Hi, so I've just finished reading phycovertical and touching the void which were both very good reads and was wondering what other books people would recommend, preferably towards the rock climbing side of the spectrum but I'm open to anything really. I was considering reading 'Revelations - Jerry Moffatt' but thought I'd post on here for some ideas.
Personally I would recommend touching the void to anyone who hasnt read it mainly due to the light hearted feel and humour throughout. I especially enjoyed the diary like notes from his companion up the mountain which gives it a very real and honest feel. great for those that don't read much as it's only a small book and will have you wanting to find out what happens next.
In reply to Gile5: revelations is a great book. Others others liked...obvious ones really The White spider, The Hard Years, The Villain, erm...Joe S other book on the eiger storys...erm....The book about Robin Smith, there's a few. ;)
Another vote for The Villain. Whillans is my hero - I am like him in some ways - I'm short, from the north of England, drink too much and have a bit of an attitude. The big difference is that Don could climb.
In reply to Gile5: Half way through The Villain and really enjoying it - will probably read more Jim Perrin, as he is evidently a really good writer. He creates more than a biography in this account, bringing his obvious passion for climbing to the book.
In reply to Will Cat:
Yeah, I'd third The Villain. It's particularly great in that Perrin doesn't just trot out the standard myths and cliches, he looks for the facts behind them and then asks why we all like to believe the myth. I'd be really interested to read a book about the tweed era written with a similar attitude, if such a thing exists...
In reply to Gile5: I enjoyed No Way Down recently about the tragic events on K2 in 2008, it is superbly well written. If you enjoyed Touching the Void I think you'd enjoy that. Also I'd second the recommendation of Full of myself, that too is very well and idiosyncratically written. I think it reveals the character of the author a lot more than some other rock climbing biographies which are often a list of achievements.
In reply to Gile5:
Jim Perrin is the ultimate source on the British rock climbing experience, although he is equally vivid when describing Welsh rambles.
Ron Fawcett's book is a brilliant account on what it is like to be ten times better than anyone else and it's a story that never strays from the path; no tedious chapters about snow-plodding in the greater ranges.
The essays that make up Classic and Hard rock are as good as any climbing book/bio that I've come across.
Second for Andy Caves books, also Mick fowlers book is excellent. Currently reading echoes by Nick Bullock which is quite good too. All these books do obviously tend to repeat their themes though!
At the other end of the spectrum, try a Rushdie novel, can be quite hard going but amazingly rich writing. Shalimar The Clown or The Enchantress of Florence a good place to start rather than the more obvious choices.
In reply to Gile5: I'm currently reading "Kamet Conquered" by F.S.Smythe.
It's a 1930's book accounting the first successful expedition to Kamet, beautifully written and very historical, also fascinating to hear his ideas about the future of mountaineering.
"It is safe to predict that in another hundreds years, or even less, Himalayan mountaineers will regard with amazement the gasping struggles of their predecessors. They will be acclimatised to altitude physically and mentally, and by then physiologists should have discovered some artificial means of adapting the body to the lack of oxygen at great altitudes."
Also agree with Learning to Breathe by Andy Cave. Something a bit different is the autobiography of W.H. Murray, The Evidence of Things Not Seen. Quite a lot of non-climbing content, but for some reason my favourite books seem to be like that. For an entertaining general mountain life book you could try Mountain Days & Bothy Nights by Dave Brown and Ian R. Mitchell.
In reply to Gile5:
Mountains of my Life, by Walter Bonatti. Amazing firsts, and survivals, and the controversy of K2 in '54. (And he was finally vindicated in 2004 ! see Price of Conquest, Lino Lacedelli)
In reply to Gile5: No picnic on Mt Kenya by Felicci Benuzzi. True story of an Italian prisoner of war who broke out of prison to attempt a mountain and then breaks back into prison to answer role call as if nothing ever happened!
I'm reading the Boardman Tasker omnibus at the moment and really enjoying it!
One Man's Mountains by Tom Patey is an excellent too, it's an anthology of his essays and contains a nice mix of story and satire (The art of down climbing gracefully is absolutely classic!)