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Comment: Retired library book but in Very Good Condition! Very minor wear to Dust Jacket. Library sticker and withdrawn stamp inside first page otherwise no other Library marks. Inside pages are very clean, did not notice any writing or highlighting. Ships From Amazon. Eligible for FREE Super Saving Shipping! Next Day Shipping also available.
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The Abominable: A Novel Hardcover – October 22, 2013

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Even Jake Perry, the fictional travelogue author Dan Simmons meets in his latest novel, jokes that his reader may not make it through this endless stack of notebooks. But lovers of Simmons&'s blend of alternate history, mystery, and myth will appreciate this three-act thriller set in the interwar years. Young American alpine climber Jake is invited on a recovery mission to find Percival Bromley, a British lord who vanished on Mt. Everest. Much of the novel is devoted to the strategies and techniques of mountain climbing as it was developing in the 1920s, and Jake, his friend Jean-Claude, and team leader Deacon spend a lot of time rubbing elbows and comparing gear with real alpinists of the era. But amid the wash of detail, Simmons plants crucial facts and conjectures about early-20th-century Europe that won&'t pay off until Jake and his party are nearing the top of the world. Can murder and carnage be fully explained by the evil of men? Is a supernatural threat looming over the expedition? As usual, Simmons doesn&'t answer all the questions he&'s raised when the mysteries surrounding the loss of Percy Bromley are resolved, but his fans, like Jake, are sure to enjoy the journey. Agent: Richard Curtis, Richard Curtis Associates. (Oct.)

From Booklist

Simmons, in this thematic cousin to The Terror (2007), once more plunges into a storm of snow and ice, this time tackling no less than Everest. It’s 1924, and a trio of rogue climbers—mysterious WWI vet Deacon; emotional Frenchman Jean-Claude; and our narrator, brash young American Jacob—are hired to find the corpse of a dignitary lost on Everest. While they’re there, they go for the legendary summit. Right away, there’s a complication: a fourth team member, the dead man’s cousin—and a woman, no less! But it’s the subsequent complications that make this required reading for anyone inspired or terrified by high-altitude acrobatics: sudden avalanches, hidden crevasses, murderous temperatures, mountainside betrayals, and maybe—just maybe—a pack of bloodthirsty yeti. Though the first 200 pages of climbing background might have readers pining for the big climb, it is nearly always interesting, and, later, Simmons excels at those small but full-throated moments of terror when, for example, a single bent screw might mean death for everyone. Exhausting in all the best ways; maybe read this while it’s still warm out? --Daniel Kraus

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 672 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company; 1st Ed edition (October 22, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316198838
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316198837
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1.8 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (171 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #181,044 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Very detailed, for some readers, too much so.
William G. McQuaig
Finally, I would like to say that this book is the most unimaginative drivel that I’ve ever had to waste 663 pages of reading on.
Timothy Pecoraro
Excellent story, the author does a great job of intertwining fact and fiction.
Matthew Hoffman

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

54 of 62 people found the following review helpful By T. Edmund on October 13, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
In The Abominable Simmons creates an almost believable tale of a young climber Jake Perry. A gentlemen who Simmons claims to have received a manuscript of his adventures and simply 'tidied' it up a little. Of course while the physical and photographic evidence was misplaced, the story itself is intact...

And what a story.

Certainly not for the impatient or time-strapped, Abominable is an extremely slow build. More like classic literature with lengthy descriptions and gradual attachment to the characters, this book is actually pretty charming. The action picks up in Part III and doesn't let go until the slightly rambling post-climatic epilogue.

Present are Simmons' bold, beautiful an brutal prose and imagery. While I heard more about climbing than I ever wanted to know, the author has done brilliantly bringing Everest vividly to life and making the characters fallible and lifelike to the reader

My only criticism of the book is that it is simply too ambitious, between Simmons/Perry's fawning over authorly procedure and Simmons' slightly too elaborate re-write of history it just doesn't work as and attempt to pass off as real.

In summary, this book is not a quick read, and while I enjoyed the journey immensely it is easy to see a casual reading struggling to maintain interest.
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29 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Manzikert on February 18, 2014
Format: Hardcover
I came to this expecting as others clearly did - and which the artwork strongly hints at - something similar to The Terror, a truly brilliant and original historical//horror novel, weaving mysticism, mythology and horror with excellently researched facts of the ill fated 1840s Franklin expedition, in a terrifyingly atmospheric tale of doomed, stranded men being picked off at will by an unseen entity amidst the desolate, frozen wastes of the unforgiving Arctic. Instead, The Abominable turns out nothiing like it; the first 400 pages are an exhaustive and frankly very tedious detailing of mountaineering techniques and methods of the 1920s as our heroes prepare for an Everest challenge to find the lost remains of a previous expedition that went missing. It's not until around p.500 that the action gets going although we are given some early hints of what the threats might be.

Without wanting to spoil the story, you find yourself thrown into a totally implausible political thriller complete with crude, comic book national stereotypes and caricatures: an insanely brave, eccentric Frenchman with silly accent; a stiff upper lip Brit; a beautiful Anglo-Indian heroine; and of course a group of ruthless and brutal pantomime Nazi villains in hot pursuit. Last of all, our insipid narrator, who's character development never gets to Base Camp, and who seems to do very little throughout the book except get sick and become incapacitated as an excuse for the writer to give us endless details of the causes and effects of altitude sickness.
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24 of 29 people found the following review helpful By TopCat19 on December 1, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Well, this is my second Dan Simmons book, after "The Terror", and I have the same reaction, a good author, a good story, but at the same time, there is something in the story that really bugs me. In this case, it is the length of the book, waaaay too long. I'm not afraid of a long novel, heck, my favorite work of fiction is the Lord of the Rings trilogy, and I love long books like Stephen King's The Stand. But so much of this seemed unnecessary. Page after page of a side trip to do a climb to do a test? So much that really didn't add anything to the story. By the end, I was wondering if maybe he was getting paid by the word, which would explain much.
SPOILER ALERT, SORT OF: This story is almost bait and-switch. From the title, the cover art, the synopsis, you are led to believe that the Yeti will play a significant role. Nope, just a cameo appearance, and even then it's just a few paragraphs, and then uncertainty as to whether it was really Yeti or not.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Timothy Pecoraro on January 21, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
As a writer you are taught a few things right off the bat. Things that publishers and editors will never deal with. Things such as too much exposition and a plot that moves too slowly to engage the reader. Also, you are taught that if you promise the reader something you had better make good on your promise. It is the idea of Chekov’s gun, “If you put a gun on the mantle piece in act 1, you better fire it at some point.”

I would like to submit to you, my fine reader; that Dan Simmons has actually made every single one of these mistakes as well as a few more in Abominable. An aptly titled work, not for the story but for the quality of it. I will begin by telling you that under no circumstances would I recommend reading this book and I was not furnished with it by the publisher. So I’m $12 in the hole here. I’m hoping to make sure you aren’t. There will be SPOILERS and I try not to do this but in this case it is necessary so. If you don’t want to be spoiled, then STOP READING THIS REVIEW NOW! But if you are going to follow my advice and not read the book or you don’t care about spoilers please continue.

The first problem I have with this book is simple. It is TERRIBLY BORINGLY LONG! The book wears out it’s welcome while talking about Alpine style mountain climbing circa 1925 for the first 400 pages! Yes, you get to read about how they did it in old days for 400 glorious pages. Thanks Mr.Simmons, but no thanks. This I might have been able to muster if the work then, around 429 didn’t tantalize you with stories about yetis only to drop the subject completely only a couple of pages later.
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