It is perhaps more important to say what this book is not than to say what it is. Here is no patently obvious collection of...

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THE BOOK OF THE MOUNTAINS

It is perhaps more important to say what this book is not than to say what it is. Here is no patently obvious collection of pieces drawn from the contemporary writings on the conquest of Annapurna, K-2, Everest et al In fact some will feel the book suffers by this omission. Here, instead, is an extraordinary collection of material through the ages, evidence that always mountains have challenged men, in the role of philosophers, adventurers, explorers, scientists, warriors. One sees man in relation to mountains where fate has decreed that mountains are their homes, from the Himalayas to the Andes, from the Smokies to the Sierra Nevadas. Much of the material has an antiquarian's curiosity value. Some of the names included suggest literary associations rather than travel,- Keats, H. G. Wells, Dickens, George Borrow, Thomas Mann, Pearl Buck. Others belong to our classical associations, such as Pliny, Livy, Xenophon, Leonardo da Vinci, and more recently, Voltaire, Bunyan, etc. There are occasional short stories; numerous extracts from letters and diaries; official reports; essays; straight narrative. The breakdown of the text into specific divisions perhaps indicates the approach:- Men Climb the Mountains; Men Live and Work on the Mountains; Men against the Mountains; Men Study the Mountains; Men Fight on the Mountains; Men Wonder at the Mystery of the Mountains. While the appeal is perhaps not so extensive as for its companion volume, The Book of the Sea, this too has its elect, as the success of mountain books has attested.

Pub Date: Nov. 10, 1955

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Appleton-Century-Crofts

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 1955