The Abominable

Movel of the month

The AbominableAfter reading this story, I have been swept up in the world of mountain climbing jargon and am reminded just how dangerous mountains are—even for experienced mountaineers.  Despite its beauty and because of its world record height, Everest has been known to be the final resting place for many risk takers.  In this book by Simmons, we are taken back to 1924, where one of the first attempts to reach the summit by an experienced group, ends in tragedy.  The novel is about three men (skilled in climbing) who are asked to locate the missing body of a man who ventured off by himself and disappeared shortly after the news surrounding the fatal hiking adventure of the well known team.  An Englishman (the “Deacon”), a Frenchman (Jean-Claude) and an American (the narrator, named Jacob) agree that the mission to look for the body is doable but not without huge challenges.  They decide that it could be an opportunity of a lifetime and are exhilarated about discovering their own limits.  Before they set out on their journey (planned for the Summer of 1925), they must tie up some loose ends by confirming a few facts from a German hiker who apparently was the last to see the missing climber (Percival).  Whether secrets are being held back or someone is out to cause harm, the three companions soon realize that they have more to contend with than just the threats of the mountain—and those are plenty, in and of themselves.  What happened to Percival?  Was he taken down by an avalanche, as reported by the German witness or was something more sinister to blame?  Whatever the answer, they will have to discover it by facing the most deadliest conditions that is the harsh reality of Mount Everest.

HisLit title read-alikes:
I was really engrossed in this novel.  The subject matter and plot kept me interested and on the edge of my seat.  If you enjoyed this book too, you may want to approach these titles:
Snowblind by Christopher Golden
Paths of Glory by Jeffrey Archer
The Ice Soldier by Paul Watkins

HisLit author read-alikes:
Simmons work usually includes horrific circumstances that test human nature.  The following three authors are known for this similar style:
-Dean R. Koontz (Just as Simmons, Koontz is known for his Horror and Thrillers, creating atmospheric stories featuring sympathetic characters in difficult, often horrific situations.  Start with Watchers.)
-Matthew Pearl (Fans of Simmons’ more recent blending of historical fiction and supernatural thriller will enjoy the historical mysteries of Matthew Pearl.  Both men write literary, dark, suspenseful novels that play with possible (but improbable) answers to large historical questions.  Both men even have novels about Charles Dickens and his final, unfinished novel.  Start with The Dante Club.)
-Stephen King (Another author who crosses genres readily is Stephen King, and his evocative horror novels offer many satisfactions for Simmons’s fans, including fast-paced and involved story lines, personable protagonists, ominous undertones that grow into horrific situations, evocative settings, and satisfying resolutions.  Start with The Shining.)

I did not expect a mountain climbing story to include “horror” but I suppose it can be said that even natural disasters can themselves be seen in that light—as much as any paranormal entity, inexplicable life form or mountain yeti.


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