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

Dec 09, 2020, 06:58 PM
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.