Who is the ""lay reader"" for books about mountaineering? (Question the market for The White for instance?) I belong to the fraternity- their name is legion- who hate to climb mountains and love to read about others doing it. I climb every step of the way with those hardier than myself- emerge exhausted but triumphant. I should have read this book in the first place. But better late than never- I read it in the second place. And found it absorbing and exciting, once I got under way. Slow starting- for the layman- but the preparations will fascinate the experts. And along about chapter 7 it had me enthralled....The climbing of Annapurna, in the Himalayas, made mountain history- the first 8,000 meter peak to be scaled to the top. The price was high- but this is a story of great courage against impossible odds and I differ with reader No. 1; I found it ""suspenseful""- and I didn't expect ""humor or charm"". Now I've seen some of the superb photographs that will illustrate the text. And I think it a Must for the climbing fraternity.