into the silence

Over the Christmas break, it’s enjoyable to settle down with a book given as a present.

In actual fact, one of my presents was a Kindle Paperwhite on which I’ll now be reading books.

So the first one proved a difficult choice.

In the end, I plumped for one which a few months back won the Samuel Johnson award, the top prize in the UK for non-fiction.

‘Into The Silence: The Great War, Mallory and the Conquest of Everest’ (Vintage) by Wade Davis is proving a real page-turner now I’ve mastered the upgraded Kindle technology.

What I hadn’t prepared myself for was the grim reality of an early chapter on the Great War.

I’ve studied the conflict as a student and read lots of books and watched documentaries about it.

But the sheer scale of the horror in simple facts and figures understandably put a slight dampener on my festive mood.

The centenary of the 1914-1918 war is just around the corner in media terms, so I’m sure it won’t be the last time I have to grapple with history that deeply affected my own family and many many others.

The story of Mallory and Irvine’s quest to climb Mount Everest in 1924, and whether they did or they didn’t, is one that has fascinated me for years.

So I’ll hope to report back in a future post on whether the book lives up to its prize reputation.

Wade Davis – official website


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