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Into the Silence

The Great War, Mallory, and the Conquest of Everest
De : Wade Davis
Lu par : Enn Reitel
Durée : 28 h et 53 min
5 out of 5 stars (1 notation)

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Description

On June 6, 1924, two men set out from a camp perched at 23,000 feet on an ice ledge just below the lip of Mount Everest’s North Col. George Mallory, thirty-seven, was Britain’s finest climber. Sandy Irvine was a young Oxford scholar of twenty-two with little previous mountaineering experience. Neither of them returned.

In this magisterial work of history and adventure, based on more than a decade of prodigious research in British, Canadian, and European archives, and months in the field in Nepal and Tibet, Wade Davis vividly re-creates British climbers’ epic attempts to scale Mount Everest in the early 1920s. With new access to letters and diaries, Davis recounts the heroic efforts of George Mallory and his fellow climbers to conquer the mountain in the face of treacherous terrain and furious weather. Into the Silence sets their remarkable achievements in sweeping historical context: Davis shows how the exploration originated in nineteenth-century imperial ambitions, and he takes us far beyond the Himalayas to the trenches of World War I, where Mallory and his generation found themselves and their world utterly shattered. In the wake of the war that destroyed all notions of honor and decency, the Everest expeditions, led by these scions of Britain’s elite, emerged as a symbol of national redemption and hope.

Beautifully written and rich with detail, Into the Silence is a classic account of exploration and endurance, and a timeless portrait of an extraordinary generation of adventurers, soldiers, and mountaineers the likes of which we will never see again.

©2011 Wade Davis (P)2011 Random House Audio

Critiques

“The First World War, the worst calamity humanity has ever inflicted on itself, still reverberates in our lives. In its immediate aftermath, a few young men who had fought in it went looking for a healing challenge, and found it far from the Western Front. In recreating their astonishing adventure, Wade Davis has given us an elegant meditation on the courage to carry on.” (George F. Will)
“I was captivated. Wade Davis has penned an exceptional book on an extraordinary generation. They do not make them like that any more. And there would always only ever be one Mallory. From the pathos of the trenches to the inevitable tragedies high on Everest this is a book deserving of awards. Monumental in its scope and conception it nevertheless remains hypnotically fascinating throughout. A wonderful story tinged with sadness.” (Joe Simpson, author of Touching the Void)
“Into the Silence is utterly fascinating, and grippingly well-written. With extraordinary skill Wade Davis manages to weave together such disparate strands as Queen Victoria’s Indian Raj, the ‘Great Game’ of intrigue against Russia, the horrors of the Somme, and Britain’s obsession to conquer the world’s highest peak, all linking to that terrible moment atop Everest when Mallory fell to his death. The mystery of whether he and Irving ever reached the summit remains tantalizingly unsolved.” (Alistair Horne, author of The Price of Glory: Verdun 1916)

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Notations

Global

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Histoire

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Il n'y a pas encore de critique disponible pour ce titre.
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  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Tara
  • 14/02/2012

Really enjoyed it

I would recommend this book to anyone who is interested in mountaineering or war. The author gives a good overview on some of the more devastating battles of WWI and how they shaped the lives and outlook of climbers like Mallory. You really get to appreciate who these men are and the physical, political, and mental stress they had to endure just to get to the base of Everest. Their persistence despite the weather and previous failures is inspiring. Even though this book was long, I found myself wanting more after it had finished.

I always wish that audible books like this came with maps. Several times I had to go online and look up aerial photographs of the Everest area to orientate myself. Other times I just zoned out during the Tibetan names and places. It's a good read nonetheless.

6 sur 6 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Mary
  • 31/01/2014

Amazing Scholarship and a Great Read

I have no particular interest in mountaineering but read this book because I admire the author and am certainly glad I did. It is an amazing reconstruction of the day-to-day and hour-by-our progress of the first Everest expeditions but more than that, a reconstruction of a genteel Edwardian world now almost as exotic as ancient Tibet. A terrific read.

3 sur 3 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Florence
  • 29/11/2012

He wrote exquisite Eel-agies?

Once again, a wonderful book, marred by the inability of the reader to pronounce simple things. I would offer a level of forgiveness, had the reader been American..(Shame on me for that, but it is true).
But Enn Reitel has a British accent.He was educated at the Central School, he's a Scot...he should know better!
Why then did he not know, or was he not told by the producer that:
Caius College, Cambridge; is pronounced "Keys"; that an eulogy is pronounced YEW-la-gee;(Not Eelagee) that the artist Titian is Ti-shun not TEA shun....and many, many many other slips. I became accustomed to his questionable mispronunciation of Ypres, and tried my very best to accept that maybe some folk do pronounce Paschendale as "Passion-deli"....maybe....(I went so far as to try and research the possibility) ; but half way through the reading, I am beginning to think that it was a mistake to buy this book on Audible.
Pity, as I had waited for this book for some time. Will knuckle under and buy in hard back.
Yes, I'm fussy about the readings. It can make or mar a book. I love the English language, and Wade Davis has worked hard to bring a startling and fascinating story to us;
I want to experience it at its best. Not wallowing in the "Meer" (pronunciation of mire by Enn Reitel).

And lest you think that I am wallowing in ignorance.
1. I am a Brit
2. Have friends in Scotland, visit often, know the accent (and I am a collector of dialects)
3. Professional performer myself.
4. Radio producer.

We all make tiny mistakes from time to time....I have, I know, but there is a credo in voice performances
"If you can't pronounce , don't announce"
In a project like this, all names should be double checked for correct pronunciation.


Perhaps Enn Reitel was trying to be "posh"....didn't work. Just angered me.

12 sur 16 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Patricia
  • 27/12/2011

The Truth About Everest

Would you listen to Into the Silence again? Why?

Once is enough for the length of the book. But a good listen.

What other book might you compare Into the Silence to and why?

Books about Robert Falcon Scott and the Antarctic expedition. ITS also describes in detail the insane overconfidence of the Brits who tried a big adventure.

What aspect of Enn Reitel’s performance would you have changed?

He mispronounced the names of important battlefields in WW1, such as Ypres and Passchendaele. Also had obvious difficulty with the Tibetan place-names: the little pause before each name is attempted, becomes tiring. The voice is beautiful: he should have had better advice.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

The insane overconfidence of the expeditions was laughable. One sees them painfully learning how to do it (not very well). Their awful snobbery about all things and people non-British is an eye-opener, and led to some of their tragedies.

Any additional comments?

In comparison with a TV documentary I saw recently, the book told a true story in great detail, and tried not to romanticize it. Fairly clear that Mallory did not summit, and also that he was hardly the hero people imagine. But he was human, obsessed, and charismatic. He made Everest famous, with now-dubious results, as his is one of the corpses that now make the place a monument to folly.

4 sur 5 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Pattywolford
  • 06/08/2012

The spectrum of mountaineering pre/post WWI

Would you listen to Into the Silence again? Why?

Yes, I would listen again because there is so much information, presented very well. The amount of research is impressive, to say the least, and a great gift to any reader who is interested in the golden era of mountaineering as well as the impact of WWI on those who participated in the horrors of war in the trenches.

Have you listened to any of Enn Reitel’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

I have not listened to Enn Reitel before, but he is excellent and I'll be looking for more of his performances.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

I wouldn't attempt to listen in one sitting, since it is a long book.

Any additional comments?

I just love Wade Davis for all the research he did for this book, and for the intelligent and cohesive weaving of a complicated story.

1 sur 1 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Will Jackson
  • 17/04/2012

A stunning and audacious story

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Overall this is an excellent work. Davis' research and story telling combine in illustrating a broad and complicated narrative. He connects the history of exploration in the Himalayas, British imperialism in India and the surrounding territories, and the convulsive effects of the Great War on the imperial ruling classes into one convincing thesis. Moreover Davis' Canadian background and work as an ethno-botinast add depth and colour to the narrative.

My only criticism of Davis work regard his reliance on the dated 'Lions led by Donkeys' view of the war. This argues that the war was fought by faultlessly heroic young men who were killed by the gross ineptitude of their own back room generals. This view of the Great War has been largely dismissed by historians for some time now, and Davis would have been better served by reading some more current historiography - none of which would have detracted from his overarching narrative. Indeed it would only have served to improve the work by avoiding what are in effect dated historical conventions (although still held as current by the general public, of course).

Nonetheless this is an excellent and interesting work on a subject, or really collection of subjects, that are all the better illuminated by being treated in concert.

As for the reading Enn Reitel does a sound job, save for the occasional and mystifying mispronunciation of reasonably common words and phrases, from Great War battlefields to Cambridge Colleges.

What other book might you compare Into the Silence to and why?

Anything by Peter Hopkirk

3 sur 4 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Brett
  • 20/06/2019

Tremendously immersive history of early Everest .

Truly outstanding study of the first three British Everest expeditions culminating in the ill-fated climb of Mallory and Irvine in 1924. Great detail on all the climbers, the British in India,the culture of Tibet and WWI. Highly recommended.

  • Global
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
Image de profile pour Reggie
  • Reggie
  • 28/05/2019

Mostly Fantastic

It's pretty clear that Wade Davis has read everything ever written about Mallory's Everest expeditions, and has synthesized a definitive account. This is an amazing book for lots of reasons, but it's not always an awesome read. At times if feels like Davis is attempting to create a visceral analog to the scaling of Everest - and doing a damn good job. I'd swear there were chapters that included the number of grains in wheat shipments to the expeditions. And while my inner scholar bows to Davis' virtuosity, the reader in me - the lover of narrative - is often left gasping for air.

But mostly this book is awesome. There are biographies and histories that venture into a past that predates the subject of a book. Sometimes the backstory informs the main narrative and provides a bit of extra context. And sometimes one has no idea why the author decided to include a particular bit of information (I recently read an awful biography of Amelia Earhart that included a full history of the state of Kansas, before ever once mentioning the books main subject). Wade Davis does a much cooler thing. He takes you on these long, meandering stories, all compelling in their own right, before turning a final corner and revealing something awesome and wholly relevant.

But the expeditions become literally tough going. There's so much detail and that detail is very repetitive. It feels like a litany more than a narrative. But it's an amazing piece of scholarship. The downside is that not everyone will dig it. I didn't. Not always.

But Davis is a fantastic writer, and this is an amazing, if pedantic telling of a story that seems newly fresh, with renewed interest in Mt. Everest. That interest is rooted the surreal, trendy flirtation with death, the mountain has become for over-privileged Westerners, but the juxtaposition fully underscores the achievements and tragedy of Mallory's life and death on Everest.

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
Image de profile pour Kendra Mattson
  • Kendra Mattson
  • 22/11/2018

Fascinating account of the conquest of Everest

Very interesting story spanning from the Great War and how that put British men into a mindset for mountaineering to the 1980s detective work trying to piece together what happened to Mallory.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Patrick Lefler
  • 21/11/2018

What a great, but sad story...

Wade Davis is a master story teller weaving the magnificent with the tragic. His inclusion of the Great War into the story was essential to its success. I absolutely loved the book from start to finish.