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Some people have dreams that are so magnificent that if they were to achieve them, their place in history would be guaranteed. People like Christopher Columbus, Isaac Newton, Florence Nightingale, Thomas Edison, Nancy Astor, Charles Lindbergh, Amy Johnson, Edmund Hilary and Neil Armstrong—their unparalleled success has made their stories into legend. But what if one man had such a dream, and once he’d achieved it, there was no proof that he had fulfilled his ...
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Some people have dreams that are so magnificent that if they were to achieve them, their place in history would be guaranteed. People like Christopher Columbus, Isaac Newton, Florence Nightingale, Thomas Edison, Nancy Astor, Charles Lindbergh, Amy Johnson, Edmund Hilary and Neil Armstrong—their unparalleled success has made their stories into legend. But what if one man had such a dream, and once he’d achieved it, there was no proof that he had fulfilled his ambition?
Jeffrey Archer’s new novel, Paths of Glory, is the story of such a man—George Mallory. Born in 1886, he was a brilliant student who became part of the Bloomsbury Group at Cambridge in the early twentieth century and served in the Royal Garrison Artillery during World War I. After the war, he married, had three children, and would have spent the rest of his life as a schoolteacher, but for his love of mountain climbing.
Mallory once told a reporter that he wanted to climb Mt. Everest, “because it is there.” On his third try in 1924, at age thirty-seven, he was last seen four hundred feet from the top. His body was found in 1999, and it remains a mystery whether he and his climbing partner, Andrew Irvine, ever reached the summit.
In fact, not until you’ve turned the last page of Archer’s extraordinary novel will you be able to decide if George Mallory should be added to that list of legends, while another name would have to be removed. Paths of Glory is truly a triumph.
Veteran actor Roger Allam brings an impressive range and energy to Archer's historical novel. The tale finds its inspiration in the real-life mystery surrounding adventurer George Mallory, who may-or may not-have reached the summit of Mount Everest in 1924 before perishing in the ice and snow. Allam's remarkable accents are the highlight of the audio book, especially in his brief but highly memorable turn as a colorful American agent who organizes a rather exploitative and ethically dubious publicity tour for Mallory. Allam also shines in his portrayal of Mallory's devoted wife, Ruth, who chooses to mask her doubts and fears in order to support her husband's lifelong dream of climbing to the highest point on the planet. Admittedly, Archer's text offers a hero who would rather explore mountains than the depths of moral or psychological complexity, but Allam's performance renders the listening experience entertaining. A St. Martin's hardcover (Reviews, Jan. 5). (Mar.)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
In 1984 Thompson-Cannino was raped at knifepoint by a man who broke into her apartment. In a lineup, she "picked" Ronald Cotton as the person responsible, but the real rapist, Bobby Poole, who resembled Cotton, was not in that line. Eleven years later Cotton was cleared by DNA evidence and Poole was convicted. Thompson-Cannino, who had been sure of her original identification, was overcome with grief, and this book is her mea culpa for her mistake. Divided into three parts-the author's story, Cotton's story, and the story of the meeting and eventual friendship between the two-this easy-to-read book is often touching as Thompson-Cannino challenges our ideas of memory and judgment, and as Cotton talks about his faith and forgiveness. Although it does not offer a lot that is new in the annals of crime and punishment, it does offer the reader a different perspective. An asset to any crime collection.
“There isn’t a better story-teller alive.” —Larry King
“Archer plots with skill, and keeps you turning the pages.” —The Boston Globe
“Cunning plots, silken style…. Archer plays a cat-and-mouse game with the reader.” —The New York Times
“Archer is a master entertainer.” —Time
“A storyteller in the class of Alexandre Dumas…unsurpassed skill.” —Washington Post
St. Bees, Cumbria, Tuesday, July 19th, 1892
If you had asked George why he’d begun walking toward the rock, he wouldn’t have been able to tell you. The fact that he had to wade into the sea to reach his goal didn’t appear to concern him, even though he couldn’t swim.
Only one person on the beach that morning showed the slightest interest in the six-year-old boy’s progress. The Reverend Leigh Mallory folded his copy of The Times and placed it on the sand at his feet. He didn’t alert his wife, who was lying on the deckchair beside .shine, oblivious to any danger their eldest son might be facing. He knew that Annie would only panic, the way she had when the boy had climbed onto the roof of the village hall during a meeting of the Mothers’ Union.
The Reverend Mallory quickly checked on his other three children, who were playing contentedly by the water’s edge, unconcerned with their brother’s fate. Avie and Mary were happily collecting seashells that had been swept in on the morning tide, while their younger brother Trafford was concentrating on filling a small tin bucket with sand. Mallory’s attention re.lutely toward the rock. He was not yet worried, surely
PATHS OF GLORY
the boy would eventually realize he had to turn back. But he rose from his deckchair once the waves began to cover the boy’s knee breeches.
Although George was now almost out of his depth, the moment he reached the jagged outcrop he deftly pulled himself out of the sea and leaped from rock to .self, and stared out toward the horizon. Although his favorite subject at school was history, clearly no one had told him about King Canute.
His father was now watching with some trepidation as the waves surged carelessly around the rocks. He waited patiently for the boy to become aware of the danger he was in, when he would surely turn and ask for help. He didn’t. When the first spray of foam touched the boy’s toes, the Reverend Mallory walked slowly .mured as he passed his youngest, who was now intently building a sandcastle. But his eyes never left his eldest son, who still hadn’t looked back, even though the .end Mallory plunged into the sea and started to swim .tary breaststroke he became more aware that it was much further away than he had realized.
He finally reached his goal, and pulled himself onto the rock. As he clambered awkwardly to the top he cut his legs in several places, showing none of the surefootedness his son had earlier displayed. Once he’d joined the boy, he tried not to reveal that he was out of breath and in some considerable discomfort.
.serve his wife, standing at the water’s edge, shouting desperately, “George! George!”
“Perhaps we should be making our way back, my boy,” suggested the Reverend Mallory, trying not to sound at all concerned. “We don’t want to worry your mother, do we?”
“Just a few more moments, Papa,” begged George, who continued to stare resolutely out to sea. But his father decided they couldn’t wait any longer, and pulled his son gently off the rock.
It took the two of them considerably longer to reach .dling his son in his arms, had to swim on his back, only able to use his legs to assist him. It was the first time George became aware that return journeys can take far longer.
When George’s father finally collapsed on the beach, George’s mother rushed across to join them. She fell on .ing, “Thank God, thank God,” while showing scant interest in her exhausted husband. George’s two sisters .etly sobbing, while his younger brother continued to build his fortress, far too young for any thoughts of death to have crossed his mind.
The Reverend Mallory eventually sat up and stared at his eldest son, who was once again looking out to sea although the rock was no longer in sight. He accepted .cept of fear, no sense of risk.
Excerpted from Paths of Glory by Jeffrey Archer.
Copyright © 2009 by Jeffrey Archer.
Published in December 2009 by St. Martin's Press.
All rights reserved. This work is protected under copyright laws and
reproduction is strictly prohibited. Permission to reproduce the material in
any manner or medium must be secured from the Publisher
Posted May 30, 2009
Can't say it's a thriller but once you start it you can't put it down. It's about a man's obsession to climb Mount Everest. At first I thought it was fiction but later found out it was a true story. Have loaned this book to three friends all of whom sat up all night because they couldn't put it down. Jeffrey Archer at his best again!
5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 21, 2009
Normally, I much prefer to lose myself in a compelling work of fiction. Since I had read and appreciated some of Archer's other works, I thought I would give this one a chance. I was delighted almost from start to finish.
The story recounts, in novel fashion, the life of George Mallory and his attempts to "conquor" Mt. Everest. It allows the reader to really get in to the feel of the character and times. And it revisits the mystery of Mallory's final attempt - did he perish mere feet from the summit? Or was he truly the first person to reach the summit, only to perish on the way down? You decide. . .
2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted February 20, 2010
Posted January 16, 2010
Posted May 18, 2009
Jeffrey Archer normally weaves great tales from the mundane in a clever and thrilling way. While this is a decent read - interesting enough to finish the book - it lacks the originality and plot twists that make most of his other books so fast-paced and fascinating.
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Posted March 23, 2009
This was a new experience, as I had no prior interest to mountain climbing, and I also had never read any of Archer's work. However, the mystery of whether or not George Mallory made it to the top of Everest was intriguing enough that I picked up the book. It went by rather quick and that is my only minor complaint. I'm glad Archer chose to share this story. While the mystery surrounding George Mallory remains, it is noted in the post of the book that his grandson did get to the top of Everest in 1995.
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Posted March 29, 2015
I loved the book. I now think that almost certainly George Mallory was the first to stand on the top of Everest. Too bad there's no definitive proof.
Posted July 27, 2013
I found a hard copy of this book at work and it caught my attention. I was a great read! The way Mr. Archer writes was spectacular and refreshing to me. I felt like I was the with George Mallory climbing Mt Everest.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted February 22, 2013
This is an amazing story of one man's obsession with climbing Mt Everest, no matter what the personal loss. As always with Archer's books, you can't stop reading until the end. Wonderful!!!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted February 13, 2013
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Posted June 1, 2012
Posted December 13, 2010
Jeffrey Archer's Paths of Glory is an enthralling and captivating tale of the adventures of a man seeking to reach his goals. This book follows the life of George Mallory, one of the men who aspired to be the first person on top of Mt. Everest. The most interesting part is that nobody knows if he ever made it to the top.
George Mallory worked his whole life trying to achieve this dream, but unfortunately died in his final attempt. Archer does an excellent job of drawing the reader into the life of George Mallory. From his school days, to his wedding, to his final endeavor at Everest, Archer captivates you in Mallory's world.
Beginning when Mallory was a young boy, he showed a love for adventure that continued to grow as he got older. After conquering every challenge he faced up to that point, he decided to push himself even further and attempt to climb the tallest mountain in the world.
His desire to climb this mountain was affirmed even more when he saw Everest for the first time: "George was lost for words. He stared up at the highest mountain in the world. Everest's radiant summit dominated the skyline, making the other peaks of the mighty Himalaya look like a kindergarten playground."
Mallory attempted this challenge in 1924 and never made it home. It is unknown whether he died on the way up to the summit, or if he made it to the top and died during his descent. Sadly, he was survived by his wife and three young children.
This isn't a biography of Mallory's life, but more a fictionalization. Archer takes the facts collected from different journals and then fills in the gaps of Mallory's history.
If you are looking for the happy love story ending, "and they all lived happily ever after," this might not be the book for you. Even though the tragic ending is known before the book has even been started, it's still an exciting page-turner. I truly enjoyed reading this book and being able to learn about the time period and what challenges Mallory faced. Did George Mallory make it to the top of Mt. Everest? The real ending is not known, but if you are curious, you will have to read the book and decide for yourself.
Posted April 19, 2010
A fictionalized account of the life of George Mallory, among the first men to attempt Mt. Everest. The book takes you from his young life through school and college, the love of his life and, of course, the attempts on Mt. Everest. The book is as true to Mallory's life as the author could get, full of the little details that really make a story interesting. Of special interest at the back of book the author followed up on all persons in the story, giving a brief account of their life. The whole book was fascinating but those tidbits at the end about everyone was the icing on the cake for me.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted August 26, 2009
I had heard of George Mallory but never read much about him. Archer portrays him as an old school British hero. THe book is well written but I have a few complaints. Mainly, I wish he had given more detail at the end of the book. Did he make up Mallory's lettrs? Were the basic incidents of Mallory's life as written? It also would have been nice to have a list of sources he used to write the book and some reccomended reading about Mallory.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 16, 2009
This changes everything. It reaches into the hearts and lives of those who experienced it through their own chronicles and letters. It is a story of hope and joy and most of all it is a story of a wife who knows that the true measure of loving a husband is to allow him and encourage him to be himself.
This story is about realizing that we cannot and should not try to change our true selves.
Anything is attainable by the human spirit - and Jeffrey Archer has finally set George Mallory's spirit free. He deserves our admiration.
Posted May 10, 2009
Posted May 2, 2009
This book was somewhat different from most of Jeffrey Archer's books, however if you are a a person who likes reading history you will find this interesting. I think that a lot of imagination was put into recreating the personal story of George Mallory. It was so good that I felt as though I because a personal friend of his.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 27, 2009
Posted April 27, 2009