Monday, March 10, 2014


It took me a while to get into the book just because the elaborate story-telling felt overdone after having read so many works of non-fiction that captured my interest with a recounting of true events (or some version of them). Once I shifted my perspective though I really enjoyed the novel. It was interesting to think about it through the same lens as the other books we have read, asking the question: "what is the author's focus?"
            Touching My Father’s Soul focused on the emotional aspect of getting close to Norgay’s father’s experience. Touching the Void dedicated a great deal of writing to setting the reader up for the disaster, and Annapurna was focused on the overall expedition. The Eiger Sanction is more about the mystery. The focus on establishing the character and the backstory for the mission is a means of setting the reader up to be invested in Hemlock’s mission.
            The focus on the mystery and mission did, however, raise the question of whether or not I felt like this was an adventure narrative. I think on the one hand it is because it does involve the same kind of extreme adventure that we have been reading, but it is inherently different because the focus is definitely not on the extreme nature of the climb but rather the mission that Hemlock is on that happens to be taking place on an extreme climb.

1 comment:

  1. Isabel, your discussion of the mystery in "The Eiger Sanction" brought me back to the question: what do mountains do for us? Hemlock puts the role of mountains in perspective for us. Mountains provide a looming sense of mystery over us. They are a giant mystery that spark our imagination, much like this novel. As cheesy as it may sound, I think mountains and fiction novels are similar in the sense that they both spark one's imagination. They do so in similar ways because both mountains and novels allow us to make meaning for ourselves. I love reading nonfiction because my interpretation is the right interpretation. I can bring the story to life any way I want, and after reading all the climbing novels of this semester, it seems like mountaineers feel the same way about their climbs. They make meaning on the mountain as they see fit. So should we be reading all climbing adventure narratives as fiction?