Jake's Reviews > Everest: Mountain without Mercy

Everest by Broughton Coburn
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's review
May 15, 11

bookshelves: non-fiction, everest-lit
Read from May 09 to 14, 2011

For only the second time in my life I have intentionally bought a coffee table book. (By way of update and confession, I have yet to buy the table.) Everest: Mountain Without Mercy is a companion book to the IMAX film Everest. I also own and love that film. This book is an excellent supplement and a great work in its own right.

Broughton Coburn is the primary author of this National Geographic Society publication. But there are supplementary articles and essays by scientific and medical experts discussing everything from geology to high-altitude physiology. Each of them covers a specific facet of climbing Everest that needs to be understood if the endeavor is to be fully appreciated. However, the real stars of this work are the photos and the quotations from climbers.

This is a big book but not a long book. It can be read cover to cover or leafed through with equal enjoyment. Having read several other volumes of Everest literature, I can say this one does justice to the conventions of the subject: East meets West; the trek to base camp; the grand geology of the Himalaya; the personality of the mountain; the tragedy of lost life; and the triumph of reaching the summit. If this is a subject you have yet to explore, or are considering revisiting, Everest: Mountain Without Mercy is a wonderful offering.
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Reading Progress

05/09/2011 page 120
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