Tag Archives: © 2013 Book Chatter

Review: The Abominable

The Abominable

The Abominable
By Dan Simmons
(Little, Brown and Company, Hardcover, 9780316198837, October 2013, 672pp.)

The Short of It:

Armchair travelers, rejoice. The Abominable has it all, adventure, mayhem and a little bit of mystery.

The Rest of It:

A group of mountain climbers, hired by Lady Bromley head to Mount Everest in 1925 to find her son who never made it back from his trip to the summit the year before. Jean-Claude, Jake and Richard are hand chosen for their skills but when Regina “Reggie” Bromley-Montfort is foisted upon them as part of the expedition, the men aren’t sure what to think. The summit is not place for a woman and Richard makes his feelings known, but the funding for the trip is dependent upon her inclusion so the men adjust accordingly.

Turns out, Reggie is quite skilled, as is her escort Dr. Pasang. Not to mention her dealings with the Tibetan government which enable them to make the climb in the first place. Grudgingly, the other men accept her, but what they don’t realize is that there is a reason why Lord Percival went missing and when they find out, they are at the top of the summit and it’s too late to turn back.

If you’ve never read Simmons before, you really must. His knack for research and his ability to fictionalize just about anything is what makes me eager to pick-up his books as soon as they come out. He’s an AMAZING storyteller and with this one, I really felt as if I was up there on the summit, using my ice axe and tying off ropes with the best of them. The story is epic and a chunkster at that. At over 650 pages, you are asked to suspend your disbelief for quite a long time, and I did so willingly until the very last pages.

I won’t lie, the title, the blurb and the marketing of the book in general lead the reader to believe that it’s about one thing, but hundreds of pages in you realize that it’s not what you think. After reading another book by him, The Terror, I believed I knew the path this story was taking, but I was way off. At first, this angered the heck out of me. But after finishing the book, I do believe that the path the story took was even more horrifying than what I first expected.

In the end, I ended up liking the book quite a bit. It plucked me right out of reality (what I so badly needed at the time) and took me on an adventure like no other. There is a lot of technical jargon relating to climbing, but having no experience in climbing myself, I had no trouble picking up the terminology.

If you read to escape and like to travel from your armchair every now and then, you’ll appreciate this one. Grab a blanket though because this one left me literally freezing with its sub-zero temps and unpredictable weather. It’s THAT realistic.

Source: Borrowed
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.

The Sunday Salon: Are You Ready for 2014?

Sunday Salon

It’s taken me until now to realize that it’s Sunday. My clock is off. Always happens when I am off for a long period of time! Well, the day started off lovely but now The Girl is tossing her cookies. I knew something was up after she got up two times last night. She never gets up and when she did, not once, but twice, the first thing I said to The Hub was, “God, I hope she’s not sick.” Oh well! She’s perky. No fever. I have her camped out on the couch right now, just to be safe.

We didn’t have plans today anyway. In fact, my plan for the entire week is to just camp out here, but the kids might have something to say about that. Both the kids and Hub cannot lie low for any length of time. They get antsy. Me? I could hole up on the couch for days on end. Just throw some snacks at me every now and then, maybe some iced tea to go with them and I am good to go.

By the way, it’s like summer here. So Cal can be very unpredictable this time of year. We have a wind warning and man, is it windy! But it’s warm and sunny and so NOT like December. My Christmas stuff is still up and will be until after the new year. Speaking of which, The Teen is going to a New Year’s Eve party at the church he attends. Yes, he attends a different one than we do. Long Story I think we plan to order Chinese food and just hang out at home. New Year’s day will be spent at home as well.

Are you ready for the new year? I enjoy a fresh start and have already cleared out some clutter from the year. Also, between you and me, I really like the even years. I am hoping 2014 is a good year. I’d like to spend more time as a family and not be so stressed from extra-curricular activities and all the back and forth that goes with them. I’d like certain members of the household to be a little more responsible when it comes to schedules. YOU know who you are.

What am I reading?

I took a year off from book club and have been thinking about attending again. The book for this Thursday’s meeting is Canada by Richard Ford. I’ve never read him before but I started Canada yesterday and I am about 60% done. I am enjoying it but the last chunk is not as enjoyable as the first half.

I got my Goodreads year-end report the other day and noticed the numbers were off so then I had to go through alllll of my reviews to see which ones I forgot to add. I HATE that. Now my stats report is off for the year. What can you do? My numbers were down anyway. I hope this year will be a better year for reading. I just wasn’t into reading this past year. Funny, coming from a book blogger.

What am I cooking?

The weather is like summer so we will be grilling these ginormous steaks I picked up. And to go with them? Nothing less than ginormous baked potatoes and buttered green beans. I’ll be careful eating the potato. By the way, my throat is feeling much better. Not sure if The Girl will be able to eat but I’ll fix some soup for her if she can’t.

What am I watching?

We’ve been watching a lot of movies. Mostly, stuff we have on Netflix. We saw The Great Outdoors and Only You (Robert Downey Jr. version) last night. Oh, we also saw Death Becomes Her. Remember that one? It’s so old. I’d like to see a drama tonight but The Girl is all about comedy and rarely lets us see a drama. I’d also be okay watching back-to-back episodes of The Wonder Years. I love that show.

What are you doing today?