Paths of Glory, Audiobook by Jeffrey Archer has been on the New York Times Best Seller List for a long time.
Some people have dreams that are so magnificent that if they were to achieve them, their place in history would be guaranteed. People like Isaac Newton, Christopher Columbus, Nancy Astor, Charles Lindbergh, Amy Johnson, Edmund Hilary, Thomas Edison, Neil Armstrong and Florence Nightingale – their unparalleled success has made their stories into legends. But what if one man had such a dream, and once he had achieved it, there was no proof that he had fulfilled his ambition?
Jeffrey Archer’s novel, Paths of Glory, is the story of such a man – George Mallory. Born in 1886, he was an exceptional student who became part of the Bloomsbury Group at Cambridge University, UK in the early twentieth century and served in the Royal Garrison Artillery during World War I. After the war, he married, had 3 children, and would have spent the rest of his life as a school teacher, but for his love of mountain climbing.
Mallory once told a reporter that he wanted to climb Mount Everest, “because it is there.” On his third try in 1924, at the age of 37, he was last seen 400 feet from the top. His body was found in 1999, and it remains a mystery whether he and his climbing partner, Andrew Irvine, ever reached the summit.
In fact, not until you’ve heard the last words of Archer’s extraordinary novel will you be able to decide if George Mallory should be added to that list of legends, while another name would have to be removed. Paths of Glory is truly a triumph.