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Climbing Books Reviewed
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Fatal Mountaineer
Life story of Willi Unsoeld, American Himalayan climber

Format Book Category Narratives
Title Fatal Mountaineer  Pages 256 
Author Robert Roper  RRP  
Publisher St. Martin's Press  Reviews
Edition March 2002  Ave Rating ** (2.00 of 5)


User Comments
A terrible book with only a few good photos to recomend it. There is nothing new here and what there is was a better read in other books. The author should have called this book: I hate John Roskelly. 
This is not a traditional mountain climbing book. However, it asks challenging questions about the motivation and raison d'etre of one particular mountain climber, Willi Unsoeld, a great figure in American Mountaineering history. It has many of the elements of a Greek tragedy. It is the story of a flawed, revered hero who paid the utlimate price for his hubris.
This book is not for an adventure reader. There are detours in 20th century philosophy and much too much detail about the background of the 1963 Everest climb. Perhaps, the book's failing is that it tries too hard to crystallize the essence of a man whose motivation was difficult to capture.
Some individuals are not represented very well, partciularly John Roskelly who is a caricature of the macho, "it's all about me" mountaineer. I have met these people.
Bottom Line: the book is an interesting read that presents Willi Unsoeld as a complex, tragic but still elusive figure.

Further Reading:
Amazon - Details on purchasing, reviews, etc.


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