Thursday, January 12, 2012 |
CBC Books is always on the look-out for book recommendations from some of our CBC personalities who love a good story. Recently, we caught up with actor Manoj Sood, of CBC-TV's Little Mosque on the Prairie.
Manoj Sood has appeared in more than 45 television and feature film productions, including the TV series Dead Like Me and the feature film Watchmen. But he's best known as Babar Siddiqui, the opinionated fundamentalist on Little Mosque.
Little Mosque on the Prairie is in its sixth and final season. It airs at 8:30 p.m. on Mondays on CBC Television.
Manoj Sood's recommendation is Into the Silence: The Great War, Mallory and the Conquest of Everest by Wade Davis.
Here's what he had to say:
"The story of Mallory and his disappearance on Everest is not a new story. Into The Silence is much more than that story; it is the story that reveals the 'psycho-motivation' as I call it that led men after World War I to seek out and conquer the unconquerable. When I was a child I would read about the conquest of Everest and wonder why these men exposed themselves to such peril. Wade answers this question. We learn how World War I gave birth to a 'club' of war veterans who through their experiences in the war became accustomed to the fear of death. The possibility of death was as familiar to them as the feeling of their wallet sitting in their back pocket. The embracement of this fear made it possible for these men to seek out and attempt the unattainable heights of Everest.
This embracement also supported the imperialistic ambitions of British society. Wade takes us to the elegant circles of Britain's ruling class, to the battlefields of France and to the death zone of Everest. We see how the climbers were one day using a mask to protect themselves from mustard gas on a French battlefield and then later were using a mask to breathe oxygen at a height of 25,000 feet. This book is not just an engaging story of a not-so-distant history but is also a very relevant insight into the aspects of human character that motivate us to go above and beyond...."
From the publisher:
" A magnificent work of history, biography and adventure.
If the quest for Mount Everest began as a grand imperial gesture, as redemption for an empire of explorers that had lost the race to the Poles, it ended as a mission of regeneration for a country and a people bled white by war. Of the twenty-six British climbers who, on three expeditions (1921-24), walked 400 miles off the map to find and assault the highest mountain on Earth, twenty had seen the worst of the fighting. Six had been severely wounded, two others nearly died of disease at the Front, one was hospitalized twice with shell shock. Three as army surgeons dealt for the duration with the agonies of the dying. Two lost brothers, killed in action. All had endured the slaughter, the coughing of the guns, the bones and barbed wire, the white faces of the dead.
In a monumental work of history and adventure, ten years in the writing, Wade Davis asks not whether George Mallory was the first to reach the summit of Everest, but rather why he kept on climbing on that fateful day..."
Read more at Random House Canada.