Sunday, 7 September 2008

Flame of Adventure - book report

I actually read this book during my trip to the UK (most of it on the way there because British Airways is rubbish) in July - I haven't posted about it because I lost it on my way back. I don't like losing books (just have a look in our office - our shelves have four times as many English titles as the library does!)

This is a mountaineering/biographical book. The author is Simon Yates. I know he isn't famous here. Which I find amazing, because he and his best friend lived one of those "urban legends". Find out for yourselves - google a bit? His best friend's name was Joe Simpson.

This book actually annoyed me. I understood this man's situation after his trip to South America. I grew up in Sheffield; I even climbed on some of the crags - I doubt my scrabbling efforts up Burbage Edge or Stannage rated much. "V Diff" was my limit.

I found this book annoying, because I got the feeling that no matter how traumatic Simon's experiences were, he made a series of dumb mistakes, and seemed to be a difficult person to be around. Maybe it's just the way he has written about his experiences in Pakistan etc, but I wouldn't enjoy travelling with him - no matter how fabulous the sccenery was!


In contrast, Simpson's books are breath-taking; "Beckoning Silence" in particular rates as one of my favourite all-time books. Flame of Adventure doesn't hold a candle to it.