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
  • '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
  • 'The Moth and the Mountain is gripping and exquisite. A mad, magnificent, and moving tale'

    Philippe Sands, author of East West Street
  • '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
  • '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
  • 'This bonkers ripping yarn of derring-don't is a hell of a ride ... scrupulously researched ... Maurice Wilson was a one-off, quite outside the ordinary run of people, and The Moth and the Mountain is a "sorry, beautiful, melancholy, crazy" tribute to a man who, like a leaf in autumn, burnt brightest just before he fell'

    John Self, The Times
  • 'An urgent and humane story that invites not mockery of a madman, but pity and admiration. A small classic of the biographer's art'

    James McConnachie, The Sunday Times
  • 'Caesar is a journalist with a novelist's eye for character ... Wilson's story is bonkers, but also beautiful. The profile Caesar builds is compelling, colourful and warm - of a complex, contradictory man with admirable self-belief and a healthy disregard for class boundaries and national borders' (Book of the Week)

    Sam Wollaston, Guardian
  • 'A riveting tale of trauma, spiritual awakening and postwar derring-do ... a gem of a book ... meticulously researched' (Book of the Week)

    Observer

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