make it that far. With the exception of a few moments, the story lacked the breathless (ha) gravitas you'd expect from the subject matter. The mountaineering minutiae (and other minutiae) really bogs the narrative down. Let's just say that if the characters are about to do something inconsequential, like ride in a car or move some rocks, you are going to hear all about it. The narrator's gee-whiz innocence comes off as forced and will grate on your nerves instead of providing the intended levity.
Better than Drood, not as good as The Terror.
Work on accents
This was a fascinating historical novel around the evolution of early mountain climbing and the the external perspective on the risks of Nazism between WWI and WWII. The story held my interest, but it is not a crisp thriller. I would recommend this book to anyone with an interest in early mountaineering.
This book could have been half the length. I know Dan Simmons writes long books, but I enjoyed DROOD, THE TERROR, THE END OF SUMMER, AND THE WINTER HAUNTING very much. The action in ABOMINABLE only picked up (or only started) in the last 3 to 4 hours of an almost 30-hour long book.
I've read extensively on mountaineering, but hour after hour of excruciating, seemingly pointless minutiae in this novel made me desperate to finish, hoping against hope that MAYBE the effort was worth it. It wasn't.
This is the first Kevin Collins narration I've listened to; I would listen to more. He did well with the material he was given.
All of the above: anger that I was spending so much time listening to a book I didn't enjoy, sadness that my life was slipping away waiting for a story line to start, disappointment that it nearly didn't. And it wasn't much of a story line when it did.
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