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Customer Review

18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An interesting contrafactual, January 30, 2013
This review is from: Above All Things (Hardcover)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This novel is a re-imagining of what Mallory's last Everest expedition might have been like for him and Irvine, and how his wife might have reacted at home while waiting for news. Everest buffs will find it frustrating, since the account it gives deviates widely from what actually happened on the expedition: the description of attempts on the summit is quite different, as is the personnel involved. Various imaginary episodes are introduced to heighten the drama and the foreshadowing of the final outcome. It's perhaps unfair to object, since this is after all, a novel, and Rideout is entitled to add and subtract at will, but one is startled by the errors in geography, such as putting the Western Cwm on the north side of Everest (p. 55). Mallory is depicted as thoroughly and relentlessly heterosexual: his hobnobbing with the Bloomsbury Set is only briefly alluded to a couple of times. On the positive side, the novel is nicely paced and develops into a page-turner, especially at the end (will he make it?). But I didn't feel that it provided much insight into Mallory's character.
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Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Feb 4, 2013, 7:59:13 PM PST
Happy to vote for your review. I felt much the same frustration at the pointless alterations to fact, and I'm sorry to say that I did not share your view that the book was nicely paced. I took three times the length, alas, to say what you have so succinctly stated here.
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Location: Chapel Hill, NC USA

Top Reviewer Ranking: 4,303