The Wildest Dream:
The Biography of George Mallory
By Peter and Leni Gillman
Seattle: Mountaineers Books, 2000. UK Edition - Hodder Headline, 329 pages;
“Since the discovery of George Mallory's body in 1999 high on the flanks of Mt. Everest, a firestorm of media has refueled the mystery and debate over whether he and Sandy Irvine achieved the summit before perishing. Compared to other recently published books about Mallory, The Wildest Dream conjectures less directly about whether Mallory and Irvine did or did not summit the mountain. Instead of dissecting every possible detail of the evidence found to date, this book gives the reader a much broader perspective and context, providing rare insight into Mallory's abilities, drive, determination, accomplishments, and psychology. The Gillmans thereby shed as much light on how high Mallory and Irvine may have climbed as any detailed, hypothetical thesis has. These intangible aspects of Mallory's personality— illuminated so expertly in these pages—are what make a great climber out of an ordinary athlete, what squeezes triumph from disappointment, and what makes Mallory, the man, as compelling as speculation about his success on Everest.
The Wildest Dream is a wonderfully done biography, and just might be the final word on Mallory. In exhaustive and sometimes painstaking detail, it chronicles Mallory's ancestors, early childhood as a pastor's son, life through adolescence, and finally coming of age at Cambridge University.”
Neal Beidleman, “American Alpine Journal” 2001, p. 426-427