Into the Silence by Wade Davis
The Great War, Mallory, and the Conquest of Everest

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Into the Silence is a complex, subversive work, a postcolonial refashioning of an imperialist adventure
-Globe and Mail

Synopsis

On June 6, 1924, two men set out from a camp perched at 23,000 feet on an ice ledge just below the lip of Mount Everest’s North Col. George Mallory, thirty-seven, was Britain’s finest climber. Sandy Irvine was a young Oxford scholar of twenty-two with little previous mountaineering experience. Neither of them returned.
 
In this magisterial work of history and adventure, based on more than a decade of prodigious research in British, Canadian, and European archives, and months in the field in Nepal and Tibet, Wade Davis vividly re-creates British climbers’ epic attempts to scale Mount Everest in the early 1920s. With new access to letters and diaries, Davis recounts the heroic efforts of George Mallory and his fellow climbers to conquer the mountain in the face of treacherous terrain and furious weather. Into the Silence sets their remarkable achievements in sweeping historical context: Davis shows how the exploration originated in nineteenth-century imperial ambitions, and he takes us far beyond the Himalayas to the trenches of World War I, where Mallory and his generation found themselves and their world utterly shattered.  In the wake of the war that destroyed all notions of honor and decency, the Everest expeditions, led by these scions of Britain’s elite, emerged as a symbol of national redemption and hope.
 
Beautifully written and rich with detail, Into the Silence is a classic account of exploration and endurance, and a timeless portrait of an extraordinary generation of adventurers, soldiers, and mountaineers the likes of which we will never see again.


From the Hardcover edition.
 

About Wade Davis

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Wade Davis is the best-selling author of more than a dozen books, including The Serpent and the Rainbow and One River, and is an award-winning anthropologist. He currently holds the post of National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence and divides his time between Washington, D.C., and northern British Columbia.
 
Published October 18, 2011 by Vintage. 690 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Sports & Outdoors, Travel. Non-fiction
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Critic reviews for Into the Silence
All: 2 | Positive: 2 | Negative: 0

Globe and Mail

Good
Reviewed by Ken McGoogan on Jan 13 2012

Into the Silence is a complex, subversive work, a postcolonial refashioning of an imperialist adventure

Read Full Review of Into the Silence: The Great W... | See more reviews from Globe and Mail

National Post arts

Good
Reviewed by Adam McDowell on Nov 11 2011

Mallory may have been impatient and occasionally reckless, but it is impossible not to root for him even with the knowledge he was doomed. By the end of this interesting if sometimes ponderously thorough account, we may hope that posterity will remember Mallory’s indomitable spirit rather than his mangled body.

Read Full Review of Into the Silence: The Great W... | See more reviews from National Post arts

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