It was difficult for me to get into this novel after reading the adventure narratives we have read thus far this semester. I was waiting for the author to establish Hemlock’s credibility as a climber, but climbing is not the focus of the novel. The focus is Hemlock’s adventurous spirit. He is an adventurer in the sense that he follows his passions that include collecting art and climbing. Contrary to the other narratives we have read, climbing is not portrayed as the climber’s life. Climbing is not Hemlock’s life, rather it is a hobby. It is a thrilling escape from reality which sheds light on other’s motivations for climbing.
So is “The Eiger Sanction” an adventure novel? After reading the narratives of great climbers, I’m having trouble viewing this book as an adventure novel. Hemlock doesn’t set out to climb in the Swiss Alps, he is assigned to. Out of the authors/climbers we have read so far, how many of them set out to climb, and how many of them were assigned to climb? It seems like most climbers are assigned to climb—something or someone moves them to do so. One’s desire to climb does not come out of thin air. Hemlock is motivated to climb by his own greed. He climbs in order to get paid, so he can afford to buy his fancy paintings. I guess I would consider it an adventure novel, but I do not like it as much as the others.