This book by Kenton Cool starts with an excellent prologue giving a vivid view of just what it is like to stand on the summit of Everest. From the book looks at various parts of Kenton Cool’s life. The youthful exploits are endearing mostly though might well have been seen as irritating by others – young climbers really can be a breed apart! His early injury to his heels made for a powerful read and can only leave with considerable respect for the man. I found it entertaining but it is not a real climbing book more an autobiographical maybe; it lacks some detail of the actual climbs compared to many similar books I’ve read. However what is there is frequently very interesting; as an example there is an up to date view of Everest base camp & life there. I did like his explanation and discussion of the “bloody rat” that gnaws at climbers driving them on.
For fans of climbing literature this is probably one to read. It is not a blow by blow account of Kenton’s climbs although it gives an overview and maybe a little more of a number of them. It is not really a biography as it only covers limited periods of his life. It does look carefully, and to me sensibly, at the philosophy of making a living at climbing. Equally the issues involved in guiding clients who can pay to be taken up Everest and the like. It’s written well enough and I certainly enjoyed reading it. It has a sensible glossary of climbing terms.
Note – I received an advance digital copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for a fair review