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The Wildest Dream: The Biography of George Mallory
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The Wildest Dream: The Biography of George Mallory

4.13 of 5 stars 4.13  ·  rating details  ·  97 ratings  ·  17 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 2000)
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Sarah O'Toole
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
Well researched biography, interesting to learn he was not only a mountaineer & climbed Everest but was in the Bloomsbury Set.
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
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
Duncan Simpson
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
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
Olivia Wiggins
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

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
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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
a good overview of M's life from start - liked the additional correspondence and closer details of the life
Excellent biography of George Mallory who did so much more than say "Because it's there."
Wonderfully well researched and written...another book that was hard for me to put down.
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