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Publisher's Summary

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

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    174
  • 4 Stars
    141
  • 3 Stars
    82
  • 2 Stars
    30
  • 1 Stars
    16

Performance

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    218
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    127
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    50
  • 2 Stars
    11
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    13

Story

  • 4 out of 5 stars
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    173
  • 4 Stars
    111
  • 3 Stars
    88
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    17
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Great story, great detail

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.

14 of 16 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

A drab, long-winded book report on mountaineering

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

I don't even know how one would go about turning this into an interesting read. Perhaps get to the meat of the story quicker than 20 hours in? Consider making the aforementioned meat be something other than (yet more) laborious details with slow-moving action? I'm not saying to write like Dan Brown, it's just that I've never listened to another book I considered such a chore to get through.

Would you ever listen to anything by Dan Simmons again?

I have enjoyed some of Simmons' older books, but it's hard to believe that this is the same fellow who wrote the Hyperion series and The Terror. He would have been better served had he just published a book report on mountaineering. A massive percentage of the writing and character dialogue are devoted to scene after scene explaining the minutia of mountaineering, descriptions of rock, and Himalayan region geography. Next time Mr Simmons, save us the unbearable tedium and try to include something other than a sad little story at the end of the factual overload. Maybe it's time to consider a second career in writing college textbooks?

What about Kevin T. Collins’s performance did you like?

The narrator for this audiobook was splendid. Collins had an excellent pace, his voice differentiated the characters well without being distracting, and is to be commended for managing to keep up his enthusiasm as the hours of this lackluster tale dragged on.

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Abominable?

I'd remove 10 hours of the 20 hour setup, make the plot twist something less groan-worthy, use the word "ultramarine" half as many times, not include myself as a character, and base the writing more around an imaginative tale rather than an overload of detailed research.

Any additional comments?

Thank you Audible for your book return policy.

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

There's Magic in the Details!

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.

14 of 17 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Basically a 30 hour description of climbing

As stated it was a long description of climbing techniques with a dull story connected.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Boring

Would you try another book from Dan Simmons and/or Kevin T. Collins?

I really enjoy Dan Simmons' books. I listened to Terror and was fascinated. Now I'm 3 hours into The Abominable and I'm yawning over a very long description about the Bromley house, which I'm assuming has nothing to do with climbing a mountain and being followed by a--something. The main character is annoyingly self-deprecating and very fond of himself.

Would you ever listen to anything by Dan Simmons again?

Yes, of course, but not by this narrator.

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Kevin T. Collins?

I'd love for the narrator to have an older voice and a better ability to do British and French accents. Collins' British always sounds stuffy, no matter which of the Brits is speaking. And In the preface, it sounds like he's reading word by word very carefully. I love the voices of Simon Vance and Simon Prebble. I'd rather hear them do American than Collins do British. I also like George Guidall, whose voice is mature and wouldn't make the narrator sound like Jimmy Olsen, cub reporter for the Daily Planet.

If this book were a movie would you go see it?

No, but I'd stream it when it hit Netflix. This movie would have to focus on the action and the mystery and would not, by necessity, be so charmed with it's long-winded descriptions.

Any additional comments?

The narrator can make an OK book sound wonderful and a wonderful book sound awful. In this case, both author and narrator have created a snoozer of a book. Simmons is far too fond of his prose. I'd cut the preface, which makes Simmons sound smug and self-congratulatory, and then I'd get a good editor who could trim this book by half, starting with the details about Lady Bromley's garden. I guess it's too late for that.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Big Come Down from Terror

What would have made The Abominable better?

Editing out some of the boring, over-long technical passages about climbing.

What was most disappointing about Dan Simmons’s story?

The fanciful tie to historical characters and implausible suppositions.

What do you think the narrator could have done better?

He did OK, given the material.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Boredom.

Any additional comments?

In Terror the author combined gothic horror with a thin, but plausible link to an historical mystery (given that survivors of the Franklin expedition may have been driven mad by ingesting lead from early, soldered food tins.) The final twist both surprised me and provided the ground for endless speculation and argument with other fans of the book. Abominable contains none of this narrative tension.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

worst book I have ever been mislead into reading,

nothing to do with snowman, or any monsters, it's about Germans having sex with little boys, I don't like being mislead, if the the only way you can sell a book ,not from me anymore, don't buy this book, if you did return it,

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Took long enough...

The story was solid but, but the narrative wasn't in much of a hurry to get to the point. Also wandered around as if lost.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Dean
  • Henderson, MI, United States
  • 02-17-14

Wonderful Journey

If you could sum up The Abominable in three words, what would they be?

Wonderful historical reinvention

What other book might you compare The Abominable to and why?

Into Thin Air - A similar venture into the Mt Everest imagination

Have you listened to any of Kevin T. Collins’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

No. Excellent performance.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Yes. The perspective of it being told by someone that has passed away and wrote their story to be passed on to the author.

Any additional comments?

Brought tears to my eyes. Loved listening during my long commutes.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Not about the abominable snowman (yeti)

Would you try another book from Dan Simmons and/or Kevin T. Collins?

Undecided; his books are very long.

What about Kevin T. Collins’s performance did you like?

He did a good job with the German language and accents.

Any additional comments?

This book is about climbing Mt. Everest, not the abominable snowman (yeti).

1 of 1 people found this review helpful