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A Good Read!
on November 19, 2010
I purchased and just finished reading William Meikle's short story "Abominable" which is the tale of the 1924 expedition of Mount Everest by George Mallory and Andrew Irvine. A short story.
Willie, if you are reading, please stop now so I can talk about you behind your back(wink).
Okay? You gone?
Probably not. As a species, all writers are innately curious. Alright, (finger wagging) read on if you must.
Anyway, I'm no great reviewer, so let me get that out of the way right away. I can appreciate a good short story, however, as I know that one only has so many pages to work the magic. It's hard to write a short story, and an art onto itself.
In "Abominable," however, Meikle conjures up a believable tale of admiration, survival, and monsterish-ness.
In "Abominable," Meikle writes in the first person, utilizing three different voices. I was smiling after the first few pages. As far as I could tell (and my memory of the climb is a little, um, fudgy), he keeps his story based in the known facts of Mallory's and Irvine's climb, and extrapolates what might have happened--or dare I write--did happen (see--he's got me believing) on Everest's snowy heights. The tale is told in a 1920's prose, and gives a short but believable look into the characters of Mallory and Irvine. His characterization of Mallory is particularly well done, generating a sense of awe of the man's climbing ability. I also felt a little sad at Irvine's stark acceptance of his eventual fate, and his attempt to leave an account of what finally befell him and Mallory. The little details were well done, and I particularly liked how William made mention of items that have fueled speculation over whether or not the pair of mountaineers actually reached the top of Everest (okay, right, so I wikipediaed the details ). Those little drops of realism were like pearls, and they made the story shine.
The last three lines made me smile. Any tourist will appreciate them.
I enjoyed this read. I did. It was well written and enough of a taste that I'll probably go and pick up (okay--download) the author's latest offering "Berserker," which looks very readable. I also think that anyone having read Dan Simmons' "The Terror," which is another historical mystery (the arctic expedition of 1845-48 to penetrate the Northwest Passage) having its fate illuminated in a fictional light, will like "Abominable."
I'm spent. I'll probably post this review on my blog as well.
It'll give my mom a pleasant change of pace Wink