This will be sure-fire for the mountain climbing fraternity, though readers who have only a borderline interest in such matters may find it a little strenuous and dull by turns. Written by the leader of the French Himalayan Expedition which scaled Annapurna, one of the most perilous of the high Himalayas, it is a day by day account of how the climb was made. Included are detailed maps of the area and well-considered technical tips on a variety of technical subjects from the best type of equipment to the most favorable ways to manoeuvre a difficult ascent. The book's more gruesome aspects concern the various amputations which had to be performed on the toes and fingers of the author and another member of the expedition under the most primitive conditions. Lacking in humor and charm, and not really ever reaching a suspenseful peak for the lay reader -- not even when two of the expedition's members reach the 26,493 foot altitude -- this is nonetheless a readable authentic account of a history-making climb.