I have read Jeffery Archer's books and novels like A Quiver Full of Arrows, Kane and Abel and Shall We Tell the President before, but had missed out on reading some of his later publications. However, when I came to know about his new publication Paths of Glory, I decided to pick it up and go through it. As expected, this book provides a lot of excitement as many of his earlier books.
Inspired by a true story, it recreates the story of George Mallory, a pioneering mountaineer who had attempted to scale Mount Everest in 1924. On his third expedition to the Everest in his attempt to make the first ascent of the World’s highest mountain, he along with another Everest pioneer Andrew Irvine disappeared. He was last seen a few hundred meters from the summit.
When Mallory's body was discovered in 1999, it rekindled the interest in the mystery whether Mallory had indeed reached the summit or not. It is not until the last page that Archer offers his explanation about the same. So, did he or did he not conquer Everest? That's the mystery of this story.
The story also involves Ruth, his romance and later his wife. Mallory had promised to leave her picture at the summit when he reached there. Mallory's wallet was found along with his body, but there was no picture. This leads to a possibility that he could have reached the summit, but till today there is very little evidence about it. This is a mystery that perhaps will never be solved.
According to history, Sir Edmund Hillary was the first person to step foot upon the summit of Mount Everest, but whether Mallory reached the Summit before him will always be a topic of continuing suspense.
Like other Jeffery Archer books, it is a well written book. It almost seems like a biography rather than historical fiction. Jeffrey Archer is a real master when it comes to writing such a book. As usual, I will await more of Jeffrey Archer books in the future.
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Paths Of Glory price in India is Rs. N.A. on 01st Apr 2020
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