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Above All Things by Tanis Rideout
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Above All Things (edition 2013)

by Tanis Rideout

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2675142,587 (3.8)69
Member:speedy74
Title:Above All Things
Authors:Tanis Rideout
Info:Amy Einhorn Books/Putnam (2013), Hardcover, 400 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:*****
Tags:2013, fiction, adventure, Everest, historical fiction

Work details

Above All Things by Tanis Rideout

  1. 00
    Into Thin Air: A Personal Account of the Mt. Everest Disaster by Jon Krakauer (SqueakyChu)
    SqueakyChu: Both are about the ascent to the top of Mount Everest - one is fiction; the other is non-fiction,
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"Is this what it was all for? All the sacrifice?...They all paid the price for you... What was it all for, again?"
By sally tarbox on 5 July 2017

A very moving portrayal of George Mallory's ill-fated 1924 attempt to climb Everest. In alternate chapters we follow Mallory and his team - taking his leave from his family, the journey by ship to India and the gradual ascent, the building of camps, the sherpas, the perishing cold, lack of oxygen and incipient hypothermia - and Mallory's wife Ruth, at home in Cambridge with her children and friends, as she muses over their relationship, waits for the next letter and must deal with the wider world, all eager for the latest on this adventure...

"He heard his brain cells dying from the lack of oxygen. From the cold. Each of them ended with an audible pop, his mind bubbling like champagne. His lungs filled with fluid."

The author does an excellent job at maintaining a narrative that's all about snow, ice and suffering. The story builds to a crescendo as the obsessed George and his keen young colleague, Sandy Irvine, make a last, reckless attempt on the summit... ( )
  starbox | Jul 5, 2017 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I enjoyed this historical novel about the first efforts to climb Mt. Everest. Describing especially the technical aspects of the venture in that time, Ms. Rideout did an exceptional job. In bringing out the character of the participants, I also thought she did well, though I did not like many of them, as I suspect I would not have liked those egos in real life. Best was her sense of place. ( )
  countrylife | Mar 8, 2017 |
Some time ego, I’ve seen a documentary about a British businessman who had enough money to hire a personal guide to Mount Everest. He died not far from the summit after he had reached it. His guide was not resolute enough to call the attempt hopeless and force his client to return while there was still time. The guide survived but lost parts of his limbs to frostbite. If we could ask the businessman would he say that reaching the summit was worth his life?
This book Above is about George Mallory’s attempt to be the first at the same summit. He died on the mountain, most likely before reaching the summit, on a relatively good weather day that would give him an opportunity to call the attempt hopeless in time. He didn’t quit and led himself and his climbing partner to the certain death. How much will and ego are needed to do such a thing? Is achieving fame worth the risk of death? Do you need to reach the summit, any summit, to prove something? Isn’t the joy of travelling there enough? Are such extreme endeavors worth endangering other people? ( )
  parp | Aug 29, 2016 |
Great book. I loved it. Highly recommended!
  nevans1972 | May 3, 2016 |
this was a bit of an odd reading experience. i did know about george mallory and his attempts at mt. everest, so this isn't a new-to-me story, though i was curious about it being fictionalized. i found the book more romance-y than i expected, and just couldn't get past feeling it a bit disappointing because of that. while i appreciated the two perspectives - george's on the mountain and his wife, ruth's, at home in england - ruth's teetered too closely to a Mrs. Dalloway feeling for my liking. (unfortunately, 'mrs'd' is a book i really dislike.) and with george's parts of the novel, i didn't feel particularly on edge - the drama of the challenging undertaking wasn't all that... dramatic in its conveyance, which was too bad. the characters also felt immature - perhaps they were in real life? i did enjoy the time/settings and felt rideout did a great job with them. ( )
  Booktrovert | Jan 15, 2016 |
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For Simon, who knows there will always be mountains
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"Tell me the story of Everest," she said with a fervent smile sweeping across her face, creasing the corners of her eyes.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
Above All Things is a heart-wrenchingly romantic historical novel by Tanis Rideout, based on British mountaineer George Mallory's fatal attempt to climb Everest, and his wife Ruth, who is left at home, waiting for him to return to her. In the Himalayas two climbers strike out for the summit of the Earth's highest mountain - aiming to be the first to the top, and reclaim a little of Britain's lost glory. In Cambridge, a wife collects the milk, gets three children out of bed and waits for a letter, a telegram - for news of her husband. It is 1924 and after months of setbacks and failures, George Mallory and Andrew "Sandy" Irvine are attempting to be the first to conquer Everest. Alone on the mountain they struggle against inhuman cold, violent winds, thin air - but climbing, putting one foot falteringly after another, they reach for the cloud-shrouded peak. At home Ruth Mallory goes about her day; visiting friends and comforting children she longs for news of George. She considers her marriage - the passion, the fights, the bitter absences, the loving reunions, all the snatched moments during the war and between expeditions. She hides her doubts and the uncertainty about the future with or - god forbid - without him. A powerful, moving story of a husband driven to extraordinary lengths by his ambition and a wife terrified she will lose him to a cruel and pitiless rival, Above All Things is a timeless story of one of the great tragedies - and love stories - of the last century.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0771076355, Hardcover)

The Paris Wife meets Into Thin Air in this breathtaking debut novel of obsession and divided loyalties, which brilliantly weaves together the harrowing story of George Mallory's ill-fated 1924 attempt to be the first man to conquer Mount Everest, with that of a single day in the life of his wife as she waits at home in England for news of his return.
 
A captivating blend of historical fact and imaginative fiction, Above All Things moves seamlessly back and forth between the epic story of Mallory's legendary final expedition and a heartbreaking account of a day in the life of Ruth Mallory. Through George's perspective, and that of the newest member of the climbing team, Sandy Irvine, we get an astonishing picture of the terrible risks taken by the men on the treacherous terrain of the Himalaya. But it is through Ruth's eyes that a complex portrait of a marriage emerges, one forged on the eve of the First World War, shadowed by its losses, and haunted by the ever-present possibility that George might not come home.

Drawing on years of research, this powerful and beautifully written novel is a timeless story of desire, redemption, and the lengths we are willing to go for honour, glory, and love.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:24:08 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

Blending historical facts with imaginative fiction, interweaves the story of George Mallory's ill-fated 1924 attempt to be the first man to conquer Mount Everest and a single day in the life of his wife as she waits at home in England for news of his return.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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