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Saturday, March 28, 2009

Paths of Glory by Jeffrey Archer


George Mallory was a born climber. From a very young age he was obsessed with climbing whatever he could. He must have driven his poor mother crazy! As a young man, he nearly missed a college interview but didn't let a locked door deter him. He climbed up and over the wall and was accepted into the school. A later attempt to climb the Eiffel tower got him arrested. Fortunately, he soon turned to more appropriate things to climb.
George eventually became the leader of a group chosen to climb Mt. Everest. He made 3 attempts and on the 3rd attempt, lost his life. It is debatable whether or not he actually made it to the top and fell on the way down or fell before reaching the top. His body was found in 1999, and the photo of his wife that he had planned on leaving at the summit was not on him. For this reason, many believe that he may have been the first person to reach the top of Mt. Everest, because he made the attempt in 1937 and the first known person to reach the top was Sir Edmund Hillary in the early 1950's.
As you know if you read my blog, I love books based on history! I didn't know anything about George Mallory previous to reading this book and found him to be a very interesting character. I have read some of Jeffrey Archer's books in the past and liked them, although Paths of Glory was very different than his action-type novels that I had read previously.
I thought that Archer made a good effort in covering Mallory's life but would have liked more documentation. I really had no idea what was conjecture and what actually happened. The book was entertaining to read and very clean except for the 2 f-words on pages 156 and 159. Rated R because of those words.

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