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K2: The Story of the Savage Mountain


by Jim Curran


The Mountaineers Books, Seattle, 1995.


“Many are the books about individual expeditions to K2, the world's second highest summit. In recent years that number has proliferated in proportion to the reputation for ferociousness the mountain has earned. But there has hitherto been no book that tells K2's full story and that includes between its covers the sum of the ordeals and sacrifices endured by the people of many beliefs, languages, races and nationalities who have been attracted to K2 as by a magnet. Jim Curran's compact, informative and well-rounded account fills the gap.

In writing what clearly started out as a history, Curran, whether deliberately or not, has achieved three objectives of value to the reader: First, he makes available an almost encyclopedical and well-organized mass of histry. Second, his text introduces a powerful cautionary element badly needed for future visitors to the mountain, and which contains valuable objective lessons. And third, he supplies a great deal of statistical data not previously available in any one volume.”
Andrew John Kaufman, “American Alpine Journal” 1996, p. 347-349

“Picking up Jim's book, I dreaded working my way through a tome of dates, records and endless quotes. I was more than pleasantly surprised to find that he has crafted a beautifully summarised history to the climbing of this peak, combining humour and drama and continuously tempting the reader to look deeper into other sources for the full story behind particular teams. (…)
Curran has obviously conducted a hell of a lot of research in the construction of this tale and I almost envy the gems he must have discovered and the excitement as he came across the various contradictions. I seriously recommend this book as one of the most readable historical perspectives in mountaineering literature. Never too detailed and always economical, it holds the attention and leaves you feeling a little more knowledgeable.”
Geoff Hornby, “On The Edge” 1995, No. 52, October-November, p. 64

“An accomplished writer in his own right, Curran guarantees the thoroughness and integrity of this effort by including, among other things, excerpts from Peter Boardman's journals, historical perspectives by Galen Rowell, and an updated appendix of expedition statistics that first appeared in Kurt Diemberger's book, The Endless Knot. Interviews with Jim Wickwire and Charlie Houston round out this entertaining and educational reference.”
“Rock and Ice” 1995, No. 70, p. 132

“There is a lesson in this book that should make it required reading for any mountaineer who contemplates K2 in his — or her — personal future. This mountain is only for the bold and the very competent. Most especially does it not tolerate minor errors of judgment. For the armchair reader however, mountaineer or not, this is a compelling book and an excellent read.”
John Cleare, “High” 1995, No. 156, November, p. 93

 

 

 
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