34 of 34 people found the following review helpful
A terrific read and a literary classic,
This review is from: Mount Analogue: A Tale of Non-Euclidean and Symbolically Authentic Mountaineering Adventures (Paperback)
This is a terrific book even for those who are not into mountain climbing or the spiritual philosophy of Gurdjieff. Indeed, when I first read Mount Analogue more than 25 years ago--back in the days when I ignored introductions and back-cover blurbs--I took it for a surrealistic parody of the SciFi travel fantasies of Jules Verne and H.G. Wells. Part of its appeal for me lay in the way it connected my childhood interests in SF and Fantasy to my growing fascination with the high road of literary modernism. Like some armchair basecamp, Daumal's novel helped me to acclimatize myself before ascending to the loftier and more rarified air of The Magic Mountain and The Waste Land and Ulysses. But it's continuing appeal is that it is an absolutely gripping story, one that seizes you from the first page with all the tenacity of its half-crazed visionary hero Pierre Sogol, and doesn't let go for days and even weeks after you've finished reading it. Here, I think the translator, Roger Shattuck, deserves half the credit, for his English is a pleasure to the eye and the ear and to whatever it is in us that aspires to reach those sublime states where, like Daumal's narrator, we can say : "I ASSURE YOU THERE WAS FIRE AROUND US IN THE AIR!"
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