Article first published as Book Review: Above All Things by Tanis Rideout on Blogcritics.
Above All Things by Tanis Rideout is a historical fiction account of George Mallory’s 1924 attempt to climb Mt. Everest. It is still not known if Mallory’s attempt was successful or not.
- 400 pages
- Publisher: Amy Einhorn Books/Putnam
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0399160582
My rating for Above All Things– 4
Above All Things by Tanis Rideout (website | Facebook | @tanisrideout) is an excellent novel which moves at two speeds, slow (Ruth Mallory) and fast (George Mallory). Ms. Rideout succeeded in creating an engaging book filled with excellent descriptions and believable characters.
The parts which I found the most fascinating were the climb on Mt. Everest. The author does not romanticized the climb, I could feel the chills, the heaviness and other ailments which come at being at such a high altitude.
Ms. Rideout brilliantly juxtaposes between Mr. Mallory’s celebrated climb and only a day in the life of Mrs. Mallory. You could not help but feel the helplessness of the couple as they missed, craved and thought about each other but were still supportive from afar.
To the acute reader many intricate details are provided without bringing the story to a grinding halt while providing beautiful descriptions of the Everest expedition while going into the mind of the climbers. The story is contrasted with Mr. Mallory’s obsession with the mountain and his family, while being unable to merge them both.
This is an interesting book to discuss, the story is multilayered, the narrative is poetic and the action is exciting. I don’t know much about mountain climbing or Mr. Mallory’s history, but I couldn’t find any glaring mistakes which took away from my enjoyment of the story.
In 1924 mountaineer George Mallory and his team tried to conquer Mt. Everest, in no small part to give the war weary people of England something to cheer about. Mallory’s wife, Ruth, is at Cambridge, England restlessly awaiting his return from the dangerous expedition.
Zohar — Man of la Book
Disclaimer: I got this book for free.
*Amazon links point to an affiliate account