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The discovery of George Mallory's body high on Everest stunned the world. Yet behind the headlines, investigative journalists Peter and Leni Gillman sensed there was far more to the story than whether Mallory had reached the top. How did Mallory reconcile his deep love for his wife and children with his dream of Everest? Why did he make his final attempt when he knew the o The discovery of George Mallory's body high on Everest stunned the world. Yet behind the headlines, investigative journalists Peter and Leni Gillman sensed there was far more to the story than whether Mallory had reached the top. How did Mallory reconcile his deep love for his wife and children with his dream of Everest? Why did he make his final attempt when he knew the odds were stacked against him? The Wildest Dream is an intimate portrait of a man torn between competing desires - and the fatal choice he ultimately made. Drawing on newly discovered documents and letters, and aided by members of Mallory's family, the Gillmans bare the heart and soul of the man behind the myth. --From the 2000 paperback edition.


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The discovery of George Mallory's body high on Everest stunned the world. Yet behind the headlines, investigative journalists Peter and Leni Gillman sensed there was far more to the story than whether Mallory had reached the top. How did Mallory reconcile his deep love for his wife and children with his dream of Everest? Why did he make his final attempt when he knew the o The discovery of George Mallory's body high on Everest stunned the world. Yet behind the headlines, investigative journalists Peter and Leni Gillman sensed there was far more to the story than whether Mallory had reached the top. How did Mallory reconcile his deep love for his wife and children with his dream of Everest? Why did he make his final attempt when he knew the odds were stacked against him? The Wildest Dream is an intimate portrait of a man torn between competing desires - and the fatal choice he ultimately made. Drawing on newly discovered documents and letters, and aided by members of Mallory's family, the Gillmans bare the heart and soul of the man behind the myth. --From the 2000 paperback edition.

30 review for Wildest Dream: The Biography of George Mallory

  1. 5 out of 5

    Sarah O'Toole

    I got totally lost in this book. George Mallory is far more than the man who may or may not have been the first person to climb Everest. In fact, that's one of the least interesting things about him and the wonderful thing about this book is that it makes you admire him for who he was in life, not for the feats that led him to his death. I'll even go so far as to say that the book is much weaker at the end when it goes into the circumstances of the Everest expeditions. We lose connection with th I got totally lost in this book. George Mallory is far more than the man who may or may not have been the first person to climb Everest. In fact, that's one of the least interesting things about him and the wonderful thing about this book is that it makes you admire him for who he was in life, not for the feats that led him to his death. I'll even go so far as to say that the book is much weaker at the end when it goes into the circumstances of the Everest expeditions. We lose connection with this wonderful man and we get a sense that the authors are trying too hard to become his apologists rather than just letting him breathe as he is throughout his story. In their very attempt to justify him, they become too visible, and he - an elusive character at the best of times - retreats into that famous mist as some kind of cypher of a hero. We don't need him to be perfect. Reading about his younger years, his vulnerabilities and humiliations, his ability to convert those into a huge appetite for life on all levels, his determination to live each day to its fullest, even when beating a retreat after being messed about by James Strachey (I don't think a debate on whether he was gay or straight is even relevant within the context of his time) and subsequently going on to channel all that into his climbing - all this is inspiring, above all his absolute love of beauty and ability to share that with his friends. I love the way this book depicts his relationship with his wife Ruth, the little glimpses his occasional pettiness and narkiness, and the way she puts him in his place are only more endearing and its a shame that the end of the book doesn't see this through. It mentions rather than conveys the rockiness of their last months before his final, fatal expedition and doesn't fully get across that tragic aspect to his death. Overall, however, you just feel glad that such a fine, principled, multi-faceted human being ever lived and privileged that you get to share in his life for a few days as you read about him. The ironic thing is that, if he hadn't died in such a way, would we ever have got to meet this person who has served as inspiration for so many?

  2. 4 out of 5

    Aldi

    In case my stream of flailing status updates didn't make it plain enough - I really, really loved this. My previous knowledge of Mallory's early life was sketchy at best, and these biographers did a fantastic job of putting the Everest legend into perspective, focusing on the life he lived, rather than the death that made him famous. And what an incredibly interesting life it was! I adored reading about his childhood and his adolescence and schooling, recounted seemingly without omissions but al In case my stream of flailing status updates didn't make it plain enough - I really, really loved this. My previous knowledge of Mallory's early life was sketchy at best, and these biographers did a fantastic job of putting the Everest legend into perspective, focusing on the life he lived, rather than the death that made him famous. And what an incredibly interesting life it was! I adored reading about his childhood and his adolescence and schooling, recounted seemingly without omissions but also without embellishment. It was particularly moving to learn more about his tangled relationships at Cambridge and the way he handled them, with an earnestness and depth of feeling that should surely have come across somehow cultivated but instead just seemed very raw and genuine. Those parts of the book provided such great insights into the character of a person who just seemed to always live a little more intensely, feel a little more deeply, than most people are generally comfortable with. I loved reading about his dealing with the Cambridge entanglements (especially the episodes involving the Strachey brothers) in a way that seemed largely unrelated to sexual identity and that much more about the way Mallory dealt with feelings in general: to go as far as he could, always, until there was not a scrap of doubt left that there could be no going farther (that final letter to James Strachey? Gave me a genuine lump in the throat). And I LOVED how that tied into his similar approach to climbing. It makes me believe more than ever that being who he was, he would not have turned back, that final day on the mountain, unless there was utterly no hope. The parts dedicated to his life with Ruth and their series of separations due to George's WW1 deployment and then later the three Himalaya expeditions were both heartrending and inspiring. It was lovely seeing more of their letters and getting a grasp on the loving and devoted relationship they had. I especially loved getting more of a complete picture of Ruth and how she was not just a meek loyal little housewife who waited around for him to come back but was also an utterly practical, kind and humorous person, with a strength of character all her own. And their exchanges (even when bickering over minor issues or dealing with more serious rifts like his constant absences) were so tender and earnest. It was just beautiful. On a related note, I really enjoyed how many Mallory quotes were worked into the book, so that as much as possible could be told from the man's own perspective. Not just about climbing, but about anything from literature to domestic matters to faith. He had a unique way of expressing himself, again characterised by that depth of feeling, that could not have been paraphrased and I'm very glad the authors chose to use his own words as much as they did. (Sidebar: With all those quotes readily available, I do wonder why there is even still controversy about some of the things he did and said, when there are pretty clear statements straight from the horse's mouth. Why did he pick an inexperienced 22-year-old to accompany him on a desperate final bid for the world's highest peak? Because aside from the mad skills with the oxygen sets, said rookie was "an ideal companion, and with as stout a heart as you could wish to find." Dude. What's left to wonder about??) As kind of a side effect of the very strength of the book (i.e. the focus on Mallory's life rather than his end), the account of the final Everest expedition got very little attention - actually too little, I felt. Obviously the man was not planning on becoming a tragic legend, and like I said before, it was wonderful to see homage paid to his pre-Everest life. But after such a richly detailed account, the very few pages that were spent on his final days and the 1924 expedition in general seemed almost rushed and notably lacking in the detail of the earlier parts. It dropped off really fast and wasn't terribly well wrapped-up; also, it seemed somewhat dismissive of Mallory's actual capability as a climber (for example, I really don't believe there's much basis for the assumption that George Mallory, with his decades of experience and his climbing style that was lauded as singularly elegant and powerful by every one of his mountaineering contemporaries, would not have been physically capable of climbing the Second Step, or that he would have turned back with the summit within reach). But I suppose there are other books that deal with the mountaineering aspect and go into every second and minutiae, backed up with a wealth of research. Even so, this book was an amazingly rewarding and emotional journey. For long stretches while reading it, I was so caught up that I actually managed to forget where it all leads. All the gold stars!

  3. 5 out of 5

    PennsyLady (Bev)

    what I expected to be an audio turned out to be a documentary. very impressive ...meeting Mallory and family and seeing a replication of the 1924 climb contrasted with Conrad Anker's 1999 climb. the discovery of Mallory's body was intriguing and the question of intact papers but no photograph.....hmmm The question, however, still exists...did he make it to the top, leave the photo of his wife and die on the descent....? ★ ★ ★ ★ My interest in GM is piqued. I'll read another account....perhaps Because what I expected to be an audio turned out to be a documentary. very impressive ...meeting Mallory and family and seeing a replication of the 1924 climb contrasted with Conrad Anker's 1999 climb. the discovery of Mallory's body was intriguing and the question of intact papers but no photograph.....hmmm The question, however, still exists...did he make it to the top, leave the photo of his wife and die on the descent....? ★ ★ ★ ★ My interest in GM is piqued. I'll read another account....perhaps Because It's There: The Life of George Mallory (Dudley Green) He was quite a compelling character.....

  4. 5 out of 5

    Velvetink

    Well researched biography, interesting to learn he was not only a mountaineer & climbed Everest but was in the Bloomsbury Set.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Clara Mazzi

    Cominciamo subito con lo sfatare un mito: la citatissima risposta di Mallory al giornalista americano che gli chiese perché volesse andare sull’Everest alla quale lui rispose: “Because it’s there.” Questa battuta (intesa nel senso inglese di “quote”, “line”) abbonda sulla bocca dei tanti, professionisti e no, sinceri appassionati o meri “posers” che vanno in montagna perché chi la cita è convinto che il suo significato sia insito nell’idea che scalare sia un qualcosa di effimero, di indefinito, Cominciamo subito con lo sfatare un mito: la citatissima risposta di Mallory al giornalista americano che gli chiese perché volesse andare sull’Everest alla quale lui rispose: “Because it’s there.” Questa battuta (intesa nel senso inglese di “quote”, “line”) abbonda sulla bocca dei tanti, professionisti e no, sinceri appassionati o meri “posers” che vanno in montagna perché chi la cita è convinto che il suo significato sia insito nell’idea che scalare sia un qualcosa di effimero, di indefinito, di puro (mero?) divertimento ma soprattutto senza che abbia uno scopo vero e proprio (ma coltivando in realtà internamente – e mica tanto solo internamente – il sogno inconfessato di diventare un grande in questo sport. Che si traduce poi in : “un gran figo” in generale). Tutti questi individui poi non mancano di aggiungere: siamo i “conquistatori dell’inutile” (ma, sanno chi lo diceva??) Tutti questi (fan, ovviamente dei vari Dean Potter, Alex Honnold, Adam Ondra, Steph Davis – cioè numeri senza alcuno spessore umano) non colgono (non lo sanno o non vogliono cogliere?) che quando Mallory la disse era semplicemente perché era all’uscita dell’ennesima conferenza del suo tour americano (che aveva anche l’intento di sollevare il maggior numero di soldi possibile per finanziare la terza spedizione all’Everest) ed era stanco. Stanco di sentirsi fare sempre le stesse domande, stanco di un pubblico che non era affatto così caldo come quello di casa (e che quindi non affollava le sale quanto lui e gli altri ne avevano bisogno), stanco di dover affrontare un’altra volta la grande decisione di lasciare sua moglie ancora una volta (prima per andare a combattere in guerra, poi per altre due precedenti spedizioni sull’Everest). Mallory, quella sera, stava attraversando un momento personale molto intenso: lui e sua moglie Ruth e i loro tre bambini avevano bisogno di soldi. Avevano bisogno che George trovasse un buon lavoro. La terza spedizione all’Everst, per la quale Mallory era molto posto molto sotto pressione (lo volevano a tutti i costi, sebbene lui avesse mostrato un certo distacco per le ragioni di cui sopra), se fosse riuscita, certo, sarebbe stata vincente su tutti i fronti: il compenso sarebbe stato molto buono e la notorietà che gliene sarebbe derivata, li avrebbe fatti vivere degli introiti delle conferenze, migliori dello stipendio di insegnante di Mallory. Ma se non ce l’avesse fatta, invece? Se fosse tornato a casa senza aver raggiunto la cima un’altra volta? Ecco, non farcela voleva dire sottoporre la famiglia, a cui era molto legato, all’ennesimo stress di separazione e a non riuscire inoltre a sanare i tanti debiti – per tacere di come questi due fattori stessero facendo cominciare a scricchiolare il loro matrimonio. Ecco quindi cosa intendeva Mallory con quel: “Because it’s there”: voleva tagliare corto. Lo dicono gli autori del libro ed è l’unico punto su cui mi trovano in accordo con loro. Per il resto si è trattato di un libro che non mi è arrivato. Scritto correttamente, per carità, ma non credo che gli autori si siano veramente immedesimati in Mallory (sono biografi di professione, sicuramente molto professionali e molto quotati a Hollywood da cui vengono spesso consultati come esperti, ma nulla più). Non credo neanche che gli autori siano esperti di montagna. Ne sanno qualcosa, certo, ma non sanno “veramente”. Quello però che mi ha dato veramente fastidio sono state due domande poste nel volume giudicate esistenziali al fine di cogliere appieno George Mallory che invece ho trovato ampiamente irrilevanti – se non addirittura offensiva (almeno la prima). Eccole di seguito: 1) Mallory era omosessuale o no? 2) Mallory ha poi veramente raggiunto la cima dell’Everest? La prima, che occupa un buon terzo del libro, è inaccettabile, già nel 2000 quando il libro era appena uscito. Sicuramente Mallory ha avuto una storia con un altro uomo (lo dicono le sue lettere) ma ritengo che questo sia non solo una questione personale, ma oltre a tutto non influisce minimamente su tutte le importanti scelte di vita e gli achievement di Mallory. E allora perché parlarne, chiedersi e poi scusarsi costantemente con la famiglia per tirare in ballo questa faccenda che a quanto pare mette in imbarazzo ancora oggi dei discendenti di Mallory? Gli autori potevano cogliere lo spunto per descrivere tanti intellettuali e artisti dell’epoca, molto famosi ancora oggi, che seppur omosessuali dichiarati erano tutti sposati con prole per non finire in galera. Si potevano esprimere in merito, su cosa ne pensassero loro e a questo punto, anche esprimersi sulla “pruderie” della famiglia. Invece, nulla: manco fosse un volgare giornale di gossip, presentano biglietti su biglietti per “dimostrare” alla famiglia che veramente, veramente non si può non accennare a questo pezzo di percorso della breve vita di Mallory... Pessimi! Mi è spiaciuto davvero molto che di un uomo così completo, così solare, così colto, si sia messo in rilievo una parte o un aspetto della sua vita così personale e così inutile ai fini di coglierne un suo ritratto. Mallory era laureato a Cambridge, un forte matematico, un appassionato educatore (non approvava minimamente il sistema delle boarding schools inglese che a suo avviso, minava la self esteeem dei bambini inviati troppo giovani), un sincero sostenitore della causa irlandese non che delle suffragettes; un uomo che nelle spedizioni portava i libri di Shakespeare o di poeti famosi e nelle fredde notti in tenda, quando non riuscivano a dormire, li leggevano e commentavano insieme. Ha intrattenuto poi con la moglie una corrispondenza intensa sia per numero di lettere che per spessore umano di quanto si scrivevano. Un padre affettuoso (quanto ha scritto anche ai suoi figli!). E allora? Che cosa importa davvero se fosse omossessuale oppure si sia trattato solo di “curiosità”? Insomma, mi ha davvero urtata tutta questa manfrina sull’argomento. Per quanto concerne la seconda domanda, direi che si commenti da sola, come la prima: ma è davvero importante?? Concludendo, questo libro ci riporta nel suo complesso un ritratto di Mallory abbastanza completo, che bene lo inserisce nei primi del Novecento, in un contesto intellettuale in grande fermento (vuoi perché dopo la morte della regina Vittoria, nel 1901, si sentiva il fermento di rompere tante barriere di perbenismo che erano imposte dal train à penser dell’epoca, vuoi perché la Prima Guerra Mondiale è arrivata in fretta, mettendo a repentaglio pensieri, economie, relazioni sociali). Ma un libro che sembra una ricerchina fatta da un liceale diligente. Non di più.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Tammy

    Mallory – the man who might have been the first to climb Everest... who mysteriously disappeared with climbing partner Sandy Irving in the clouds. Did they or did they not summit? The mystery remains. These are the things we know about Mallory...but not much more. It is surprising that one of the most famous mountaineers in history has been no more than a mere caricature – a one-dimensional character who climbs mountain “because they are there.” But authors Peter and Leni Gillman open the curtain Mallory – the man who might have been the first to climb Everest... who mysteriously disappeared with climbing partner Sandy Irving in the clouds. Did they or did they not summit? The mystery remains. These are the things we know about Mallory...but not much more. It is surprising that one of the most famous mountaineers in history has been no more than a mere caricature – a one-dimensional character who climbs mountain “because they are there.” But authors Peter and Leni Gillman open the curtain so that we can see the man. In fact, we don’t find Mallory on or near Everest until well over half-way through the book. Despite all the details about Mallory, however, he still feels vaguely one-dimensional to me. This, I suspect, is not the fault of the authors but simply reflects the reality of the man who disappeared on Everest that fateful afternoon on what he swore was his third and last expedition to Everest. Despite having spent time with the character throughout the book, his death feels strangely distant and anti-climactic. And so, in the end, the mystery remains.

  7. 4 out of 5

    John G. Engedal

    I don't know why I'm so drawn to George Mallory, but while reading this book I discovered that I'm not alone. It seems everyone he met took an instant liking to him. His undying spirit and true heart echoes far beyond his death and will continue to do so. I knew from the moment I learned of him that I had to learn more about him, and this book exceeded all the expectations I had for the man. The tale of his life is told well, filled with joy, spirit, surprise and love. One can't help but be inspir I don't know why I'm so drawn to George Mallory, but while reading this book I discovered that I'm not alone. It seems everyone he met took an instant liking to him. His undying spirit and true heart echoes far beyond his death and will continue to do so. I knew from the moment I learned of him that I had to learn more about him, and this book exceeded all the expectations I had for the man. The tale of his life is told well, filled with joy, spirit, surprise and love. One can't help but be inspired by George's courage when it comes to mountain climbing and his committed love to the stunning beauty Ruth Turner. They quickly became my favorite people. Highly recommended!

  8. 4 out of 5

    Duncan M Simpson

    Well written biography of George Mallory, investigating the life of the man who disappeared on Everest in 1924 with Irvine in an early attempt to climb the mountain, creating a mystery as to whether they ever made it to the summit. But this book concentrates on the story of the man, and the battle between his love for his wife Ruth and his desire for adventure and danger, during the war and then afterwards, in his climbing exploits. A wonderful book which brings to life the contradictions and to Well written biography of George Mallory, investigating the life of the man who disappeared on Everest in 1924 with Irvine in an early attempt to climb the mountain, creating a mystery as to whether they ever made it to the summit. But this book concentrates on the story of the man, and the battle between his love for his wife Ruth and his desire for adventure and danger, during the war and then afterwards, in his climbing exploits. A wonderful book which brings to life the contradictions and torments of the man.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Julie

    After reading a historical fiction version of his life, and seeing the new imax film, I read this biography to help straighten out the details of the story of George Mallory and the first British expeditions to climb Everest.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Vicky Hunt

    The Last Mountain in Sight ”Everest itself was the only mountain which we could see without turning our gaze downwards…” Nearing the end of yet another book about the expeditions to conquer Mt. Everest, there I sat aghast at the view before me. And, that is what draws a man to climb a mountain; as Mallory himself said before dying on Everest, because it is there, and because they can. This biography of Mallory was not written and published until 2000, after Mallory’s body was finally found only in The Last Mountain in Sight ”Everest itself was the only mountain which we could see without turning our gaze downwards…” Nearing the end of yet another book about the expeditions to conquer Mt. Everest, there I sat aghast at the view before me. And, that is what draws a man to climb a mountain; as Mallory himself said before dying on Everest, because it is there, and because they can. This biography of Mallory was not written and published until 2000, after Mallory’s body was finally found only in 1999. He’d made the fated attempt in 1924. That was his 3rd attempt, after the 1921 & 22 expeditions. His young 21 year old climbing partner, Irvine, has yet to be retrieved. Neither have any of the cameras they took on that last race for the summit been found, so we don’t know if they fell before or after reaching the peak. Since this biography was written so late, my opinion is that it has the same value of any secondary source of history. But, we do have the benefit of an archive of letters from the principal parties in those expeditions. So, it seems to be an accurate account and well-argued as to the debatable mysteries of Mallory’s life. I found the book to be more like two books, though it wasn’t too lengthy at all. In the first part of the book, the bigger half, Gillman spends much time (with small amounts of material to work with) trying to flesh out the man that Mallory was, and present some accounting of his personal life. He does this in a satisfactory fashion, but it really was not all that interesting reading. The last part was more of a travelogue, or accounting of George Mallory’s war career and the three expeditions to Everest. Much was included about his wife and children in this section, while the first half included more about his relationships as a young man. I was surprised after having read about the expeditions in the fifties, how poorly prepared they really were for such a colossal effort in the twenties. It was their efforts, after all, that paved the way with Science and geography that made the future successes possible. Ironically, where the debate in the fifties had been over whether to use open or closed system oxygen tanks, in the twenties they were debating whether to use oxygen at all, or if they could perhaps just climb the mountain on the power of their own lungs. This book is worth a read, only if you’ve read the stories of the successes in the fifties, and still have an interest in reading about Mallory. It is an inferior work to the primary sources of the actual men who climbed the mountain themselves. Of course, dead men tell no tales, except in the study of forensic science. So, this may be the limits of our scant knowledge of the early pioneering efforts of the brave first ascents. It contains small details about the men who were chosen for the climbs, and how choices were made. It tells of the difficulties with financial decisions. But, mostly, it endeavors to understand the psyche of the man George Mallory. I read it in a nice used hardbound edition, complete with original dustjacket as pictured. The other books I’ve read on Everest include the following (my review) links: Everest 1953: The Epic Story of the First Ascent by Mick Conefrey A 2nd hand account of all things Everest written in this century. The Ascent of Everest by John Hunt A primary source autobiography of the Expedition leader of the summiting crew High Adventure: Our Ascent of Everest by Edmund Hillary A primary source autobiography of the victors, one of the two men who first reached the top and lived to tell the story All three of these are better written and more interesting than this Mallory book. Of course each book has its niche post in the climb up the mountain, so there is something to recommend here for everyone. I suggest this book for those who are interested mostly in only a biography pointed at analyzing George Mallory in detail. If you are just going to read one Everest book, it probably shouldn’t be this one. There seems to be no audio edition. If you are interested in the Kindle version it is available at this link: Wildest Dream: The Biography of George Mallory

  11. 5 out of 5

    Robert

    Relegated to the ethereal legendary realm of Mount Everest, George Mallory embodies the mystique of his nemesis. Combine the magnetic allure of Mallory, the consummate mountaineer, with the unsolved mystery of whether he and Andrew Irvine were indeed the first to summit Everest in 1924 and you'll find yourself transported back to the time when the foreboding presence of Mount Everest beckoned the intrepid restless spirits of Mallory and Irvine. Highly riveting and intriguing, this exceptional bi Relegated to the ethereal legendary realm of Mount Everest, George Mallory embodies the mystique of his nemesis. Combine the magnetic allure of Mallory, the consummate mountaineer, with the unsolved mystery of whether he and Andrew Irvine were indeed the first to summit Everest in 1924 and you'll find yourself transported back to the time when the foreboding presence of Mount Everest beckoned the intrepid restless spirits of Mallory and Irvine. Highly riveting and intriguing, this exceptional biographical read won't leave you disappointed.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Peter Venus

    Quite possibly the best biography I have ever read. If ever a book managed to catch the charisma of an individual, this is it. I was more than a little in love with Mallory by the end and can understand how a man would follow him to his death.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Joe Rousmaniere

    Much too much discussion of sexual activities, otherwise a fine picture of this fascinating and accomplished man

  14. 5 out of 5

    Brodyn

    Best biographical book i have ever ever read ...Mallory as an artist, mountaineer, but love how it depicts the Victorian ethos ...the language ..exceptional read , exceptional writing. one of my favourite books ever.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Oshun

    Finished it and am adding a star to the four I had given it when I had read about a 1/3 of it. I cannot recall the last time I was so totally hooked by a dense and fairly scholarly book. (I am a notorious speed reader who will skim if a ponderous tome begins to go too slowly for me! And I did not skip a word.) It is well-written, well-researched, and thoroughly engaging and entertaining. It is serious without being solemn and funny without being either goofy or snarky. It tackles some of the mor Finished it and am adding a star to the four I had given it when I had read about a 1/3 of it. I cannot recall the last time I was so totally hooked by a dense and fairly scholarly book. (I am a notorious speed reader who will skim if a ponderous tome begins to go too slowly for me! And I did not skip a word.) It is well-written, well-researched, and thoroughly engaging and entertaining. It is serious without being solemn and funny without being either goofy or snarky. It tackles some of the more controversial aspect of Mallory's life and takes positions. I doubt that I know enough myself to take positions on most of those, but I respect the arguments that the authors used. Now I am hooked and have to read more Everest and George Mallory books over the next short period. Highly recommend to anyone who is interested in mountains, climbing, Everest, George Mallory, the Bloomsbury circle, or looking at interesting photos of beautiful men.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Eugene Miya

    I read this book when it came out and met Peter Gillman at Printer's Inc. in Palo Alto. Also present was Rick Millikan from Berkeley (one of Clare's sons, his brother is in OR). Rick was a pretty noted climber of his time. Gillman didn't realize that Clare Mallory married the son on a Nobel Laureate and one of the 3 principal founders of Caltech. I didn't realize this myself until his final notes that Clare married a physicist during WWII in Oak Ridge, TN (clearly working on the Manhattan Projec I read this book when it came out and met Peter Gillman at Printer's Inc. in Palo Alto. Also present was Rick Millikan from Berkeley (one of Clare's sons, his brother is in OR). Rick was a pretty noted climber of his time. Gillman didn't realize that Clare Mallory married the son on a Nobel Laureate and one of the 3 principal founders of Caltech. I didn't realize this myself until his final notes that Clare married a physicist during WWII in Oak Ridge, TN (clearly working on the Manhattan Project) killed in a climbing accident about '43-'44. And Rick was there to back this up. This was not in the book, but it's possible subsequent edits have fixed this. Clare at that time was retired in Santa Rosa, CA of all places. Rick and family were fully convinced that George summitted in 1924, which Anker did not believe was possible at that time.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Bsa

    A thorough investigation into Mallory's life and thoughts. The first half is - in lack of better words - rather boring and monotonous. You would need to be extremely interested in Mallory's life to find this part of the story interesting. As a result I abandoned the book for a while before picking it up again. If anything, the first half gives you a clear picture of the family dynamics during that period of time. But ask me about places, people and plans and it's all just a big blur. After a whi A thorough investigation into Mallory's life and thoughts. The first half is - in lack of better words - rather boring and monotonous. You would need to be extremely interested in Mallory's life to find this part of the story interesting. As a result I abandoned the book for a while before picking it up again. If anything, the first half gives you a clear picture of the family dynamics during that period of time. But ask me about places, people and plans and it's all just a big blur. After a while the story picks up speed and get far more entertaining. The accounts of all three expeditions to Everest and the correspondence with Ruth (his wife) makes for great reading and goes further than anything else I've read on the subject. In addition you are left with a much deeper understanding of who this man was, the people around him, the politics of early twentieth-century exploration and what it took to follow through with an epic idea in a time devoid of modern technology.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Olivia Wiggins

    I found this to be a very good bio on George Mallory or anyone that wants to know more about the turn of the century culture, and the motives to going to Everest. I especially enjoyed how many first accounts were used in the book, especially letters as evidence. Really put a different light as to why Mallory would go up for a last crack at reaching the top of Everest and why it was so important to do so. One of my favourite books on my shelf for sure.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Bev

    I've read several novels and another biography of Mallory, and this book does a fine job of filling in the gaps in this fascinating man's life story. It patiently follows his adventures and adds the perspectives of his wife and children about being in his shadow -- very worthwhile read. I've read several novels and another biography of Mallory, and this book does a fine job of filling in the gaps in this fascinating man's life story. It patiently follows his adventures and adds the perspectives of his wife and children about being in his shadow -- very worthwhile read.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Heather Marano

    AMAZING. I thought I knew him till I read this. You can't help but be even more amazed at what he and other mountaineers accomplished. I thought I'd read this book and not like him as a person but quite the contrary. AMAZING. I thought I knew him till I read this. You can't help but be even more amazed at what he and other mountaineers accomplished. I thought I'd read this book and not like him as a person but quite the contrary.

  21. 4 out of 5

    LOL_BOOKS

    HEY, MEME, READ ANY GOOD BOOKS LATELY? I WANT TO PUT SOME NEW BOOKS IN MY KINDLE. DO YOU LIKE BIOGRAPHIES? I ENJOYED THE WILDEST DREAM. IT'S ABOUT GEORGE MALLORY, BUT IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN WWI WRITERS OR ARTISTS LOTS OF FAMILIAR PEOPLE ARE INVOLVED. LOL EVERYONE LONGED TO TEST IT. HEY, MEME, READ ANY GOOD BOOKS LATELY? I WANT TO PUT SOME NEW BOOKS IN MY KINDLE. DO YOU LIKE BIOGRAPHIES? I ENJOYED THE WILDEST DREAM. IT'S ABOUT GEORGE MALLORY, BUT IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN WWI WRITERS OR ARTISTS LOTS OF FAMILIAR PEOPLE ARE INVOLVED. LOL EVERYONE LONGED TO TEST IT.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Abram

    this is an interesting review of George Mallory's life and in a way brings the legend down to earth. not much about his climbing more about the domestic parts of his life. this is an interesting review of George Mallory's life and in a way brings the legend down to earth. not much about his climbing more about the domestic parts of his life.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Frogeyland

    Wonderfully well researched and written...another book that was hard for me to put down.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Maria

    A well-written, well-researched biography. It presents a very wholistic picture of Mallory the man. Enjoyable, but only if you have a deep interest in Mallory. Not for the casual reader.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Terrie

    a good overview of M's life from start - liked the additional correspondence and closer details of the life a good overview of M's life from start - liked the additional correspondence and closer details of the life

  26. 5 out of 5

    Maryjmetz

    Excellent biography of George Mallory who did so much more than say "Because it's there." Excellent biography of George Mallory who did so much more than say "Because it's there."

  27. 4 out of 5

    April Thrush

    So much more than just a climber and an inspiration but his love for his wife is as strong as his love for the mountains

  28. 4 out of 5

    Kamala

  29. 5 out of 5

    Elpy Dee

  30. 5 out of 5

    Tali Galassi

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