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The Second Death of George Mallory. The Enigma and Spirit of Mount Everest. [Hardcover]

Reinhold Messner
2.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)

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Book by Messner, Reinhold

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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First Sentence
FIFTY YEARS AGO, when I was a young boy, my mother read to me about George L. Mallory and Andrew Irvine. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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Customer Reviews

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3.0 out of 5 stars A unique approach May 18 2004
Messner's book on Mallory's attempts to climb Everest and his death on the mountain in 1924 takes a unique approach. He combines Mallory's journal entries, writings of Mallory's contemporaries, Messner's own analysis of events, and reconstructions of Mallory's thoughts and post-mortem reactions to trends in mountaineering.
If you already know the history of Everest and the early British expeditions, this is an interesting book, as it discusses the context of Mallory and Everest. Of course, you get Messner's views on the matter, but it seems to me that in such a book, he is entitled to do this. If you want to know the history itself, read The Lost Explorer by C. Anker and D. Roberts or Everest by W. Unsworth (get the latest edition with many updates).
The writing/translation is crisp and interesting as well.
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By A Customer
Reinhold Messner is universally considered one of the greatest climbers who ever lived if not the greatest. When I asked for a copy of this book at the bookstore I was in, the clerk behind the counter replied to me "You know, Messner is God!" I was not taken aback. I have always been amazed at his abilities and determination. His sheer determinations are awe-inspiring. These qualities are not lost in his writings. I found this book to be very interesting and probing. Messner always raises the bar. I believe he did so in this book. Messner's talents do not restrict themselves to climbing. He is an excellent writer. This book is necessary read for anyone interested in George Mallory and Sandy Irvine. Sadly, I do not believe they reached the summit. I am sorry that they did not. However, that is an unpleasant fact. Until proven otherwise. Tenzing Norgay and Sir Edmund Hillary (not Sir Edmund Hillary alone) reached the summit together. This does not take away from George Mallory by any means. He, if truth be told, was a noble but inconsistent man. His inconsistency is generally considered to be his choice of Sandy Irvine who in time had he lived might have conquered the mountain. However, his experience was inadequate for the task. However, we may never really know what happened. Did Mr. Mallory fall or did Mr. Irvine? At this point, most evidence points to Mr. Mallory falling on the mountain. However, no one knows why. In my opinion, Mr. Messner's book is a real page-turner.
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1.0 out of 5 stars The worst book on Mallory ever written Nov. 9 2001
Quick. Who was the first to climb Mt. Everest? If you answered Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay in 1953 then you stayed awake in class. But what your teachers did not tell you was that Mt. Everest may have been climbed in 1924 by George Mallory and Andrew Irvine during the last of the three British pre war expeditions. Last seen about 800 feet from the top they disappeared into the mist and into legend. Mallory was considered the finest British climber of his day and Mt. Everest was seen as his mountain. No climber has personified Mt. Everest as Mallory and his desire to conquer the summit is legendary. The mystery of whether Mallory and Irvine summited Everest in 1924 has endured for over 75 years and reached a climax when in 1999, Mallory's body was found at about 27,000 feet on the north side of Everest. This find and the ensuing speculation as to his and Irvine's fate has fueled countless books by everyone involved and some not so involved. The find has not solved the mystery and the debate still rages on. As I write this review there is now an expedition on Everest to find Irvine and the camera they were known to have taken with them. Images found in the camera could prove the pair made the summit before perishing.
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.
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2.0 out of 5 stars messner's mallory Oct. 15 2001
There is no doubt Reinhold Messner knows mountains.
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.
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