The Second Death of George Mallory. The Enigma and Spirit of Mount Everest. Hardcover – 2001
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Top Customer Reviews
Reinhold Messner was the first person to scale Mt. Everest solo and without oxygen giving him a place as one of the greatest mountaineers ever and a unique insight into the feelings that drove Mallory to fight to the end to summit Mt. Everest. It is with his new book " The Second Death of George Mallory" that Messner intends to pay tribute to the high ideals of Mallory and the death of those ideals in respect to today's mountain climbers.Read more ›
Despite losing his younger brother on his first notable Himalayan ascent, Messner went on to become the first man to scale all 14 of the world's mountains exceeding 8000 metres.
In 1980, he made the first solo ascent of Mount Everest without the use of bottled oxygen, and his feats in crossing Greenland and Antarctica on foot have made him the stuff of modern adventuring legend.
Yet he draws his inspiration from the man most notable for not making the summit of the world's highest mountain - English mountaineer George Mallory.
But did Mallory actually die on way down? It's a question that has fired the imagination of climbers worldwide, particularly since Mallory's body was found by an American expedition in May 1999.
Only the discovery of Mallory's camera will settle the argument, but Messner has made a quite extraordinary step toward solving the mystery himself in THE SECOND DEATH OF GEORGE MALLORY.
Using Mallory's own journals and letters, Messner recreates his two reconnaissance climbs, and his final, fatal 1924 assault on Everest.
But fans of Hollywood mountaineering blockbusters should not expect an adrenaline-fuelled page-turner filled with crumbling crevasses and rumbling avalanches - this is a nostalgic, bittersweet recreation of the mental challenge and constant heartbreak that are as much a hurdle for climbers as the mountains themselves.
In tracing Mallory's journey, Messner pays homage to the forgotten glory days of ``amateur'' climbing - when men challenged the mountain armed with little more than a pick, a sturdy pair of hobnailed boots and seven jumpers.Read more ›
It doesn't work. So many of Mallory's entries are left out that one misses the sense of having heard the whole story. Messner's additions do not really help to complete the story. In fact, if I hadn't already read a lot about Everest expeditions and Mallory's in particular in other books I would have had trouble following Messner's.
In addition, Messner does not really give the reader very much added information that might be useful. How about an in depth comparison of climbing clothing today versus then, altitude sickness and it's effects, dehydration issues at altitude, etc. Instead, he includes an entire chapter on the Chinese ascents of Everest which he fails to make even remotely interesting.
I'm sorry I wasted my time reading this, and am only happy I didn't waste my money too.
Most recent customer reviews
Messner's book on Mallory's attempts to climb Everest and his death on the mountain in 1924 takes a unique approach. Read morePublished on May 18 2004 by Steve Fast
I thought this book was terrible, and I was glad I checked it out at the library and hadn't wasted any money buying it. Read morePublished on Aug. 21 2001