Tuesday, August 25, 2009
PATHS OF GLORY :)
"Paths of glory" by Jeffery Archer.I finished reading this book last night.
And now it has become my favourite Jeffery Archer book.Mind u- I am a huge Archer fan!
Everyone has some or the other ambition in life.How big is our ambition?Have we ever thought of doing/achieving something that is considered 'IMPOSSIBLE'?Are we ambitious enough to risk our lives to get what we want? What if we do manage to turn this impossible ambition to reality?History reminds us that people have done this in every age.And that is the reason we remember the names of all greats who were the first to do something out-of-the-world.
But what if even after achieving our goal,we are not able to prove it to anyone?What if people dont believe that you did it?This reminds me of a dialogue in the movie 'Kate and Leopald' (A rather forgettable one,but anyway ) - "Dogs cannot see colors..I am the dog who has seen the rainbow..Its just that the other dogs wont believe me!"
This is the backbone of "Paths of Glory".Its inspired from the true life story of George Mallory,the man who dreamt of conquering Everest (29002 ft) in the 1920's when not even the airplanes had ever reached that height ! He never returned from the expedition and his dead body was found in 1999 -75 years after his death (preserved by the ice).There are a few reasons which suggest that he may have reached the summit.Some believe it-others dont!But one thing for sure-history cannot be trusted with the name of the first man to climb Mt.Everest!
Mountaineering was George's life.In one of the press conferences he was asked "Why do you want to climb the Everest?".He answered "Because its there!".These 3 words became a kind of slogan for mountaineers in coming years.
The book is amazing right from the beginning.Archer's writing is as always-impeccable !What touched me most was the way the character of Ruth Mallory-George's ever supporting wife is potrayed.George was so fascinated by the Everest that he called her the other love of his life besides Ruth.Therefore the tag line of the book says "This is a story of a man who loved two women and one of them killed him".Ruth's struggle with herself -about the safe being of her husband and his fascination is the most sensitive part of the book.As in all Archer books there are traces of humor but most of the book is quite serious.The description of mountaineering expeditions especially of the weather changes during the Everest expedition is brilliantly written..Overall an amazing book :)
Happy reading !
Just a trivia : I googled for more information about Mallory.His grandson (also named George Mallory junior) did manage to climb Mt.Everest in 1995.And he kept a laminated picture of his grandparents on the summit and quoted "Just finished some family business" ! (\m/)