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Flame of Adventure, The
Yates shares his perspective on climbing styles, personal experiences & cultures encountered in his travels.
||Flame of Adventure, The
|| (4.00 of 5)
|The Flame of Adventure
Filling the Void
The Essential Gist: Yates does a ‘Game of Ghosts’ – except with less introspection and more farting.
60-second summary: Professional global climbing bum Yates has packed more activity into the last twenty years than most achieve in several lifetimes. Here, the whole story is shoe-horned into 218 pages and belted out break-neck speed. Long on dialogue, and short on description, this is very much a book along the lines of the ‘sports autobiography’, with the emphasis on action and incident rather than any real attempt at a deeper analysis of the writer’s own feelings and motivation. However, although Yates is no philosopher, and the exotic cast of fellow mountaineering vagabonds (Andy Cave, Mark Miller, Sean Smith, Tommy Curtis et al) remain disappointing two-dimensional, the author is a competent spinner of unlikely-sounding yarns, and the pace of his monologue rarely lets up. From alpine epics, through adventures and manifold illnesses in Pakistan and Nepal, to mini-bus crashes in Scotland, it’s all here. Everything except stuff about cutting ropes in fact.
Characteristic excerpt: ‘I was leading the steepest section of the ridge when the dawn began. As the horizon to the east gradually brightened I saw lightning flickering inside a mass of thunderheads. The sky above turned amazing shades of blues, violets and purples. Beams of light cut through the gaps in the cloud and illuminated distant mountains. Then suddenly the sun popped up from behind the West Ridge of K2, bathing the mountains all around in a rich orange light. Tears poured from my eyes and rolled down my cheeks. I wiped them away and they froze to my gloves.’
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