Industrial Deals Beauty Oprah's Book Club STEM nav_sap_plcc_ascpsc Starting at $39.99 Grocery Handmade Wedding Shop Shop Popular Services _fof _fof _fof  Introducing Echo Show All-New Fire HD 8 Kids Edition, starting at $129.99 Kindle Oasis Trade it in. Fund the next. Shop Now toystl17_gno

There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

Showing 1-10 of 101 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 174 reviews
on December 10, 2011
I first read this book many years ago as a teenager and was enthralled by this story of adventure and tragedy in the exotic setting of the Himalayas. I had recently had the desire to re-read this exciting story and purchased the Kindle edition. The book was every bit as interesting and exciting as I remembered. The only flaw in the Kindle edition, although I have to consider it a serious one, is the lack of the many maps and photographs that were included in the original hard copy. The missing maps in particular made visualizing the descriptions of the expedition locations and routes almost impossible. For this reason alone I think it is worthwhile to hunt down a copy of the original hardback book.
11 comment| 62 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on August 13, 2012
While considered a mountaineering classic, "Annapurna", or Maurice Herzog's account of the first expedition to successfully climb a 8000 m mountain is more a story of the expedition as a whole rather than a detailed account of technical climbing - the reader expecting a few hundred pages of which pitons were used, etc, may be a bit disappointed. I enjoyed the wider account of the expedition and the challenges associated with actually finding Annapurna (or the original objective, Dhaulagiri) and identifying a viable route up in poorly mapped country while racing the clock against the monsoon season - although Herzog's account has the relatively dry detachment I normally associate with the British upper-class explorer of the past and does not always succeed in conveying the immediacy or drama of the expedition. His account of the final stages of the climb and the near-disastrous aftermath is more compelling, although it is only through reading other works that I have been fully able to grasp the risks involved or the challenges imposed by the clothing and equipment of the day. The reader should be aware that there are other accounts of this expedition that dispute Herzog's version of events, and like the other reviewers of the kindle edition I find the lack of maps a considerable weakness.

Overall, an interesting account of an undoubtedly demanding and heroic expedition, although the reader who is looking for a more vivid picture of mountaineering of the era will almost certainly get more out of The White Spider. Probably a 3 1/2 star book, and an edition with the maps restored would almost nudge it up to 4 stars.
0Comment| 5 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on July 4, 2016
This book was fascinating. Nepal is so remote. This book was published in 1950. One hopes the land is still as mysterious and beautiful. Maurice Herzog sacrificed a lot to realize his dream of climbing annapurna. He and his team were the first. Their equipment was in no way sufficient to protect them from the cold. They advanced on sheer willpower. And crazy.
0Comment| 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on September 10, 2016
This was a very interesting account of the 1950 French expedition to climb Annapurna. It was full of detail and adventure. Written by the leader of the expedition, Maurice Herzog, the account revealed that he was a topnotch leader and decision-maker and was innovative and bold. I thought it was a good read full of insights about the mentality of adventurers and mountaineers. They were brave and confident. This account was good at illustrating the mindset of people who will go on these adventures. It is everything the armchair adventurer wants in an account of adventure.
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on November 27, 2012
This book is a classic, and while many climbers say it inspired them to take up the sport, it cemented my long-held view to never, ever, under any circumstances, engage in mountaineering. I'm fine running the occassional mountain marathon, mind you, but climbing peaks like these is no less dangerous than it was when Herzog's team did it. In fact, you might say it's more dangerous, because it's a heck of a lot easier to get to the locations to put your life at risk, and the extreme tourism business makes it appear to be safer than it is.

This book is a good glimpse of all the stuff that can go wrong, and how a self-reportedly conservative risk-taker nearly got his entire team killed, and lost major chunks of his body in the process. Well worth the read, even with the creepy voyeurism described in the villages.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on November 16, 2016
A very interesting account of climbing done over 65 years ago. The true size of the countryside and the mountains themselves come into focus with the length of time that the expedition was hiking. The same is true for the time spent climbing. Also, the extensive use of Sherpas and others natives hired to carry equipment make one realize what a monumental task this was in 1950. The dangers of climbing are also realized and this is therefore a good read.
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on February 9, 2015
In some sense, reviewing this book is a bit vain... Few stories can hold a candle to Herzog and the French Alpine Club's conquest of Annapurna. So this review is more to encourage those either unfamiliar with the story, or who have not yet read Herzog's "pseudo-diary" recount of the beginning of the end of the unclimbable 8000m peaks.

Herzog is exceptionally well organized in his retelling of the tale. It is easy to follow and I felt like I was on the edge of my seat the entire book, even though I knew the ending before reading it.

One sidenote: I am both an avid reader of the genre, but also an avid mountain climber myself, and without the experience of reading other books, as well as practical experience, some of the terminology, equipment, etc., maybe a bit difficult to follow at times, but I think overall this does not detract from the read, and I suspect that most people looking to read this will already be comfortable with most or all of the terminology, etc.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on September 27, 2016
Read this as a high school student in the 60s. The fascinating thing was how much exploration had to happen before a decision could be made to climb Annapurna. The kindle version was disappointing because I recalled maps and photographs that helped the reader understand the difficulties and the adventure. The " after climb" struggles were as fascinating as the effort to make the climb.
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on July 15, 2016
Tells the true tale of a climbing party to Annapurna, written by the head of the expedition. It was well written and descriptive of all the hazards, especially how the lack of oxygen affects thinking and judgement. It was not as "gripping" as "Into Thin Air", but had its own sense of adventure, along with all of the risks involved, especially at that early time in mountaineering in the Himalayas.
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on November 7, 2014
As someone who loves reading about the conquering of high peaks, I've been aware of this book for years but had never taken the time to read it until now. I'm glad I did. Maurice Herzog's account of the first conquest of an 8,000-meter peak starts a little slowly as we read about the organization of the trip, the long walk in, and the preliminaries as an alternate peak are discussed and investigated. Once the team finally settles on Annapurna as its goal, the pace picks up, and so does the tension as the men race against the first monsoon of the season. In an unbelievable push, Herzog and his climbing companion reach the top but are caught out on the way down by a massive blizzard created by the monsoon. It's only then that we see the true human cost of such daring as the two men and two others sent out to find them are forced to overnight in the elements. The trip back to civilization then becomes a race against time as the two men who triumphantly stood on the top of Annapurna suffer through multiple amputations of fingers and toes as gangrene sets into their frozen extremities.

This is not a perfect book. As I said, it's slow to get started, and the trip out of the mountains drags a bit, too. Of course, Herzog's account has subsequently been challenged by some of the others on his team and other authors (David Roberts' "True Summit"), as well. While I haven't yet picked up any of the other books on the subject, I have done more research, and if nothing else, I would have appreciated it if Herzog had added an afterwards telling what subsequently happened to him and his companions.

Obviously, Herzog knew he had to move quickly to cash in on his moment of fame, and he did. Considering that it took another 20 years for a second conquest of Annapurna, it's a feat to be proud of, and a book worth reading.
0Comment| 3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse