I notice that the new Jeffrey Archer paperback features a re-telling of the life story of mountaineer George Mallory.

As you probably know, Mallory and his climbing partner Andrew Irvine may have been the first people to summit Mount Everest; on June 8 1924, Mallory and Irvine were climbing Everest and were seen from afar, as black specks just below the summit ridge, by another member of their party.

And then they were never seen again, though Mallory’s body was found about a decade ago. There’s never been any completely conclusive evidence to eastblish whether or not Mallory and Irvine made it to the top and died on the way down, or died en route.

Anyway, though I’ve never read an Archer book, the fact that his last book was a re-telling of The Count of Monte Cristo (one of my favourite novels) and his latest one is about another subject close to my heart inevitably makes me conclude that Archer’s deliberately trying to get my attention and make me read his books. And as a contrary type, I shan’t be duped so easily into parting with my cash (especially not to the funds of a convicted perjurer).

Instead, if you want to read about this subject, I’d recommend you either read The Ghosts Of Everest by Hemmleb, Johnson and Simonson for a very solid recounting of the search for the bodies and belongings of Mallory and Irvine; or – as pictured above – for a more fictional angle on it, have a look at The Summit of the Gods by Yumemakura Baku and Jiro Taniguchi.

It’s the first volume of a Japanese comic story based around a chap who thinks he may have found Mallory’s camera (and the camera did exist and has never been recovered), with some lovely art. I’ll freely admit that I’m only halfway through reading it myself at present, but it’s a very good read, with several storylines running at once – including, of course, flashbacks to the 1924 expedition.

What’s that you say? You want evidence of the loveliness of the art? Well, all right, you demanding tyke, have a look at this five-page preview here. And as it’s a Japanese comic, don’t forget you have to read from right to left.

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