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Book Reviews

Book Review: The Boys of Everest by Clint Willis

Book Review on the Boys of Everest by Clint Willis

Imagine writing a chapter with multiple fill-in-the-blanks, copying it 20 times and using a computer program to insert names, dates and location in the relevant positions. That is what this book reads like. Case in point, the author repeats himself on at-least three occasions, describing three seperate crevasse falls in three seperate locations as “..his legs dangled above the void like an insects”. Although the book is a comprehensive alamnac of Chris Bonington’s expeditions and climbs, the author in his afterword section acknowledges that he only spent 2 breakfast meetings with Chris himself and this lack of research shows.

The book moves in a chronological order starting from the early days of Bonington’s climbing years. The ascent of the north face of the Eiger is covered in significant detail and does make an interesting read. The book also details the relationships that Chris had with several climbers of the generation but does not delve into significant detail of the strength of the friendships beyond what occured on a particular climb. The book is also somewhat sketchy in describing the routes of certain key ascents and i had to reference the internet to find greater detail.

If you’re interested to know how many camps, length of rope and who led what pitch on a certain bonington expedition, buy this book. If you’re looking for anything even slightly more engaging, stay away.


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