Saturday, October 10, 2009
"Paths of Glory", by Jeffrey Archer
This tale supports the theory that mountain climber George Leigh Mallory may have been the first man to reach the summit of Mount Everest during his second expedition in 1924.
Written with vivid imagination, Mr Archer relates the life and some of the events surrounding this historical man. From Mallory’s infancy, up to his dark experiences in the trenches of the First World War and on to those two famous expeditions which ultimately brought him to the Himalayas.
The story is very dramatic but we won’t find any twists of faith as the outcome has left many unanswered questions from the start. When Mr Mallory’s body was found in 1999 some facts where discovered that opened many new scenarios. The whereabouts of his climbing partner Mr Alexander Irvine is still an unsolved mystery.
This is not a conventional biography; it reads more like a movie script, broadly covering the facts, simplifying and embroidering events. It ends with a moving memorial service and a post 1924 update of family and followers.
I enjoyed “Paths of Glory” for its simplicity and its entertainment. It is a great story one hard to put down. For those wanting a more precise account of these two heroes, there are many other resources.