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This is a different kind of mountain story, and much of it reads like fiction. For here is the human side of a great adventure on which various official records have already appeared with more in the offing. The official Tenzing story is coming, in due course, from Putnam. But meantime this is immensely readable, intensely personal in its interpretation of the workings of the famous Sherpa's mind, and revealing of a way of life and a training- through thirty years- with one goal in mind, the scaling of Everest. Much of it is controversial. The author, a Frenchman and a dramatic reporter, has based his story on talks with people who knew Tenzing, on some conversations with Tenzing, and on a lively sense of place and time. He has not hesitated to reveal- what none of the other records have told- the tension between the members of the expedition, the attitude of the British towards the porters, the unfortunate contretemps in initial published interviews after the summit was scaled in which Tenzing's part was played down. He gives equal stress to the part Hillary played offsetting this bad start. Half the book is devoted to the Everest expedition; most of the early part is Tenzing's years from childhood on, in preparation; and a brief connecting section skims the story of other expeditions that led to ultimate success. This book has already appeared in Europe- and should be sold here as a somewhat fictionized biography, rather than the official story from Tenzing's viewpoint.

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 1954
Publisher: Crown