Friday, February 24, 2012

Triumph on Everest, by Broughton Coburn

Broughton Coburn writes a young readers' biography of Sir Edmund Hillary in Triumph on Everest. He covers the bulk of Hillary's life, from his birth up to his 80th birthday, including his climb of Everest, his many other adventures, and his life of philanthropy. Though Coburn's prose could be considered a little dry, his book is well-researched and not dumbed-down. He touches on the tough subject of the death of Hillary's wife and daughter, but brushes off Hillary's long-term depression after their death, an especially tough topic for a hero biography for kids. I appreciate Coburn's focus on Hillary's efforts to help Sherpas, as well as the variety and quality of photographs he chooses. Because of Coburn's long association with Nepal, he is able to properly represent the culture and humanity of the Sherpas. He does, however, skip over some of Hillary's later adventures, only obliquely mentioning his ascent of the Ganges, and leaving out his participation in the 1981 Kangshung Face expedition. This book, published in 2000, is one of the earliest to show an excerpt from the updated National Geographic map of Everest, giving its height as 29,035. Also regarding Everest, Coburn has written about the 1996 IMAX Everest expedition in Mountain without Mercy.

This post is a revision and expansion of an earlier post, which can be found here

No comments:

Post a Comment