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Item #: OP1829AB-995
THE VILLAIN: THE LIFE OF DON WHILLANS. Jim Perrin 2005 True 1st UK edition WINNER of the Boardman Tasker Prize Hardcover DJ New
By Perrin, Jim
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London, 2005, 1st UK edition. 354 pp, 36 b/w photos. Winner of the Boardman Tasker Award, the First Edition of this book sold out in a month, and has become quite hard to find.  Hardcover, Dust Jacket, New condition.

Don Whillans has an iconic significance for generations of climbers. His epoch-making first ascent of Annapurna’s South Face, achieved with Dougal Haston in 1970, remains one of the most impressive climbs ever made, a standard to which all modern Himalayan climbers aspire – but behind this and all his other formidable achievements lies a tough, recalcitrant reality: the character of the man himself.

At twenty, Whillans was 5 foot 4 inches tall, a working-class lad with the build of a miniature Atlas. Within a year of entering the climbing world in 1950 he had acquired parallel reputations of great skill and daring on the one hand, and as a hell-raiser, a scrapper and a savage-tongued wit on the other – the Villain of the title, who was turned down for a Queen’s Birthday Honour because of a violent fracas with several policemen.

His world was miles away from the conventional public-school environment of the upper-class climbers who had for so long dominated the sport, and this itself led to tensions throughout his life.

Whillans carried within himself a sense of personal invincibility, forceful, direct and uncompromising. It gave him sporting superstar status – the flawed heroism of a Best, a McEnroe, an Ali. In his own circle, his image was the working class hero on the rock-face, laconic and bellicose, ready to go to war with the elements or with any human who crossed his path on a bad day. 

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