Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Wildest Dream: The Biography of George Mallory” as Want to Read:
The Wildest Dream: The Biography of George Mallory
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Wildest Dream: The Biography of George Mallory

4.12  ·  Rating Details  ·  127 Ratings  ·  20 Reviews
The discovery of George Mallory's body high on Everest stunned the world. Yet behind the headlines, investigative journalists Peter and Leni Gillman sensed there was far more to the story than whether Mallory had reached the top. How did Mallory reconcile his deep love for his wife and children with his dream of Everest? Why did he make his final attempt when he knew the o ...more
Paperback, 288 pages
Published September 1st 2001 by Mountaineers Books (first published June 29th 2000)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Wildest Dream, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Wildest Dream

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 388)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Sarah O'Toole
Feb 27, 2012 Sarah O'Toole rated it really liked it
I got totally lost in this book. George Mallory is far more than the man who may or may not have been the first person to climb Everest. In fact, that's one of the least interesting things about him and the wonderful thing about this book is that it makes you admire him for who he was in life, not for the feats that led him to his death. I'll even go so far as to say that the book is much weaker at the end when it goes into the circumstances of the Everest expeditions. We lose connection with th ...more
Aldi
In case my stream of flailing status updates didn't make it plain enough - I really, really loved this. My previous knowledge of Mallory's early life was sketchy at best, and these biographers did a fantastic job of putting the Everest legend into perspective, focusing on the life he lived, rather than the death that made him famous.

And what an incredibly interesting life it was! I adored reading about his childhood and his adolescence and schooling, recounted seemingly without omissions but al
...more
PennsyLady (Bev)
Jan 29, 2016 PennsyLady (Bev) rated it really liked it
what I expected to be an audio turned out to be a documentary.

very impressive ...meeting Mallory and family and seeing a replication of the 1924 climb contrasted with Conrad Anker's 1999 climb.
the discovery of Mallory's body was intriguing and the question of intact papers but no photograph.....hmmm
The question, however, still exists...did he make it to the top, leave the photo of his wife and die on the descent....?


My interest in GM is piqued.
I'll read another account....perhaps Because It's
...more
Velvetink
Aug 11, 2009 Velvetink rated it really liked it
Well researched biography, interesting to learn he was not only a mountaineer & climbed Everest but was in the Bloomsbury Set.
Duncan Simpson
Nov 26, 2014 Duncan Simpson rated it really liked it
Well written biography of George Mallory, investigating the life of the man who disappeared on Everest in 1924 with Irvine in an early attempt to climb the mountain, creating a mystery as to whether they ever made it to the summit. But this book concentrates on the story of the man, and the battle between his love for his wife Ruth and his desire for adventure and danger, during the war and then afterwards, in his climbing exploits. A wonderful book which brings to life the contradictions and to ...more
Eugene Miya
I read this book when it came out and met Peter Gillman at Printer's Inc. in Palo Alto. Also present was Rick Millikan from Berkeley (one of Clare's sons, his brother is in OR). Rick was a pretty noted climber of his time. Gillman didn't realize that Clare Mallory married the son on a Nobel Laureate and one of the 3 principal founders of Caltech. I didn't realize this myself until his final notes that Clare married a physicist during WWII in Oak Ridge, TN (clearly working on the Manhattan Projec ...more
Bsa
May 05, 2016 Bsa rated it really liked it
A thorough investigation into Mallory's life and thoughts. The first half is - in lack of better words - rather boring and monotonous. You would need to be extremely interested in Mallory's life to find this part of the story interesting. As a result I abandoned the book for a while before picking it up again. If anything, the first half gives you a clear picture of the family dynamics during that period of time. But ask me about places, people and plans and it's all just a big blur. After a whi ...more
Tammy
Apr 14, 2010 Tammy rated it it was ok
Mallory – the man who might have been the first to climb Everest... who mysteriously disappeared with climbing partner Sandy Irving in the clouds. Did they or did they not summit? The mystery remains.

These are the things we know about Mallory...but not much more.
It is surprising that one of the most famous mountaineers in history has been no more than a mere caricature – a one-dimensional character who climbs mountain “because they are there.” But authors Peter and Leni Gillman open the curtain
...more
Oshun
Jan 18, 2016 Oshun rated it it was amazing
Finished it and am adding a star to the four I had given it when I had read about a 1/3 of it. I cannot recall the last time I was so totally hooked by a dense and fairly scholarly book. (I am a notorious speed reader who will skim if a ponderous tome begins to go too slowly for me! And I did not skip a word.) It is well-written, well-researched, and thoroughly engaging and entertaining. It is serious without being solemn and funny without being either goofy or snarky. It tackles some of the mor ...more
Olivia Wiggins
Feb 14, 2014 Olivia Wiggins rated it it was amazing
I found this to be a very good bio on George Mallory or anyone that wants to know more about the turn of the century culture, and the motives to going to Everest. I especially enjoyed how many first accounts were used in the book, especially letters as evidence. Really put a different light as to why Mallory would go up for a last crack at reaching the top of Everest and why it was so important to do so. One of my favourite books on my shelf for sure.
John Engedal
Aug 06, 2014 John Engedal rated it it was amazing

I don't know why I'm so drawn to George Mallory, but while reading this book I discovered that I'm not alone. It seems everyone he met took an instant liking to him. His undying spirit and true heart echoes far beyond his death and will continue to do so.

I knew from the moment I learned of him that I had to learn more about him, and this book exceeded all the expectations I had for the man.

The tale of his life is told well, filled with joy, spirit, surprise and love. One can't help but be inspir
...more
Bev
Dec 02, 2012 Bev rated it really liked it
I've read several novels and another biography of Mallory, and this book does a fine job of filling in the gaps in this fascinating man's life story. It patiently follows his adventures and adds the perspectives of his wife and children about being in his shadow -- very worthwhile read.
Julie
Jan 07, 2011 Julie rated it liked it
After reading a historical fiction version of his life, and seeing the new imax film, I read this biography to help straighten out the details of the story of George Mallory and the first British expeditions to climb Everest.
Heather Marano
Jul 28, 2011 Heather Marano rated it it was amazing
AMAZING. I thought I knew him till I read this. You can't help but be even more amazed at what he and other mountaineers accomplished. I thought I'd read this book and not like him as a person but quite the contrary.
Maria
May 19, 2012 Maria rated it liked it
A well-written, well-researched biography. It presents a very wholistic picture of Mallory the man. Enjoyable, but only if you have a deep interest in Mallory. Not for the casual reader.
Abram
Apr 07, 2008 Abram rated it did not like it
this is an interesting review of George Mallory's life and in a way brings the legend down to earth. not much about his climbing more about the domestic parts of his life.
April Thrush
Aug 24, 2013 April Thrush rated it it was ok
So much more than just a climber and an inspiration but his love for his wife is as strong as his love for the mountains
Terrie
Jul 02, 2009 Terrie rated it liked it
a good overview of M's life from start - liked the additional correspondence and closer details of the life
Maryjmetz
May 23, 2012 Maryjmetz rated it it was amazing
Excellent biography of George Mallory who did so much more than say "Because it's there."
Frogeyland
Jun 28, 2008 Frogeyland rated it it was amazing
Wonderfully well researched and written...another book that was hard for me to put down.
Jodi
Jodi marked it as to-read
Jul 21, 2016
Trish
Trish marked it as to-read
Jul 21, 2016
John
John rated it it was amazing
Jul 17, 2016
Rory Richards
Rory Richards marked it as to-read
Jul 14, 2016
MissAnnThropy
MissAnnThropy marked it as to-read
Jul 14, 2016
Ben
Ben marked it as to-read
Jul 14, 2016
EDub
EDub marked it as to-read
Jul 13, 2016
Nizam uddin
Nizam uddin rated it really liked it
Jul 11, 2016
Martha
Martha rated it liked it
Jul 07, 2016
RIck Marhula
RIck Marhula marked it as to-read
Jul 05, 2016
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 12 13 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Last Climb: The Legendary Everest Expeditions of George Mallory
  • Ghosts of Everest: The Search for Mallory & Irvine
  • Everest - The First Ascent: How a Champion of Science Helped to Conquer the Mountain
  • Shackleton
  • Scrambles Amongst the Alps
  • Where the Mountain Casts Its Shadow: The Dark Side of Extreme Adventure
  • The Lost Explorer: Finding Mallory on Mt. Everest
  • Into the Silence: The Great War, Mallory and the Conquest of Everest
  • The Will to Climb: Obsession and Commitment and the Quest to Climb Annapurna--the World's Deadliest Peak
  • Addicted to Danger: A Memoir
  • Mountain Madness
  • High: Stories of Survival from Everest and K2
  • Cherry: A Life of Apsley Cherry-Garrard
  • The Home Of The Blizzard: A True Story Of Antarctic Survival
  • Learning To Breathe
  • Freedom Climbers
  • Starlight and Storm
  • Barrow's Boys: The Original Extreme Adventurers: A Stirring Story of Daring Fortitude and Outright Lunacy

Share This Book