REVIEW Paths of Glory: Jeffrey Archer


A holiday read. I’ve always been interested in George Mallory’s story, and this book, though a fictionalized account of his life, was something I looked forward to reading. But it was just an average read, not a particularly inspiring one.

George Mallory is the son of a priest who has a passion for climbing. He goes to Cambridge and takes up a job as schoolmaster, but not before scaling most of the Alps and proving himself to be an accomplished mountaineer. So when the time comes for the Royal Geographical Society to select a climbing leader for the first Everest expedition, there is but one choice. But Everest is a tough lady to please, as Mallory finds out to his cost.

When Mallory’s body was discovered on the slopes nearly ten years ago, I was really interested in the story. There was no proof of whether he’d managed to reach the top, but many believe he did. Archer takes us through the life of a man who loved climbing, and had a continuous affair with Everest, an affair that eventually took his life. Mallory is an interesting character, and his courtship of his wife does make for interesting reading. But I found the other people around him quite unlikable. His climbing rival, George Finch, is shown to be a pretty arrogant guy, and Archer makes it seem that it was only due to Mallory’s graciousness that he ever made it to the expedition, despite being a great climber and a pretty practical person. I don’t know if that were actually true, but I didn’t really appreciate this blowing up of Mallory’s personality. The other people around Mallory are snobs, more interested in misplaced English pride and gaining fame from Mallory’s endeavor than actually supporting him. Paths of Glory was a little too sensationalized, and while it works well in Archer’s other stories, it didn’t work for me in this one.

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2 Responses
  1. Jenners Says:

    I read "Kane and Abel" by Jeffrey Archer and just hated it ... I wonder if it is the author to make the story less than fantastic.

  2. John Says:

    The sixth collection of engrossing 15 short stories from Sir Jeffrey Archer is inspired by people and situations from all around the world. The fact that Sir Jeffrey Archer needed some time on his own to work on the book “And Thereby Hangs a Tail” was accepted happily by his readers (read me). His latest book "And Thereby Hangs A Tale" is available at huge discount at

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