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  • From beautiful to harrowing and back

    I've recently finished Steve's book and I found it quite enjoyable to read. A collection of very interesting stories, some chapters were quite a rollercoaster from beautiful, to awkward and amusing or harrowing and back. At quite a few points I remember thinking "But why Steve?" and then continuing to read, looking for the answer. The story manages to sustain this level of interest for large sections, so it only took 5 or 6 evening sessions to make in through the 256 pages. There were a couple of quite late nights reading enough to see how a given adventure panned out. I think it's well written and very easy to read, and the use of the occasional photograph reduces the need for over long, flowery, poetic descriptions that never quite convey things as effectively. There's enough description of the technical side of climbing to make it accessible to non-climbers (I read several chapters to my wife) without it interrupting the flow of the prose for those more familiar with climbing. Stylistically, my only gripe is that occasionally the story will flashback to an earlier time and it isn't always clear this had happened for a few lines, requiring some rereading. This only happened in a couple of places so it was perhaps due to my eReader missing some formatting (or maybe it was because I should've put the book down earlier and gone to sleep!). It really was only a minor interruption to my reading. The story felt incredibly honest and upfront, and it certainly explores some of the less comfortable and less discussed regions of the human condition - Steve's descriptions of awkward teenage angst made me squirm. It's quite well paced, never slow or dull but at the same time not so fast paced it's exhausting or forced. Likewise the language is rarely overly complex or simple, like Goldilocks' bed (and unlike Steve's on many occasions) it was just right. Overall I really enjoyed the book and was slightly disappointed when I reached the end: 4/5 stars

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