Monday, April 11, 2011

Paths of Glory

Paths of Glory was written in 2009, so it is considered contemporary literature. Paths of Glory was a rather dry read, and I gave up finishing it a little over halfway through. Mr. Archer tried, unsuccessfully, to capture the spirit and valor of Mr. Mallory in an average length novel, which I do not believe is possible. I lost interest because I felt that Mr. Archer spent too much time on describing Mallory's childhood and per-Everest ventures. The main reason I wanted to read Paths of Glory was to learn more about Mallory's attempt at climbing Everest. I was disappointed in the fact that this was just a sub-point of the book. Mallory's younger life doesn't interest me. When I was younger, I had a book on different types of mummies. Mr. Mallory was mentioned in the book, because he had been mummified by the freezing conditions of Everest after he died. I wish that Mr. Archer had of discussed this, as well as how his body was found. Mr. Archer did a wonderful job researching Mallory, but did poorly in conveying the importance of his exploits. Paths of Glory ended up being a wordy biography which is so rambling that it becomes very dry. I was unable to connect with any of the characters. Mallory was far too perfect, in my opinion. He seemed to have very few flaws. His friend, Guy, was the exact opposite. He was a blundering fool who seemed to have no way of doing things on his own. His character was written so that it seemed that he would be completely helpless without Mallory. I only recommend Paths of Glory to someone who has an interest in mountain climbing or in Mr. Mallory's life story. Otherwise, the book is of little value in broadening one's knowledge of Mr. Mallory's famous, and improvable, ascent.

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