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Moments of Doubt and Other Mountaineering Writings Paperback – October 1, 1986

4.7 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

David Roberts, Reader in German at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia, is coeditor of the journal "Thesis Eleven," He is the author of "The Indirections of Desire: Hamlet in Goethe's "Wilhelm Meister"" (1980) and other books.

Robbins is one of the most famous climbers in American history.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Mountaineers Books (October 1, 1986)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0898861187
  • ISBN-13: 978-0898861181
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #558,003 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This book of essays is one of the finest of its type I have read. They cover a time span from 1968 - 1986, and though most are on mountaineering, one of the best is on white water rafting. Mr. Roberts has divided the book into three sections: Adventures, Profiles and Reflections. I confess I wasn't looking forward to "Reflections." Most climbers are not at their best at "reflecting" on anything. They find it difficult to achieve that fine balance between false modesty and arrogance. Dave Roberts is a happy surprise. He pulls no punches and has a reporter's eye for the absurd. One of the intriguing Reflections, "Boulders and Gunks" compares young climbers in the mid-80's to youngsters of his own era, the late `60's.
In the Adventure section, "Rafting with the BBC" tell us the differences between the actual hair-raising exploit and what you see on the TV-sometimes funny, sometimes maddening. I have read other accounts of sponsorship by the BBC; it must be like finding out your roommate is a strong-minded elephant. "Kilimanjaro: A Third World Adventure" is a perceptive writing of a mountain, not often mentioned by climbers because it is not considered "difficult." Now, to you and me, the thought of climbing Kilimanjaro might be right up there with bull riding, but to climbers, "difficult" is something like K-2. Also, the only way the local government allowed you to climb was with a guide and as part of a group, a somewhat embarrassing outing for a world-class climber.
My favorite Profile "The Mechanical Boy Comes Back," is the story of Hugh Herr, a brilliant, but obsessed 18-year old climber, who with a friend became lost in the New Hampshire mountains and spent three days and three nights in the below zero temperatures.
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By A Customer on August 1, 2001
Format: Paperback
By chance, I started reading mountaineering literature with this book. I would recommend it to anyone, climber or not. It is the single best book I have found on the subject. Its only rival, in my opinion, is the volume combining Roberts' two memoirs of Alaskan expeditions, "Deborah" and "The Mountain of My Fear."
Roberts' prose is elegant and compact; his essays set an insightful standard to which no other climbing writer has risen. I have read most of them several times, and will read them again. I read other climbing books in the hope that I will find them as powerful as I did this book.
Royal Robbins did not design the book, of course, but he did write the introduction.
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I never can quite decide about Roberts. He's had a VERY adventuresome life full of authentic moments and enlightened all of us with his writing. But he falls into over-introspectiveness and whines at the slightest excuse. I'd read him anyway, and I have. The Pueblo Revolt was a wonderful book. Finding Everett Ruess wonderful. Comb Traverser whiney but a great adventure. (Try Ellen Meloy if you want someone who sings without faltering. She should have lived to be 150.) Roberts needed to move West and toughen up his writing, but still, worth reading his catalog...used.
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