John's Reviews > Tenzing: Hero of Everest

Tenzing by Ed Douglas
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's review
Sep 01, 07

Recommended for: People interested in mountain climbing
Read in January, 2006

This was a book I picked up at the airport on one of my trips back and forth between Chicago and New York. It was a good read. Tenzing Norgay was definitely one of the great mountain climbers of this past century, and you do learn interesting things about his life, his beginnings in the mountains, the changes to the Sherpa community, what it was like climbing mountains in that day, as well as the life of his famous partner Sir Edmund Hilary. The author takes a nice perspective on the two great climbers who are often viewed as competitors, since people argue back and forth about who actually was the first to reach the top of Everest. The book seems to me to take the best angle on it: it's a silly question since both of them did, and one of them couldn't have done it without the other. The details about how they climbed to the top, and how they had to prove themselves in the weeks leading up to their climb were very interesting. There are also moments of tragedy, although I read the book a few years ago, I particularly remember Louis Mary Rose's death. It also is great to have a book focusing on Tenzing, since I am under the impression that his name is not as widely known as it should be. The book takes a realist stance on Tenzing's life with all the positive heights and all the negative lows. A few good pictures too. I think it should be required reading for any mountain-climbing enthusiast.
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