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Paths of Glory

by Jeffrey Archer


In my opinion Jeffrey Archer is one of our foremost writers. He never fails to present his readers with a well-written, entertaining story. He is a fine storyteller.

Paths of Glory is based on the true story of George Mallory, an Englishman whose dream was to be the first man to reach the summit of Mt. Everest.

The story begins in 1999 when Mallory's body was discovered on Everest, 400 feet from the summit, leaving him possibly the first man to have reached the summit.

We are given long flashbacks of Mallory's childhood, his Cambridge days, his marriage, and his mountaineering adventures. He had always been obsessed with mountaineering. After marriage (it is a beautifully written love story), becoming a father, serving in World War I, and with an Australian rival, George Finch, he became leader of Britain's push to conquer Everest. His final attempt was in 1924 when he was last seen 400 feet from the summit. Evidence found on the recovered body in 1999 gives some clue as to whether he had reached the summit. It is left for the reader to decide.

This is a good read for anyone interested in mountaineering. The mystery is not just whether Mallory succeeded in his last attempt to reach the summit, but also why a man would risk his life for such an endeavor. The answer given has been "Because it is there."

The Book

St Martinís Press / Macmillan
March 2009
Historical fiction / Adventure [20th C England and Asia]
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The Reviewer

Barbara Buhrer
Reviewed 2009
© 2009