Jeffrey Archer's novel is based on the British mountaineer who uttered the most famous words in climbing history: when asked why he wanted to climb Mount Everest, George Mallory (1886-1924) answered simply, "Because it's there." This Cambridge graduate was just 37 when he died in his third attempt to scale that elusive summit. Seventy-five years passed before his body was recovered. Paths of Glory invites you to accompany Mallory as he moves from hobnobbing with the Bloomsbury group to ascending Asia's most forbidding peak. A bracing armchair adventure.
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.
Fictionalized account of the mountain climber who may or may not have been the first man to conquer Everest. George Mallory (1886-1924) was an Englishman very much of his time: a history teacher who enlisted in the Great War when two of his pupils were reported killed, a faithful husband to his devoted wife Ruth, a team member loyal to his mates despite their personal failings. What set him apart were his utter fearlessness and his extraordinary gift for climbing. When he vanished with fellow climber Andrew Irvine during a 1924 assault on Everest, some 30 years before Sir Edmund Hillary's successful ascent, a rapt public was divided over whether he'd reached the peak before his presumed death, a controversy the discovery of his frozen body in 1999 did nothing to resolve. Archer (Prisoner of Birth, 2008, etc.) turns Mallory's life into the tale of an unimpeachably good and heroic man. His most interesting battles aren't with the elements, but with petty bureaucrats who scheme against George Finch, the caddish but accomplished Australian climber Mallory wants as his partner, and with himself, torn between his responsibilities to his long-suffering wife back home and his desire to climb Everest "because it is there." Mountaineering technocrats can look elsewhere: The mountaineering sequences are marred by Archer's apparent ignorance of the mechanics of climbing, reduced here to the debate about whether it's cheating to use bottled oxygen. Nor are the characters especially compelling, since the author seems to feel no need to flesh out real-life figures. A bland yarn in the Boys' Own Adventure mold about an old-fashioned hero from the days when the Empire demanded nothing less.
“One of the top ten storytellers in the world.” Los Angeles Times
“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