Books | Did he scale the Everest? Didn’t he?
Archer, the master of surprises and twisted endings has again surprised us all. The latest book by the author titled Paths of Glory is based on a real life mystery : the life of George Mallory, the British mountaineer who mysteriously vanished while scaling Mount Everest in 1924. Though his body was found years later in 1999, it was still not clear whether he had succeeded in his attempt or not. And that is what Archer has set his new book on.
George Mallory was a brilliant student who saw his career through Cambridge University. Jeffrey Archer captures his life from his childhood to his third attempt at the Everest when the protagonist was only in his late thirties. Mallory had made two earlier unsuccessful attempts at the peak and once when asked by a reporter about his obsession for climbing it had famously said “I want to scale it because it is there!” He made his final attempt for the prized summit with his climbing partner Andrew Irvine and whether they made it or not has remained a mystery till date.
One might ask whether a book on such a story line will be interesting or not. The answer is two worded : Jeffrey Archer. The book is fast, fascinating and utterly enjoyable. Hints of sarcasm and lots of inspiring stanzas thrown in make the book worthy of a compliment. Archer kills you with the suspense and the turn of events that he has described in the pages. The novel is partly historic and partly fictional but clearly an attention grabber. It is only in the masterly skills of the author that a story line jumps to life and Jeffrey Archer does that with an apt hand.
The detailed description about Mallory’s life, the anticipations about the climb, the preparation and ultimately the final attempt have all been vividly portrayed. The novel is a typical Jeffrey Archer product and stands up to al your expectations.
Paths of Glory is a must read for all those who love Archer and his style of writing. And as for the answer whether George Mallory did reach the peak of the Everest or not….well reading this masterpiece should tell you all.