Author Topic: The Abominable [Dan Simmons - 2013]  (Read 54 times)

Daithi

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The Abominable [Dan Simmons - 2013]
« on: February 23, 2017, 01:01:53 AM »
I didn't pay much attention to this book when I was picking it up, jumping to the conclusion based on the title and setting, that it was a tie in to Dan's book "The Terror", which I really, really enjoyed. It isn't. There are no supernatural elements in the book, but that's not why I found The Abominable to be among the weakest books I've read by the author.

It tells the story of a small group of mountaineers on an expedition to Everest in 1924 to recover the body of a British Lord, lost under unusual circumstances the year before. The character work is broad stroke with some deft touches, and the book does a good job of conveying the terrible danger, physical and mental cost of high altitude climbing. The first section of the book which covers the build up and preparations, while generally well written is, far, far too detailed. Though "The Terror" was somewhat similar in this regard, I found it to be much more engaging. Details on equipment, techniques are laboured over in this section of the book to the extent that only a mountaineer would be likely to find them engaging.

The book switches pace around half way through, moving into thriller territory. I enjoyed parts of the thriller section quite a lot, finding many parts of the cat and mouse chase pretty engaging. Overall though, for me the Abominable is too wordy, too concerned with climbing minutae, and becomes engaging much too late. Read "The Terror" instead.
« Last Edit: February 23, 2017, 01:04:25 AM by Daithi »