PositiveThe Wall Street JournalMr. Gee and Ms. Anguiano weave dozens of harrowing and heart-rending survivor accounts and expert opinions into a crisp, intimate portrait of the catastrophe.
MixedThe Wall Street Journal... [a] fast-paced survey of Himalayan mountaineering history ... To help readers follow his whipsaw tale, Mr. Ellsworth provides a chronological appendix of expeditions, a glossary of mountaineering terms and a top-shelf collection of descriptive endnotes. He has done excellent primary research, particularly with German sources, but most of Mr. Ellsworth’s anecdotes are reduced from classics of mountaineering literature ... Mr. Ellsworth’s revisionist touches help 21st-century readers see the Sherpas as individuals and give the traditional narrative of Himalayan conquest a fairer reading through the lens of imperialism ... Unfortunately, Mr. Ellsworth’s narrative compressions are so extreme that his book reads like a summary of mountaineering history for the easily distracted.
MixedThe Wall Street JournalThe author occupies a solid position from which to tell this story, and his characterizations of Mr. Honnold are convincing ... Although Mr. Synnott’s writing is fast-paced and enjoyable, episodes from his own climbing history make the book an odd hybrid—equal parts memoir, climbing journalism and authorized celebrity biography. The author struggles to contain disparate story lines, find a consistent channel through which to let the narrative flow, and keep the sequence of events easy to follow although not strictly chronological ... Either he is too much in awe of Mr. Honnold to pepper him with precise, persistent questioning, or Mr. Honnold couldn’t be bothered to answer ... Mr. Honnold’s impatience with what must be constant questioning is understandable, but such a thoughtful and literate person (he read Dostoevsky in a midcliff camp in Borneo) ought to challenge himself to better articulate the feelings, sensations, visions and lessons gleaned from his singular achievement. In that respect, Mr. Honnold has failed to fulfill the mythic hero’s final obligation: to bring back a story from the underworld. Or, more likely, Mr. Synnott has failed the interviewer’s task to force it out of him.
PositiveThe Wall Street Journal\"... well-written, informative and at times thrilling ... The final confrontation between Corbett and the murderous tiger is as exciting in Mr. Huckelbridge’s account as it was in Corbett’s own memoir...\
Jeffry D. Wert
MixedThe Wall Street JournalThe most enjoyable anecdote in Mr. Wert’s book describes President Lincoln personally testing the rapid-fire, breech-loading repeating rifle invented by Christopher Miner Spencer ... Mr. Wert’s stories of innovation and economic accomplishment don’t tie into a narrative of the Civil War’s military and political progression, but rather assume that readers already grasp the basic outline of the war. The author also plays down the war-profiteering of many of his barons. Though they no doubt helped free slaves and preserve the Union, most gained great benefit from the war ... The history doesn’t lack for...examples.
MixedThe Wall Street JournalWhat Mr. Kleiner adds to the canon is a brisk and personable narrative focusing on the stories of group-leader Chennault and a few of the ground crewmen ... Mr. Kleiner culls new details from previously unused or underused oral histories, diaries, personal letters and after-action reports. But he never quite establishes the relentless pace of operations that wore down the Flying Tigers ... Mr. Kleiner passes off at face value many of the AVG’s own overblown claims ... Mr. Kleiner casts Chennault as the hero...without taking Chennault to task for the poor planning, poor training and spare-parts shortages that hampered AVG operations from Day One.