> "... but unforgivably nothing on the aftermath of this life-changing event. It made him famous,
> gave him what he thought he wanted, but none of this is explored at all. What's it like to
> achieve your life's dream at 22? What's it like when the money runs out?"
Hmm, not so sure this is fair. To me, the rest of the book did give an exploration of those things.
> "... and there are some unforgivable spelling errors, ..."
Ok, better point, it could have been gone over by an editor (the repeated use of "I" where "me" is correct did grate a bit). Though overall it is very well written, of course in an idiosyncratic style, but all the better and more notable for that.
In reply to Coel Hellier:
"Though overall it is very well written, of course in an idiosyncratic style, but all the better and more notable for that."
Agreed nearly finished the book now and it's a joy. Well done Johnny.
In reply to deepsoup: Well, I finally finished it about half an hour ago, and unfortunately, If I'm honest, I'm really non the wiser.
This is the trouble with this kind of 'creative' writing style. It leaves me wondering whether the obtuse style is a reflection of a complex mind, or someone deliberately being obtuse in order to maintain the mysticism which surrounds them.
Dawes is unquestionably one of the most brilliant and important figures in the history of British climbing, but like Redhead and 'One for the Crow, I feel the style of writing actually detracts the reader from getting the full picture.
Some people can be both highly creative and original in their writing style, whilst being very accessible. Unfortunately, Dawes, like Redhead before him, is no Ed Drummond!
In reply to Goucho: We may disagree about dry tooling, but I'm with you 100% on this!:-P
I got bored at some point in the book, I can't even remember where. It's under my bed now. I'll pick it up at some point, but the style of writing wasn't for me I'm afraid. It's a shame really because it could have been an unbelievably good book.
Weird, I didn't think there was anything particularly unusual about the style. I mean, it's fairly informal and loosely written, but it's hardly William Burroughs...
I'm about halfway through and quite liking it - there isn't as much insight into what makes him tick as there might be in a biog by someone else (like The Villain, say) but there's some interesting stuff, and he's also really good at describing individual moves and stuff so you get an idea of what the feel of the climbing is actually like rather than the generic sort of "I pulled up the overhanging headwall on tiny holds" sort of thing you get in a lot of climbing writing.
In reply to Ramblin dave: I can't describe what I don't enjoy about it, I've not looked at it for a few weeks. For example though, the last climbing related book I read was Psycho Vertical by Andy K, and I couldn't put that down, I pretty much read it in 3 days, but Johnny's book didn't hold my interest at all.
In reply to UKC Gear: I've just finished reading it and, like others, found much of it perplexing and hard going. It's a mix of beautifully-written and novel turns of phrase (like the sort of stuff Fawksey would come out with at his best) and, for me, utterly unfathomable paragraphs that I didn't really understand even after re-reading. You can't have it all though.
What I would say though is that I did eventually find myself being endeared to him as a person, especially the section where he describes helping the kid with Downs Syndrome climb the boulder at Compton Verney.
I might read it again sometime. You do get a bit "dialled-in" to his style of language.
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:
I bought Full of Myself when it came out and read it from cover to cover without "dipping in". I then read it again, cover to cover. Interesting and engaging throughout and at times gripping. Always making you think. I'll read it again.
Since then I've read two others, one by a man with a 'tache from Embsay and the other by a occasional motorcyclist. Both with ghost support. Both written in a Janet and John style. Anybody want to buy them?
I know what I prefer, and it's not for sale.
In reply to Goucho:
Bump for Groucho:
"I shall now sit back and wait for the backlash to my act of heresy."
Tick, tock, tick, tock ....
Eerrr, what would Delia say?
"Where are you? Where are you? Let's be 'aving you. Come on."
Also, I looked up dizeng..., er difengen..., oh, yes, that's it "disinterested"
Methinks you care too much.