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Esau Hardcover – Large Print, May, 1997
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Forget Everest. The most dangerous peak in the Himalayas is Machhapuchhare, considered so sacred that the Nepalese have banned all climbers. And no wonder, as American mountaineering ace Jack Furness discovers after an illegal entry--this is where the Yeti, a.k.a. the Abominable Snowman and Bigfoot, makes his home. Sure to be a major motion picture, this latest from the author of The Grid is an exciting if somewhat predictable (Furness's lover just happens to be a world-class paleoanthropoligist, for example) story of action, political intrigue, and moral ambiguity high above the clouds. If you don't recognize the title's source before Kerr reveals it, you've never heard Alan Bennett's hilarious "My brother is an hairy man" sermon.
From Publishers Weekly
British author Kerr follows The Grid with an accomplished hybrid of science and Spielberg, in which readers journey to a pristine, mystical locale high in the Himalayas. Jack Furness, America's greatest mountain climber, is the only survivor of an ill-fated?and illegal?assault on Machhapuchhare, a huge peak considered holy by the Nepalese. He returns to the U.S. and presents his former lover, paleoanthropologist Stella Swift, with a hominoid skull he found in an ice cave on the mountain. The skull turns out to be not a fossil but the remains of a yeti?more popularly known as an Abominable Snowman. Stella and Jack quickly assemble an expedition whose nominal purpose is fossil-finding on a neighboring mountain, but whose real purpose is to trap a yeti in order to advance both science and their own glory. What they don't know is that the Pentagon has an interest in this region as well, and has inserted a secret agent into the expedition. The daredevil feats of the mountaineers, the impossible cold and the endless miles of glacier and snow in the little-visited Annapurna Sanctuary make this novel a marvelous armchair travelogue, but it's far more: a complicated yet visceral thriller in which monsters, human and otherwise, roam the earth and hunt each other. Convincing scientific and technological detail will have readers believing easily in yetis and other wonders of the world's highest mountains; they will even forgive the unabashed sentimentality of the ending. Kerr manages his large cast of characters with a sure hand, while the plot gathers speed and power like a Himalayan avalanche. Rights (except electronic): A.P. Watt.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Top customer reviews
Speculation on evolution and the origin of humans comes from the author’s hard research and a bibliography of scientific experts. A mix of nationalities in the expedition, and their conflicting personalities, add to the tension.
The science is, if anything, worse. The author repeatedly mentions the immunological approach used by Sarich and Wilson to study the evolution of humans and other animals, often ignoring the fact that this techniq! ue has long-since been superseded by the more accurate meth! ods of analyzing DNA molecules directly. Maybe it is just as well, because when he does discuss the use of these techniques, he garbles it, as if he has got the words but not their meanings. Perhaps the worst science is the basic premise that a tiny band of yetis survives in a miniature shangrai-la that all the Himalayan explorers, mountaineers, and Sherpas have failed to locate. The population of yetis and the plants and animals of their pocket paradise is so small as to guarantee extinction long ago, and the semi-tropical ecosystem somehow manages to exist at an altitude many thousands of feet too high.
Too bad that Kerr, or the publisher, didn't have this book previewed by a molecular anthropologist and a mountaineer before publication. Judging from the reviews in amazon.com and in the book, a lot of people think they are reading about science and mountaineering in a book that should be labeled fantasy.
....... Jack and Stella quickly organize an expedition to return to the ice cave. However, unbeknownst to the team leaders, an intruder has entered their academic enclave. The Pentagon, desperate to locate a lost satellite that crashed in the region, has slipped one of their players on the team. The mole's assignment is to find the satellite at any cost. India and Pakistan are ready to open up the nuclear genie at each other. With the homo sapiens world falling apart around them, Jack and Stella plunge into the world of the abominable snowman.
........ This may be the best thriller of the year so far. Not only does a remote section of the Himalayas feel as if the reader is watching the Travel Channel, but the fast-paced, action packed story line speeds faster than an Olympic downhill skier. Philip Kerr has reached the top of the mountain with ESAU, a great tale.
Most recent customer reviews
This fantasy is a semi reasonable fictional account of the search for a Yeti
or abominable...Read more