The Abominable

To be fair to the author, he one hundred percent duped me. To be even more fair, I didn’t like this book before I figured out my mistake. This book is extremely not good.

Beginning with a lovely anecdote about the author meeting an old climber, The Abominable is a novel about climbing Mount Everest. Fresh off The Terror (an amazing novel) I was ready for another historical horror with some abominable snowmen. I expected something similar, and I guess that was my mistake.

First, I assumed the story was written by this fictional Jacob Perry, writing a novel of his own, published posthumously by Simmons. As such, I forgave many of the early flaws. AKA super technical descriptions of climbing gear and techniques, phrases used word for word in subsequent paragraphs, descriptions reused unnecessarily. Brief example, a character says he is tired in paragraph A. Paragraph B has to do with a different topic. Then in paragraph C the character states that he is tired, again. I just learned that. And he didn’t perform a new action so you just repeated to me that he is tired. Got it.

And the final flaw: they don’t get to the fucking mountain until halfway through the book.

And the book is over 600 pages long! It’s too big. I learned more about climbing in the 1920s then any other subject. And I don’t even like climbing. This book needed an editor BAD. Once I found out that it wasn’t another author Simmons was helping out, these sins became unforgivable. The action really only picks up in the last 150 pages or so (a halfway-okay plot about Nazis and spies that seemingly comes out of nowhere). AND THERE ARE ZERO YETIS.

I love Dan Simmons. I really do. But don’t be fooled. This is not a book you want to pick up. Unless you are really into climbing and love some Simmon’s prose. The only character I liked ended up dying as well. Total bummer.

1 out of 4 stars.

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