What’s it about?
The Himalayas, 1935.
Kangchenjunga. Third-highest peak on earth. Greatest killer of them all.
Five Englishmen set off from Darjeeling, determined to conquer the sacred summit. But courage can only take them so far – and the mountain is not their only foe.
As the wind dies, the dread grows. Mountain sickness. The horrors of extreme altitude. A past that will not stay buried.
And sometimes, the truth does not set you free.
This was our book club read for December and as we hadn’t read a ghost story I was strangely looking forward to being scared.
mmm well in that sense it was a tadge disappointing as it wasn’t scary at all. I’d had expectations of it keeping me awake at night or playing on my mind at other times of the day but it’s not that kind of ghost story. It is however very atmospheric and haunting in a sense that any place that that’s so white, silent, dangerous and desolate would be.
I appreciated the time that must have been spent on the research and the authenticity the book has, the historical aspects of climbing, the pain, the endurance, the equipment they had as this was all really interesting stuff. Some parts were even a little humourous; there’s a scene where they’re all taking tea at something like 15,000ft which seems somewhat absurd but so very British and of its time.
As I was reading I couldn’t stop picturing the movie Vertical Limit throughout even though that’s set in modern times but it just helped me visualise the difficulties and extremeness of the task they had set themselves.
Overall a good historical novel based on climbing but don’t go into it expecting to not be able to turn out the light at night – you’ll be fine!
As a side note, all the others in the group enjoyed the book also but comments were passed about the cost of the book (which was £10 on Amazon and someone paid £13 in Waterstones at the time of purchase in late November 2016).
Small print for info
No of pages: 240