“ Genre: Junior Books / Author: Mark Frankland / Paperback / 118 Pages / Book is published 2000-05-12 by Glen Mill Publishing „
The account of the first conquest of an 8,000m mountain. Annapurna- Maurice Herzog ISBN 0-7126-7393-8 There have been few occasions in my life when I have honestly said, "I wish I could read French like a native." My headmaster instilled a healthy dose of francophobia which has left me with an ingrained suspicion of all things Gaul- just look at what they are doing at the moment. However, Herzog was French and he wrote his account in French- dashed inconvenient of him, what? There is only one disadvantage to this book and that is that the translation is slightly clumsy in places. DO NOT let this put you off! In a nutshell, the book follows the story of the first ascent of an 8,000m mountain. This was the days when finding the mountain was as uncertain as actually climbing it. No-one had ventured into "the death zone" above 8,000m before, so the very debilitating effects of this altitude were unknown. Techniques and equipment were primative and it was the calibre of the men involved that determined success or failure- both often resulting in death or horrible injury. Herzog dictated this from his hospital bed in Paris. He suffered terrible frostbite and fractures and the extraction march, which involved weeks of being carried on a stretcher across very rough terrain, was punctuated by several makeshift amputations and bouts of fever. Depending on the edition you read, for it has been reprinted many times, the introduction will be by any one of a myriad of famous climbers. All of whom put his achievement into context with their own, more famous, exploits. All agree that his was a far greater achievement. This then, is more an account of human determination, bravery, heroism and leadership than a simple mountaineering tale. When writing this review I found it difficult to place it in an approriate category. Annapurna is simultaneously History, Biography, Travel, Sports and many others. I put
it in Sports as this is where you will find the book in shops but it does not deserve to be nestled alongside the accounts of shallow, money grabbing footballers. I urge you to read this book. I guarantee you will feel humbled after you finish. This Frenchman has a lot to teach us all. That is praise indeed coming from me.
**About The Book 'The Drums Of Anfield'** Although aimed at a younger teenage audiance the style of writing is excellent, (although you don't need a dictionary to read it), and extremely addictive. The story charters veteran Liverpool captain Tony Hobbes. He recieves a nine match ban after a violent on pitch assault on 'cocky' Manchester United player Brad Finnighan. Holidays are hard to come by for 'Hobby' so during his suspended period, in which he is also injured, he takes his young son Ben to Africa. In the search of wilderness side of Africa they travel to Uganda, where he finds a frighteningly good 17 year-old boy named Simon Matembo. Refusing to turn a blind eye to this talent Hobbes encourages the boy to travel back to England and play for Liverpool. The boy accepts and travels back to Merseyside after much persuasion. The story picks back up in England were Liverpool are coming to the end of a long cup run. I don't want to go into this too much as I'm sure this book will be attractive to Reds of all ages. This defiantly gets a thumbs up and a rating of 4/5 , shame it had to finish so soon.