/ looking for a good book. ..
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.
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.
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...
Try Mick Fowlers book Vertical Pleasure, I found it really good and a good description of how to start the many games climbers play.
Ron Fawcett: Rock Athlete is good (shameless plug for my "for sale post")
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.
And a bit different ; Peter matthiessen's ,snow leopard.
If you haven't read it already, the white spider is pretty much mandatory.
Life and Limb by Jamie Andrew. Brilliantly written and about so much more than climbing.
Highly recommend you read
Fiva by Gordon Stainforth
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.
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."
the ascent of rum doodle is great!
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.
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)
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!)
This thread may offer some hint, as would the two others referenced in it http://www.ukclimbing.com/forums/t.php?t=530035&v=1#x7136205
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