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Posted May 20, 2012
I enjoyed MG Edwards’ account of climbing Africa’s highest mountain. The trekking seemed long and grueling, the resulting pain and abuse to his body was frightening, and from his excellent descriptions, the views were astounding. As a climbing book, it was a good one. I’ve enjoyed reading other books in this genre, such as “Into Thin Air,” “K2: Life and Death on the World’s Most Dangerous Mountain,” and “Touching the Void,” and I found his story to be exciting – perfect for armchair mountain climbers!
I’m not sure how equating a successful summit to his resolve to leave an unfulfilling job made sense – he already knew that he wanted to do this, and I’m sure that whether he made it to the summit or not, the decision to leave his job would have been the same. It seemed to be a bit contrived. I also thought that the quasi-guidebook in the final three chapters was unnecessary. Though it didn’t detract from the main part of the story, it would have been just as good to have included a few links at the end for further reading.
To write a truly top-notch book, the author would have done well by having the book professionally edited. There were several clumsy sentences, contradictions and grammatical errors that were a bit distracting – though in all honesty, he obviously did make an effort to write well. It’s just that writers make poor self-editors.
Finally, the author’s faith in God was obviously important to him, but it wasn’t clear in the book description that there would be so many references to his faith and prayer. If you don’t like that sort of thing, you might want to reconsider purchasing this book.
I was amazed to learn that 35,000 people a year climb Mt. Kilimanjaro! The trudge to the top – shuffling along in a long line of hopeful climbers – really took away the fantasy that most climbers enjoy – that they’ve done something few others have managed to do. As mentioned earlier in my review, despite the shortcomings, this was a good climbing story and an enjoyable read. I’d give it 3.5 stars.
I received a free copy of this book from the author through LibraryThing in exchange for providing a fair and honest review.
Posted May 8, 2012
Reviewed by Lori M for Readers Favorite
My husband teases that he lives vicariously through me because like author M.G. Edwards, I was on the verge of a midlife crisis in my 40’s and yearned for adventure, trekking off to Kenya, Russia, and dozens of other places. “Kilimanjaro: One Man’s Quest to Go Over the Hill” is a tale of Edwards who, at 40, Decides he wants to climb Mount Kilimanjaro. His wife had already accomplished this great feat and he wanted to conquer it as well. His adventures read like a private peek into someone’s personal travel journal and it felt good to be inside of his head as well as read the chronicles of what went on at each step. I thoroughly enjoyed the numerous photos that were included in the book depicting many of the major steps throughout the climb, of his team of climbers, and of his family. The photos helped me relate more closely with the author.
I can certainly relate to Edwards’s trepidation about his ability to complete the climb when he was experiencing heart palpitations and was generally under-the-weather just prior to the climb. But he plunged ahead and found the encouragement and confidence he needed to make the journey and the climb. As he reports, it wasn’t easy, but it was an adventure that changed his thoughts on life. At the end of the book, Edwards provides tips for others who are considering climbing Mount Kilimanjaro as well as a glossary of relevant climbing terms and a list of gear that a climber might want to bring along.