What do H.G. Wells and Evelyn Waugh know about mountain climbing? Listen to fine British stage actor Nick Sampson read Wells's gripping story "Little Mother Up the Morderberg" or an excerpt from Waugh's little-known but highly charged "Remote People," and be amazed. This latest offering in the zippy Adrenaline series should make readers' freeway-bound spirits soar, as a terrific team of professional readers brings to life some amazing true adventures of people going up against the highest and nastiest places on the planet. Editor Willis has chosen these selections for variety as well as excitement, and some of the top writing names in the climbing trade are represented: Galen Rowell (whose "High and Wild: A Mountaineer's World" is read with panache by Terence Aselford); John Long (two of his fine stories are well presented by Gary Telles); Pete Sinclair (his "We Aspired: The Last Innocent Americans" is treated respectfully by Aselford); and Maureen O'Neill (whose "Queen of All She Surveys" is given zesty life by Kimberly Schraf). Anyone in search of an escape will get real value for money and eartime with this impressive collection. Based on the Thunder's Mouth Press paperback. (July) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Willis is the editor of the "Adrenaline" series of adventure and survival-story collections, with titles such as Epic, Ice, and Rough, which encompass actual accounts as well as some fictional representations. Climb features adventures from some of the world's best climbers, e.g., Scotsman Hamish MacInnes and American Jim Wickwire, and exotic locales from Alaska and Yosemite to the Himalayas and Patagonia. Two fictional works are included, one of which is the humorous short story "Little Mother Up the Morderberg" by H.G. Wells, about a mother and son trekking to the top of a mountain. An excerpt from Evelyn Waugh's Remote People rounds out the contributions by noted literary figures. The only entry by a woman is Maureen O'Neill's "Queen of All She Surveys," a moving account of the last climb, and death, of a female climber and friend of the author who died in the way she wanted to live, climbing a mountain. "We Aspired: The Last Innocent Americans" by Pete Sinclair is a harrowing account of a climb that goes wrong with tragic results and the impact this has on those who witnessed death and misadventure up close. This last is by far the strongest story in the collection and one that will haunt listeners long afterward. As compared with other titles in this series, Climb is one of the weakest entries. The fictional selections are not compelling, and some of the factual accounts are rather lackluster, despite the competent readings by Terence Aselford, Graeme Malcolm, Nick Sampson, and others. However, listeners who are drawn to stories about danger, death-defying mountain and rock climbs, and encounters with ice and snow will likely want to hear this. Recommended for larger public libraries. Gloria Maxwell, Penn Valley Community Coll., Kansas City, MO Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.