M.G. Edwards' Kilimanjaro: One Man's Quest to Go Over the Hill represents as much of an extraordinary personal journey as it is a physical challenge.
Forty years old and on the verge of midlife crisis, the author is at a crossroad - continue in an unfulfilling career as an American Diplomat or follow his heart's true desire since childhood of becoming a writer. One choice brings admiration, glamor, security, but also dissatisfaction; the other is tentative at best. He writes:
"The future weighed on my mind. Approaching middle age, I was overweight and out of shape, living a sedentary lifestyle, and stuck in a rut. A series of personal setbacks left me a bitter man. Every time I was convinced life would get better, another letdown hit me. A midlife crisis, something that just a few years ago I never thought possible, was brewing."
He lifts his eyes toward Mt. Kilimanjaro at 19,341 feet above sea level, the catalyst to finding the answer. Refusing to allow a barrage of misgivings, doubts, and severe ailments diminish his resolve to attempt the climb, he sets out with three friends to tackle Africa's highest peak.
His words capture the magnificent beauty of nature, while candid revelations let you glimpse into the epicenter of personal conflict. "The barren wasteland reminded me how close we were to touching the heavens yet still bound to earth like ants on a giant mound." He lets you see, "the heavens opened up to reveal the summit of Kibo Peak" that reached "for the sky yet seemed close to the touch, and it beckoned me to head for the summit, a temptation that instilled me with a false confidence." You'll experience life at camp, shivering inside a tent from unendurable chill and relentless downpours, and gaze upon a "crescent moon and an array of stars blossomed in the night sky and illuminated the landscape with twinkles of light dancing on the thick layer of frost that covered every surface."
M.G. Edwards' book will inspire not only those who dream of such an adventure, but anyone who faces their own inner Kilimanjaro.
I hope to have whetted your appetite, for this brilliant book will offer an adventure unlike any other that you will relish. Enjoy!
T. Donna Robison Author No Kiss Good-bye (coming 2012) <...>
Couldn't put it down2012/4/25
I admit I bought this book because the author is a friend.
I started reading it because that's what friends do.
I couldn't put it down because it is a well written story about a real person's adventure, triumphs, fears, challenges and success. It's not about a superhero but a person like me going on the type of adventures I like to go on. I take that back. He is my hero.
As the previous reviewer had already commented. A book written on this topic would not be something I'd have chosen, since I'm neither a climber, have no interest in athletics, nor am I someone who would normally physically challenge myself in this way. That said, I read it for no other reason then I was already somewhat familar with this writer's work, having previously read his collection of short stories which I'd enjoyed considerably.
And what I found to my astonishment, was a book that was not only exceptionally well written, holding the readers rapt attention from first page to last. But it's also a book that gives you a glimpse into the writers inner conflicts, as he grapples with his career, along with the life changing decisions for himself and his family, that go along with it.
Every step along the way he challenges his physical endurance and stamina, as much so as stretching the mental alertness and dicipline needed in the quest to achieve the goal he'd set out for himself. Ultimately reaching his goal no matter how lofty even when it seemed unattainable.
This book and M.G. Edwards achievement,should serve as a lesson to us all. Even goals that may initially seem beyond our reach, often are more within our grasp then we realize.
Exciting and Uplifting Read2012/9/28
I love when M.G. Edwards, thru his writings, makes me feel like I am right there with him during the preparations and the climb. His colorful use of words throughout the book brought this non-fiction journey right to me. I love that feeling. I enjoyed the many personal goals he shared on this climb, showing how to work towards them. Equally enjoyable for me is his take on how he and his teammates worked together and managed their own personal goals and struggles during the adventure. I highly recommend this book.
Must read whether you are a hiker or not.2014/10/3
I am 38 years old and not a person that reads a lot of books but I do hike quite a bit and my dream hike is Kilimanjaro. I came across this book while doing a little research on the mountain. This book is amazing, and inspiring, and since reading it I want to hike Kili all that much more. The trials and tribulations that the group goes through both physically and mentally are something that I would expect on a mountain like this but reading it you can picture the steps and feel what they are going through. I myself am at this crossroad in life and to see that someone can attempt and conquer this mountain and not be this elite climber really makes that fire burn for me. Whether you are a hiker or not this is an amazing story that will inspire you to chase after that dream.