Monday, March 23, 2009
Paths of Glory - Jeffrey Archer
The summary begins thus -
This is the story of a man who loved two women, and one of them killed him.
But this book is no fiction. I picked up the latest by Jeffrey Archer 2 weeks back and could not let go of it till I read until the last page. The protagonist's end is known in the Prologue, and there are no twists in this tale. When I read the above line on the back cover of the book, I thought it might be a suspense thriller. But I was completely taken off-guard as I turned pages one after another.
Its a beautiful adventurous tale of mountaineering; Of George Mallory; who might or might not have been the first man to ascend the Mount Everest. The author talks about George's childhood, his interest for climbing giving instances of him trying to climb Eiffel Tower, Bell Tower of St. Marks in Venice and his college high wall.
The story keeps you engaged as he takes through the enthusiasm of young Mallory, his belief in Fabian principles, his admiration for George Bernard Shaw. He also gives us a gist of an English way of life in the early 1900s, the horror of World war, George's romantic side of his life, his rival climbers and his ultimate love - to meet Chomolungma(as he refers)- goddess mother of the earth - Mount Everest.
Its the journey of George Mallory - British mountaineer who might have reached the top of Mount Everest(as the book suggests) and died while descent as his body was found not very far from the summit. Very straight-forward, yet engaging.