Mallory, not Holler, because even though he never reached the top (or did not live to tell), he represents the ""questing spirit"" of those who attempted the highest mountain on earth. Styles makes much of the group of English amateurs (no alternative motivation to their unrelenting drive) and traces the growing appreciation that not just any Alpinist would make it--certain physical traits were essential for survival. Mallory was legendary among climbers even as he prepared for his third (1924) expedition. One colleague suggested that the altitude had embittered and disturbed his mind on the last day he was seen, prompting his selection of the least experienced member of the team for the most arduous climb. Other difficulties--obtaining permission from the Dalai Lama, transporting equipment, approaching unfriendly borders--and brief sketches of rope mates round out the story. Styles' writing lacks the resolution of his subject, but he does supply the day-by-day.