Monday, May 27, 2013

Edmund Hillary: First to the Top, by Dan Elish

Dan Elish writes a young readers' biography of the leading man of Everest in Edmund Hillary: First to the Top. It's a strange mix of the tale of the man and the hero, as Elsh interviews Hillary and plays down his larger-than-life status, yet focuses on his climb of Everest to the detriment of many other amazing (or important) parts of his life. He does make the story of Everest thorough and interesting, and he is not afraid to discuss complexities such as Hillary's motivations or the treatment of the media after the ascent. Other parts of his life that Elish covers include Hillary's life of philanthropy, his trips to the Poles, search for the Yeti, his upbringing, his career, and a little about his family. There are some extra sections on polar exploration, and some history of Everest as well. The book includes a number of photographic illustrations that cover Hillary's life and some more modern Everest expeditions. Overall, Elish writes a fun book that gives a great impression of Hillary's character, though I don't think it gives the most balanced view of his life.

This post is a revision and expansion of an earlier entry, found here

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