Dimensions: 672 pages, 9.67 × 6.54 × 1.73 in
Published: September 27, 2011
Publisher: Knopf Canada
The following ISBNs are associated with this title:
ISBN - 10: 067697919X
ISBN - 13: 9780676979190
From the Publisher
A magnificent work of history, biography and adventure.
If the quest for Mount Everest began as a grand imperial gesture, as redemption for an empire of explorers that had lost the race to the Poles, it ended as a mission of regeneration for a country and a people bled white by war. Of the twenty-six British climbers who, on three expedtions (1921-24), walked 400 miles off the map to find and assault the highest mountain on Earth, twenty had seen the worst of the fighting. Six had been severely wounded, two others nearly died of disease at the Front, one was hospitalized twice with shell shock. Three as army surgeons dealt for the duration with the agonies of the dying. Two lost brothers, killed in action. All had endured the slaughter, the coughing of the guns, the bones and barbed wire, the white faces of the dead.
In a monumental work of history and adventure, ten years in the writing, Wade Davis asks not whether George Mallory was the first to reach the summit of Everest, but rather why he kept on climbing on that fateful day. His answer lies in a single phrase uttered by one of the survivors as they retreated from the mountain: "The price of life is death." Mallory walked on because for him, as for all of his generation, death was but "a frail barrier that men crossed, smiling and gallant, every day." As climbers they accepted a degree of risk unimaginable before the war. They were not cavalier, but death was no stranger. They had seen so much of it that it had no hold on them. What mattered was how one lived, the moments of being alive.
For all of them Everest had become an exalted radiance, a sentinel in the sky, a symbol of hope in a world gone mad.
About the Author
WADE DAVIS is the bestselling author of several books, including The Serpent and the Rainbow and One River, and is an award-winning anthropologist, ethnobotanist, filmmaker and photographer. Davis currently holds the post of National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence, and divides his time between Washington, DC, where he teaches, and northern British Columbia.
WINNER 2012 – Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction FINALIST 2012 – CBA Libris Award for Non-Fiction Book of the Year FINALIST 2012 – Charles Taylor Prize for Literary Non-Fiction FINALIST 2012 – Governor General’s Literary Award for Non-Fiction FINALIST 2012 – Banff Mountain Book Competition for Mountain & Wilderness Literature "The best new book I''ve read in which the War figures hugely is by Wade Davis and it''s called Into the Silence … I don''t think I''ve read anything that has shocked me as much as these accounts did. Written with an extraordinary kind of address and a feel for its barbarity that is really hair raising." —Andrew Motion, The Guardian (podcast) " Into the Silence is a breathtaking triumph. An astonishing piece of research, it is also intensely moving, evoking the courage, chivalry and sacrifice that drove Mallory and his companions through the war and to ever greater heights." —William Shawcross " Into the Silence is utterly fascinating, and grippingly well written. With extraordinary skill Wade Davis manages to weave together such disparate strands as Queen Victoria''s Indian Raj, the ''Great Game'' of intrigue against Russia, the horrors of the Somme, and Britain''s obsession to conquer the world''s highest peak, all linking to that terrible moment atop Everest when Mallory fell to his death. The mystery of whether he and Irving ever reached the summit remains tantalizingly unsolved. Into