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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."

So there.

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
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on November 23, 2010
I was a little bummed to discover this was a short story and not a novel. Oh well. At least it was a decent read. I live for stories about cryptozoology and I enjoyed this one; although it focused more on historical fiction than the Yeti, the story was well-written, clever, and held my interest throughout.
I have also purchased and enjoyed this author's full-length book 'The Valley', another great creature story, for less than two bucks. If you're into critters, you'll probably like it.
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on November 15, 2010
I really enjoyed Abominable, great story, first I've read by this author and will be buying more by him. It was a novella length or short story, once I started couldn't put it down until I finished. Reminded me of the creature features I loved growing up, just a good ole monster tale, and cleverly told. A lot of fun and well-written.
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on January 19, 2011
This past weekend I was looking for something quick and fun to read. Something of my choosing that I wanted to simply enjoy and not have to worry about writing a review for (and yes, this is a review, but one of my choice, not because I was asked to read the book) or proofing for errors. So as I was browsing Amazon to find something to fit the bill I came across William Meikle's novelette, ABOMINABLE. After reading the description and glancing at the reviews, I quickly started to read it. And boy, am I glad I decided on this one!

ABOMINABLE recounts the doomed ascent of Mount Everest by George Mallory and Andrew Irvine. Set in the 1920s, one man's desire to be the first to ascend Mount Everest drives him to push himself and his team to the brink. However, as they near their destination, they begin to discover signs that indicate they are not alone in this remote, desolate region of the world. Fear overcomes the camp, and soon they will encounter something that is simply...abominable.

I'm not going to lie: I flat out had fun reading this story. Meikle's writing is smooth and the story flows nicely throughout. I was sucked in from the first couple of pages and couldn't stop reading. While Meikle is known as a writer of "pulp," don't be fooled. He is a very talented wordsmith and a most-capable storyteller. The formatting was nice in this e-book, with no real issues that I came across. My biggest complaint is that I wanted more! It's the type of story you don't want to see end and Meikle's writing keeps the reader wanting more.
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on January 18, 2011
Having seen repeated references to William Meikle as a "master of pulp," I couldn't help but give him a try. What I found with Abominable wasn't really something I would throw under the Pulp heading, but that isn't at all to its detriment. At times calling a resemblance to Michael Crichton's Eaters of the Dead in its drawing of true historical fact and style into an increasingly fictional tale, Meikle's tale is more Harold Lamb than Robert E. Howard, and Abominable runs with that. Set during the famous trip up Everest, Mallory leads us along the trek in his own words, reaching the top and a surprising discovery. I found that, instead of building dread of the fated finding of the titular character, I felt more anticipation, looking forward to seeing how this would all play out. All in all, Meikle's take on the yeti was fun, satisfying, and a trip that has left this reader sure to pick up more by this author.
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VINE VOICEon January 21, 2011
If it took me 1/2 hour to read, that's only because I got interrupted part way through. This was short and sweet, and a blast to read! The style is engaging, even though it's told from 3 different points of view. This was so much fun, and I'm glad I bought it.
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on July 26, 2011
Great premise: weaving horror and history to create a truly thrilling and chilling adventure. I found the interjections of the "seller"'s dialogue to feel a little contrived and unconvincing, but this story otherwise had me spellbound. Read his novel "Berserker" as the second story... even better. Sword and Sorcery and horror fans, these stories are spot-on.
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on June 18, 2011
I went into this book expecting little but I quite enjoyed it in the end. It's very short - more a novella than a novel for sure. With that said, I found it fast paced and entertaining. The story was reasonably clever with a great mix of action and adventure. The fact that I'd watched a documentary on the Mallory expedition a few weeks earlier was just icing on the cake.
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on July 16, 2011
I love a good monster story, and Abominable delivers building up the suspense to a riveting and dynamic climax of blood and fury. Told like a good campfire story, the author leaves you wanting more, which is usually a very good thing. Great little yarn.
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on November 8, 2012
Meikle has a talent for taking historical events, landmarks, characters from fiction and folklore and giving them his own unique twist. He continues this trend with 'Abominable' which charts the events of a real-life 1924 expedition to reach the summit of Mt. Everest. Naturally, Meikle takes these events and throws a Yeti in there to run amok!

Adopting a partially epistolary style, Meikle instills in his protagonists a quintessentially British stiff upper lip that seems entirely appropriate for the characters rooted in the Georgian era.

As with other tales I have read by the same author, the pace doesn't let up. Meikle takes you in to the world he has created and makes you believe all that he writes. Perhaps he subscribes to the idea that the best way to tell a lie is to hide it in the truth since the author's twist on real-life events is not so far fetched when one considers that entire businesses flourish on the study of cryptozoology.

First and foremost, 'Abominable' is entertaining! This is indeed a short story and didn't take me long to read but I did not begrudge parting with a few pennies for the experience.
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