Into the Silence The Great War, Mallory and the Conquest of Everest is much more than just a mountaineering book, though it contains evocative chapters about Himalayan summits and vividly describes a world of ice and rock. As a historian, Davis brings together the savagery and horror of WWI with a search for personal redemption on the roof of the world. His lucid prose recreates the squalor of trenches choked with mud and human remains as well as the pristine whiteness of the Himalaya that promised deliverance as well as death. Wade Davis unmasks the myths of Himalayan mountaineering between the wars and brings to life tormented yet driven characters like Mallory, George Finch and so many others, for whom Everest served as a pinnacle of hope after the despair and doubts that destroyed a generation of young men on the killing fields of Europe. Though Mallory is often quoted as the man who climbed &ldquobecause it&rsquos there,&rdquo this book goes beyond that facile reply to show the tangled motives that roped these mountaineers together on forbidding slopes.
Stephen Alter is the author of several books, including Elephas Maximus A Portrait of the Indian Elephant.