Throughout all of the books we’ve read we’ve touched upon the idea of what it means to write about an event after it happens; how the story becomes manipulated in hindsight. While reading through the book up until the point where Simpson and Yates actually start climbing, I couldn’t help but feel like he was artificially trying to invoke a sense of dread in the reader from the very first pages. Very early on he mentions that he felt “spasms of fear” (25) and “a sharp strong sense of danger” (31), which to me implied that he knew from the start that something was going to go wrong. It felt like overplayed foreshadowing while I was reading it.
The other books that we have read have highlighted the fact that every single small occurrence and decision can have enormous consequences, and once Simpson and Yates began to climb it was clear that the frightening, smaller events leading up to the disaster were important signs of danger. That being said, I think the other books allowed me to develop a sense of dread and impending doom just by explaining the facts, and as I was reading I felt like Simpson was using his writing to manipulate my emotions in the early pages by referencing his feeling that something bad was going to happen, rather than let them develop naturally by reading his description of the events and his fears as they were happening.
Once the climbing actually began I think Simpson did a great job of capturing the events leading up to and following his injury. I like the way that he juxtaposed his writing with Yates’ narrative. My criticism lies in the fact that I think I would have more naturally developed an emotional response to what I was reading once he started describing the climb, and felt like the foreshadowing was overdone in the first few pages of the book.