Above All Things by Tanis Rideout – Mini Book Review

aboveallthings zps70eced92 pictureAbove All Things by Tanis Rideout
Published by Amy Einhorn Books/Putnam, an imprint of Penguin

Because it’s there.
-George Mallory

In 1924, George Mallory made his third and final attempt at Everest. In Above All Things, Tanis Rideout tells the story of his last expedition by alternating between the experiences of the men on the mountain and those of Mallory’s wife, Ruth, waiting at home for news of her husband. I sort of wish that Above All Things could have been only from George Mallory’s point of view, as what was happening in his life was much flashier and more obviously interesting, but interspersing his climb with Ruth’s life serves the story Rideout is telling well. What really makes it work, in my opinion, is the time differential between Ruth and George’s accounts. Everything happening with George takes place a month or so before Ruth’s narrative – the amount of time it takes to get letters from Everest back home to England. This is a brilliant piece of plotting, as it synchronizes the end results of the mission for both of them.

Above All Things is beautifully written, and it brings Mallory’s third Everest expedition to vividly to life.

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6 comments to Above All Things by Tanis Rideout – Mini Book Review

  • I LOVED this book. The contrast in pacing between her sweet longing for him through her daily routine and his dramatic struggle was so compelling. And even though you know what happens, you’re still hoping he somehow comes back to her. I read it last fall and have been dying for it to pub so I can start recommending it!

    PS Today I wrote about Steinbeck so I linked back to your amazing cover at the end.

    • So, I actually sort of didn’t know what happened. All I could remember about Mallory was Everest and “because it was there.” It wasn’t really a surprise, but it did make me appreciate Ruth’s sections very much more, if I had remembered the real outcome of the expedition I probably would have liked them more from the get-go instead of just appreciating them afterward.

      • I think the galley letter that came with it had a so-called spoiler – “tragic end” or “doomed expedition” or something like. Otherwise I might have been semi-devastated at the end!

  • I need to get my hands on a copy of this book PRONTO.

  • It’s hard to resist a Mallory, Everest, explorer type of novel. Looks good.

  • This has been out in Canada for awhile and I’ve been hearing nothing but good things. I have a copy on my ereader that I hope to get to soon!

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