|Plot Summary of Tenzing Norgay and the Sherpas|
|"On May 29, 1953, Tenzing Norgay made history when he and Edmund Hillary became the first men ever to reach the top of the Himalayas' Mount Everest, the highest mountain in the world.
This book, written by Norgay's grandson, Tashi Tenzing, and Tenzing's wife Judy, places Tenzing Norgay in context, exploring the Sherpa culture. (Sherpas are the native people, Buddhists, who live on the south side of Everest. They're famous for their climbing abilities and capacity to endure cold.) As a whole, the Sherpas are a very devout people who prize nature, even the very harsh nature they live in.
Tenzing Norgay wasn't sure of the year he was born. (Historians believe it was probably 1914.) Long thought to have been born in Nepal, he was actually born in what is now Tibet Autonomous Region. By the time he signed on with the Hunt expedition of 1953, he'd been part of six other attempts to ascend Everest.
Although this book has an excellent account of the actual ascent, what I found most interesting is Tenzing's account of the rest of his grandfather's life. Plunged into the limelight, he often had trouble dealing with his sudden fame. But he would use it to champion the cause of his very poor people.
This book also includes the story of Tashi Tenzing's own ascent of Everest in 1997, 11 years after the death of his grandfather.
One interesting aside - historians have debated whether it was Hillary or Norgay who actually first made it to the very summit of Everest (just as people debate whether Peary or Henson made it to the North Pole first). Tenzing thinks it was Hillary.
Ann Gaines, Resident Scholar
|Review Analysis of Tenzing Norgay and the Sherpas|
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Ratings are on a 1-10 scale (Low to High)
- tall mountains
- surviving in outdoors
Period of greatest activity?
Subject of Biography
Is this an ordinary person caught up in events?
Biography of famous person?
- Other Asian
How sensitive is this person?
- sensitive to others' feelings
- Smarter than most other people
- very athletic
How much descriptions of surroundings?
- 9 ()
- climbing with ropes
- mostly 3rd
Accounts of torture and death?
- generic/vague references to death/punishment
Book makes you feel?
Writer's slant towards subject:
- very favorable
Story of entire life, or part?
- story of nearly entire life
Is this a biography of several people?
- A ton 16-20 B&W
How much dialogue in bio?
- little dialog
How much of bio focuses on most famous period of life?
- 26-50% of book
Click here for more information about this book
Tashi Tenzing and Judy Tenzing Resident Scholar Profiles|
Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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