The Book Club: one man’s failed attempt to climb Everest

December 18, 2020 | 12:15 am

In this week’s Book Club podcast, Sam Leith’s guest is the journalist Ed Caesar, whose new book The Moth and the Mountain tells the story of a now forgotten solo assault on Everest that ended in disaster. But as Ed argues, the heroic failure can be a richer and more resonant story than any triumph — and as he painstakingly excavated the story of Maurice Wilson, it was just such a rich and resonant story he discovered: of a character who became fixated on the mountain as a means of redeeming wartime trauma and a chequered and at times disgraceful romantic history, of getting his own back on hated authority figures, and — just possibly — of finding a safe space for his darkest secret of all.


More from Book Club

Join the discussion

Join The Spectator community and view or post a comment on this article.

Comments

Stay informed

Thought-provoking commentary and opinion on politics, books and the arts.

Notice to Readers: The Spectator World and The American Spectator are marks used by independent publishing companies that are not affiliated in any way. If you are looking for The American Spectator, please click on the following link: spectator.org   Web-only content Copyright © 2021 The Spectator // Magazine content Copyright © 2021 The Spectator