The Moated Mountain, by Showell Styles. London: Hurst and Blackett, 1955. 255 pages; ills.; diagrams; endpaper map. Price 18 s.
Showell Styles is also known as Glyn Carr, author of "Murder on the Matterhorn," and other detective stories and books on mountains. This time he has written the tale of his own Himalayan expedition. It is sad that the four sahibs and the four sherpas involved did not succeed in climbing Baudha, the moated mountain, in Nepal, but the fact does not affect the flavor of this delightful adventure story. From the moment the writer first meditates on Nepal by moonlight from the back of a sleeping cow to the moment when we find him adorned with flowers behind his ears celebrating his final "Rakshi" party in a remote Nepalese village, we are spirited away to that most entrancing of countries. This does not mean however, that there was not much serious climbing involved, and the writer has gone to much trouble to provide helpful information for future Nepalese expeditions. For mountaineers and non-climbers alike this book makes delightful reading, for it is well-written, humorous and vivid, and made one reader at least wish to take the next plane to India! Each section is prefaced by a Nepalese chant or dance, and the tunes are surprisingly charming and easy on western ears.
An excellent endpaper map makes it simple to follow the party’s many attacks on the defenses of Baudha. Better luck next time!