The Ascent of Rum Doodle. By W. E. Bowman. New York: Vanguard Press, 1957. 141 pages; ills. Price $2.95.
This is the antidote for the indigestion that follows reading too many mountaineering books. It is the account of the conquest of the great Rum Doodle, 40,000 feet high, lying beyond the ranges, five hundred miles away in Yogistan. It has everything: a foreword by Sir Hugely Havering, A.I.S.C., M.P.L., an introduction by O. Totter, and a day-by-day account of the Expedition to end all Expeditions. It describes the frightful sufferings on the way, analyzes the innermost psychological reactions of the team of famous mountaineers and gives the antecedent histories that explain their reactions, and pays a touching tribute to the 3000 porters who accompanied the climbing party. It incorporates verbatim the courageous messages that the inspired Leader sent to the Committee, even when the situation looked darkest. Altogether, it is a book that this reviewer recommends to all serious mountaineers, and to those not so serious.
Oscar R. Houston