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Item #: BK1301-939
IN CAVERNS OF BLUE ICE: A NOVEL 1991 1st ed Hardcover DJ New SIGNED by Richard Roper
By Roper, Richard
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Detailed Product Description

San Francisco, 1991, 1st edition. 188 pp. Hardcover with dust jacket. New condition.

SIGNED by Richard Roper.

Though this book purports to be a novel, an epilogue seems to place its events and characters firmly in the real world. A stiff, distant narrative tone, along with a somewhat superficial recounting of facts, gives the impression that this is a biography rather than a work of fiction. While this blurring of genres is likely to frustrate some readers, fans of the sport of mountain-climbing will find plenty of excitement in the story of Louise DeMaistre, the first woman mountain guide. 

Daughter of a famous climber, Louise's innate climbing talent propelled her into the limelight, and on to some of the most difficult mountains in the world. Detailed, breathtaking descriptions of various ascents convey a lasting impression of the hardships endured by climbers in their sometimes fatal pursuit of glory. A juvenile novel, Ages 10 and up.. Grades 5 - 9.

From School Library Journal: This novel about climbing in the French Alps and Himalayas three decades ago centers on the life of Louise DeMaistre and her family. An innocent, adventurous romance, a rarified update of Gene Stratton Porter, it reads like fact. Names, dates, and places of first ascents; interpersonal conflicts, depression, and injuries; and Louise's on-and-off romantic interest in a Canadian climber, Lawrence Darnley, are skillfully blended to create a realistic atmosphere. Harrowing events are related with typical climber understatement. Frequent parenthetic asides seem a distraction, yet contribute to the 'fireside chat, ' retrospective quality of the narrative.

The climactic events occur when Louise and Darnley, near death from the combined effects of altitude, cold, and exhaustion after summitting Changamal, retreat into a crevasse where they finally reconcile their relationship. Improbable as their escape seems, it vividly recalls Touching the Void: The Harrowing First Person Account of One Man's Miraculous Survival by Joe Simpson.

The epilogue too neatly reveals that Louise and Darnley marry, lead fulfilling lives, and pass on their climbers' determination to their daughter. Nevertheless, this is an interesting read that beautifully describes the allure of the mountains and their challenges. Louise's struggle to maintain her identity as a woman while competing with men in a high risk, physical environment will inform many readers about the possibilities and challenges they too may face in pursuit of their dreams.


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