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Summary

In 2014, Mount Everest was closed to all climbers after a devastating avalanche claimed the lives of 16 Nepali mountain workers ferrying loads up through the Khumbu Icefall on the mountain's southern approach through Nepal. Almost a year to the day later, in late April 2015, the mountain was once more rocked to its core after a large earthquake struck Nepal, sending shock waves rippling across the Himalayas. These ripples left a trail of devastation in their path causing, yet again, another avalanche to wreak havoc on the mountain. This time, 22 people lost their lives, in what would become the deadliest day in the mountain's history.

Back in 2013, Ellis J. Stewart, a then 40-year-old from the UK, had but one goal: to climb the mountain. Something he had targeted achieving for over 20 years. This book is the author’s story of those endeavors during the two most devastating years in the history of attempts on Everest.

Not every climber who goes to Everest succeeds; not every climber returns to tell the tale, but to return unscathed after such a large loss of life is a story to be told. This is that story.

Everest: It’s Not About the Summit is a very honest account of a lifelong dream shattered in tragic circumstances. From the streets of northern England through to the valleys and high mountains of Nepal, Stewart shared his story with thousands of followers on social media, winning over the hearts and minds of many. A groundswell of support sent Ellis to achieve his dream, not once but twice. Nobody could have anticipated the events that would follow. Events that would define Stewart in ways he couldn't possibly have imagined.

This book invites you into an intoxicating world - one where the margin between success and failure is brutally slim. This is a moving book with tragedy and commitment to a cause as a very central theme. It is a real story about real people. Whether it’s your usual genre of book or not doesn't matter, as it's basically a fantastic story. You don’t need to be a climber to enjoy this book, at all. It has universal appeal, and is a true inspirational cliff-hanger for all. This book should be in the audiobook collection of all - active and armchair mountaineers, alike.  

©2016 Ellis James Stewart (P)2019 Ellis James Stewart

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Interesting for certain people,but perhaps not all

I'm a big fan of mountaineering books and memoirs, especially those concerning the Himalaya which is why I bought 'Everest: It's not about the summit' and on the whole I was entertained by the story, however I would say there were a couiple of concerns.


Firstly, the narration is very monotone, with the narrator constantly sounding like he is on the brink of tears. It always puzzles me as to why authors don't read their own memoirs, but they have their reasons. I can't however think that Ellis' oration would have been worse than the incumbent! The narrator also clearly had no interest in the subject and/or had not researched the pronunciation of various elements to the sport, namely the mountains themselves. He pronounced Scafell Pike like 'scaffold' and also got Himalayan peaks wrong on the first go. Not the end of the world granted...but irritating for someone keen on the subject.


Secondly the story itself is full of self-doubt and failures. I understand that this, in escence IS the story, yet none of them are springboards to success and do get a touch tedious, however you may disagree. At the same time, the USP of the book is I think, how a man from very humble beginnings eventually managed to get onto the slopes of Everest with little or no clue about fundraising and despite all these failures. That would potentially be a great inspiration for other people in similar circumstances and with similar dreams, but when every single dull failure is noted...with the narrator's tone...it does wear on a tad.


The book is interesting in terms of an ordinary person trying to reach his goal, and is something of an inside story into the avalanche and earthquake disasters, but I the relative lack of detail concerning those events, coupled with the over-emphasis on the long succession of failures before stepping foot on the mountain, perhaps illustrates how those two elements should have been reveresed as to their prominence in the text?


Ben Waddams

3 people found this helpful

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The narrator oh dear me......

Being from the land the hung the Monkey I felt an affinity (I had grand parents in the same town during the 60s and 70s)

Looking forward to hearing about a hartlepudlian ...........

The narrator demonstrates as much passion as a squashed frog (the monkey was french) what a damn shame because for me it spoilt the story ...........sorry 🥲

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Couldnt stop listening!

This has reignited my lust for big mountains and the dream of Everest! First audiobook I have ever listened to - and what a listen it was