A fascinating, thought-provoking biography of a climbing legend.
Don Whillans has been an icon for generations of climbers. His first ascent of Annapurna's South Face with Dougal Haston in 1970, remains one of the most impressive climbs ever made - a standard to which all contemporary Himalayan climbers aspire. But Perrin examines the tough reality behind Whillans' formidable achievements - the character of the man himself. Despite his skill and daring, Whillans was a savage-tongued, hell-raising scrapper - turned down for a Queen's Birthday honour, because of a violent fracas with the police. Coming out of a world miles away from the environment of the upper class climbers who dominated the sport, Whillans' forceful, uncompromising personality gave him superstar status - the flawed heroism of a Best, a McEnroe, or an Ali.
From the Hardcover edition.
"A packed and entertaining book . . . Exhaustively researched and beautifully written" -- M. John Harrison * The Guardian *
"Wonderfully crafted . . . One of the most gifted chroniclers of mountaineering . . . Perrin records it all with a subtle sympathy, laying bare British mountaineering's most mythologized figure" * The Independent *
"An extraordinarily rich and unsentimental vision . . . The genius of this exceptional biography is that it articulates both sides of Whillans' character . . . It is by turns funny and tragic . . . This is a fine book. It was worth the wait" * Climb *
"Compelling, beautifully written . . . There could not have been a better writer qualified to tell it" -- Ed Douglas * Climber *
"A kind of modern tragedy . . . Yet for all his failings, Whillans remains a legend" * Observer *