This is probably the most thoroughly researched book I've ever read and yet it's easy to read. The first few chapters on WWI, in my opinion, should be compulsory reading for young adults everywhere. Davis makes clear the tenor of the times which allowed and encouraged the kinds of mind-numbing slaughter that happened on the European battlefields of WWI, and this helped me understand better how that sort of waste of human lives can happen. These chapters are also the perfect beginning for this book in that we see how the characters of many of the early Everest climbers were forged by their war experience. I've read many books on Everest climbs yet, to me, this was the most enlightening and educational of all of them. The story is told simply, but with compelling details that allow the reader to 'be there' - and a book on Everest is about as close as I want to get!