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The White Spider, The History of the Eiger's North Face

The White Spider, The History of the Eiger’s North Face, by Heinrich Harrer, translated from the German by Hugh Merrick. London: Rupert Hart-Davis, 1959. 240 pages; 41 ills., of which two are in color. Price 30s.

Although this fascinating account of the climbs and tragedies of the Eiger’s North Face was reviewed last year when it appeared in German, it seems fitting to call attention to its English translation. The reviewer had merely meant to "look” at the book; before he knew it, he had read it from cover to cover. Herr Harrer writes well and the translation flows smoothly and easily. Although we may wonder whether it is justifiable to make an ascent where the objective dangers are so great, this interesting and complete account makes an excellent defense of these climbs. Without resorting to the cheap sensationalism, which has marred the reporting of the Eiger in the press, this book cannot fail to hold the reader’s interest.

H. Adams Carter