Amazing first person narrative of the mythical k2. It shows the spectrum of humanity when put in the most extreme of circumstances. Furthermore, the banality of normal 9 to 5 existence is made somehow more palatable by exporting ourselves to the mystical mountain with no name.
The book was OK...a history of various attempts to climb K2. I was surprised that, with it's length and single mindedness of purpose, it was entertaining. A glimpse into the world of 8,000 meter mountaineering. There's a book called "When You Catch An Adjective, Kill It." Mr. Viesturs and his co-author need to get a copy and read it. It seems that everyone in the book is "the greatest," "best, "strongest climber of his/her time," etc. Geez, Ed, lay off of the superlatives! There is a certain amount of lunacy inherent in climbing these giants. Mr. Viesturs goes hard to justify the fact that for every four people who have summited K2, one person has died in the attempt. Each of those dead climbers has left behind a family and friends presumably. While Viesturs writes of the challenges and drive to complete the task, he never touches on the possibility that this is likely one of the most selfish of endeavors. Brave? Yes. Stimulating? Yes. Grueling? Yes. Worth it to those left behind?
David Roberts is so busy drawing pictures that no one is really sure what he looks like. We do know that he has illustrated several books for children and lives somewhere in England, but whether his home is near the sea or not is anybody's guess.
ED VIESTURS still climbs and seeks out new adventures. He lives on Bainbridge Island, Washington, with his wife and three children. DAVID ROBERTS is a veteran author of mountaineering books, including "On the Ridge Between Life and Death."