- File Size: 872 KB
- Print Length: 286 pages
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publisher: Pinnacle Editorial Press; 3 edition (January 4, 2014)
- Publication Date: January 4, 2014
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B009R2BBN2
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,217,334 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
The Only Genuine Jones (Tales of Ice and Iron Book 2) Kindle Edition
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Top customer reviews
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I read The Only Genuine Jones as a novel, and it stood up well to that classification.
We are transported to Victorian London (and Wales. the Lake District, Scotland and the Alps) by a writer who knows his period, his characters, his settings (above all) and his idiom. I learned of climbing techniques not accepted by the conservatives and used by the young Turks of the climbing establishment; I joined the protagonist, OJ Jones in inns frequented by climbing men (and women) with rows of ice axes in the lobby, roaring log fires and stories of ice faces and rock chimneys.
The writer is confident enough to describe lochs, hills, mountains and highland villages with a delicacy that made me want to up sticks, do a John Buchan and head for the Highlands.
It was all enormous fun. Add to that Aleister Crowley, the north face of the Eiger, murder and mayhem; really, what's not to love? It's a fine winter read. I cannot recommend this book enough.
The story isn't all blow-by-blow accounts of accents, however. There is a good deal of the social history of the times as the book deals with the fact that wealthy gentleman climbers and talented, poorer people were able to climb together in friendship. The mountains are great levellers. There are dodgy business dealings here, patent-stealing, double-crossing, potential polygamy, murder - and all this, with added mountains! Alex Roddie's writing is elegant and accessible and the story reaches a gripping climax. I found this book enthralling.
I won't give away plots and endings and stuff but the book is a cracker. Think Nigel Tranter for the modern reader. History brought to life in a most pleasing way, especially for the mountaineers among us. Something just felt right as I `met' Collie and Raeburn at the hotel in Fort William on their way to a meet on the north face of `The Ben'.
Alex's style brought the scenes to vivid life and I could imagine being there, right then, mingling with the greats. It was then I realised I could really enjoy this book. In fact I actually got really excited when it became evident they'd have to sit out a storm on the summit of The Ben. Not in a modern bivvy or mountain tent. Or even call up the rescue (for this is the 1890s) but dig their way INTO the observatory!
What a brilliant idea to write the observatory into the story. Fantastic descriptions of the inside, even down to the layers of snow against the buried windows (I won't spoil the surprise!). I could imagine bedding down for a few days well away from the rest of the world.
Of course, being more than a nod to the mountaineering genre, there are fair chunks of the book that describe the climbing action but they're not in the same vein as the dedicated tomes. Where the original protagonists describe their ascents blow by blow, hold by hold and wound by wound. In the Jones book, the action is condensed into just enough descriptive space to set the scenes but keep the story moving along.
I loved the philosophical side of the book with gems such as:
"As with all troubles, the best cure was an encounter with the mountain"
and the description of an evening encounter between Jones and his romantic objective in 1890s Glencoe was superb. I could `hear' the lack of traffic! The whole scene left me in a warm glow, with passages such as:
"As the sun sank, the light softened. Shadows lengthened on the spur of crag jutting down from Sgorr nam Fianaidh. The Aonach Eagach's crest caught a golden ray for a few seconds before fading like a blown-out candle."
As Jones contemplates the next day's possible first ascent we see what he sees from the deserted cart track that snakes through the glen, long before the A82 bites and snarls:
"Eveywhere Jones looked, the landscape whispered legends of climbers who had gone before him, and promised a lifetime of adventure for all those who would discover this magical place in the centuries to come. The stories would never come to and end."
The finale is a gripping showdown on the Eiger `mordwand' and as ever, the physical descriptions of the climbers are incredibly vivid, especially in the ice cave where the two main characters are to meet. And yet again Alex's philosophical style pauses the action for a second or two, to make you think. Wonder:
"She wondered if this was what death would be like: an awareness that existed in this place for the rest of time, as her body melted into the mountain and her spririt became part of the creaking and groaning of the Eiger."
I'm thoroughly glad I read this book. It's been a long time coming I think. That mix of historical fact and lively imagination coupled with a deeply philosophical vein that Alex mines superbly. The evening in Glencoe will stay with me for a long time and I'm sure I'll look on the old place in a new light the next time I'm up on those crags.
I'm not a mountaineering fan (I'm far too lazy for that sort of endeavour!) but I have always enjoyed the sight of mountains and this book takes you on a stunning tour of the best in Britain and then to the Alps.
The story takes place at the start of a revolution in mountain climbing, new techniques and equipment is opening up new routes and challenges. At the centre of this is the only genuine Jones a champion of this progressive movement in mountain climbing. His rival Aleister Crowley is of a similar ilk, but of a much darker disposition. The story unfolds in a thriller that is both well constructed and finely written.
More than a story thought this book is an adventure, it takes you to beautiful places that you know existed, but then you see them with new eyes. The author does a remarkable job of guiding you both through the mountains and the act of climbing. He does so with confidence and while not afraid to include the more technical aspects he does so that it comprehensible to the layman.
The author also invokes the period (the late 1890's) with a subtle understated style, using the characters and their interactions to show the attitudes of the period. Overall this is an excellent read, don't let the mountain scare you off, instead face the ice wall and the author guide you to the exciting conclusion. Great stuff!