Reviews

  • 'The Moth and the Mountain is a gorgeous and deeply affecting book: a tale of tragedy and obsession, pluck and luck, told at the pace of a thriller and bursting with heart. Ed Caesar deploys every ounce of his considerable journalistic skill as he uncovers the true story of a great British eccentric driven by forces he only partly understands to the ends of the earth. This book deserves to be counted alongside Wade Davis' Into The Silence as one of the best ever written about the early attempts to conquer Everest. It is a fine, fine slice of history by a truly special writer who proves time and time again that he is among the best of his generation'

    Dan Jones, author of The Plantagenets
  • 'The Moth and the Mountain is gripping and exquisite. A mad, magnificent, and moving tale'

    Philippe Sands, author of East West Street
  • 'Ed Caesar has written a slim, ravishing chronicle that is absolutely bursting with life - doomed romance, the dread of the battlefield, the lure of adventure, hair-raising tales of amateur aviation, and, above all, the beauty and madness of the quest to ascend Earth's tallest summit. Maurice Wilson is as rich and full of surprise and contradiction as a character in a novel, and through painstaking historical research, Caesar brings his hero back to vivid life in all his messy, inspiring, ultimately tragic glory. A major feat of reporting and elegant storytelling'

    Patrick Radden Keefe, author of the Orwell Prize-winning Say Nothing
  • 'A story of adventure and war, of eccentricity and courage, of love and secrets and of the overwhelming urge one man had to climb the world's highest mountain. Ed Caesar writes like a dream, beautifully piecing together Maurice Wilson's life with compassion and intelligence. It's hard to imagine a finer tribute to one of Everest's forgotten heroes'

    Elizabeth Day
  • 'A towering, tragic tale rescued from oblivion by Ed Caesar's magnificent writing'

    Dan Snow
  • 'The Moth and the Mountain is a gripping story of heroism, adventure, madness and thwarted love, told with extraordinary empathy and intelligence. Ed Caesar is a writer of rare style and depth, and he has written a great and moving work of non-fiction'

    Mark O'Connell, Wellcome Book Prize-winning author of To Be a Machine and Notes from an Apocalypse
  • 'A wonderful adventure story, beautifully told. Based on years of painstaking archival research, Ed Caesar's The Moth and the Mountain brings us a modern-day myth with a beguiling, impossible hero from a vanished era of empire, one man on an epic quest that is by turns gripping and heartbreaking'

    Adam Higginbotham, author of Midnight in Chernobyl
  • 'Why climb the world's highest mountain? For King and Country; for the glory of God; because it is there. Or, as for Maurice Wilson, because of an unhappy love affair, a wartime trauma, and a longing to get away from a life whose values are measured at the cash register. In Ed Caesar's telling, the hapless, defiant Wilson becomes an unexpected hero - an unforgettable inspiration for anyone who chafes at the limits of ordinary life'

    Benjamin Moser. Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Sontag
  • 'Caesar delivers an evocative portrait of the life and times of British adventurer Maurice Wilson, who captivated the public's attention with his doomed attempt to climb Mount Everest in 1934 ... Caesar skilfully explores the political, intellectual, and spiritual movements of the era, as well as Wilson's psychic scars from the war ... this entertaining, well-researched chronicle is a valuable addition to mountaineering history'

    Publisher’s Weekly
  • Engagingly depicts Wilson and his times in ebullient and well-written prose ... a widely appealing and affecting character study, microhistory, story of love and loss, and inquiry into some surprising effects of trauma and personal tragedy

    Booklist

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