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Paths of Glory
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Jeffrey Archer, whose bestselling novels span from Not a Penny More, Not a Penny Less to Kane & Abel and A Twist in the Tale, has topped the bestseller lists around the world, with sales of over 135 million copies. A Prisoner of Birth, his most recent novel, was a global number one bestseller in both hardcover and paperback and remained in the UK bestseller charts for over two months. The author is married with two children, and lives in London and Cambridge.

About the Author

Jeffrey Archer, whose bestselling novels span from Not a Penny More, Not a Penny Less to Kane & Abel and A Twist in the Tale, has topped the bestseller lists around the world, with sales of over 135 million copies. A Prisoner of Birth, his most recent novel, was a global number one bestseller in both hardcover and paperback and remained in the UK bestseller charts for over two months. The author is married with two children, and lives in London and Cambridge.

Reviews

Best known for his thrillers, deft storyteller Archer (A Prisoner of Birth) tries something different with this entertaining novel based on the life of famed British climber George Mallory, who disappeared along with climbing partner Andrew Irvine on Mount Everest in 1924 while attempting to become the first man to reach the world's highest peak. Mallory's body was found on Everest in 1999, but whether he succeeded in reaching the top before his death remains one of mountaineering's greatest mysteries. In creating his own imaginative answer to this enigma, Archer provides a readable tale that traces Mallory's path from an adventurous childhood to his education at Cambridge, followed by marriage and military service in World War I. Throughout, Archer interweaves the overarching theme of Mallory's passion for the mountains, which leads him inexorably toward Everest. Although Archer's prose occasionally feels flat and overly workmanlike, this quality is offset by the frequent inclusion of heartfelt and moving letters from Mallory to his beloved wife. This novel is best suited for general readers who enjoy popular fiction, while climbing or adventure devotees may prefer Jochen Hemmleb and others' Ghosts of Everest: The Search for Mallory and Irvine. Biography fans may like Peter and Leni Gillman's The Wildest Dream: The Biography of George Mallory. Recommended for larger public libraries. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 11/15/08.]-Ingrid Levin, Salve Regina Univ. Lib., Newport, RI Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.

A real-life mountaineering mystery serves as the springboard for bestseller Archer's abysmal latest. The plot begins promisingly with the body of mountaineer George Mallory discovered on the slopes of Mt. Everest in 1999, possibly having been the first man to have reached the summit. But hopes of an adventurous yarn are soon dashed as the novel becomes a long flashback, offering stock vignettes of Mallory's childhood, Cambridge days and mountaineering adventures. These passages are hampered by phoned-in writing, clumsy attempts at verisimilitude and a notable lack of psychological depth. Along the way, Mallory marries, becomes a father, serves in WWI and finds himself pitted against Australian mountaineer George Finch as a potential leader of Britain's push to conquer Everest. Archer does eventually offer his opinion as to whether Mallory summited Everest, but by that point all but his most devoted fans will have fled the icy crags of this lifeless novel. (Mar.) Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.

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