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Mountains of the Mind: How Desolate and Forbidding Heights Were Transformed into Experiences of Indomitable Spirit Hardcover – Import, 3 June 2003

4.6 out of 5 stars 405 ratings

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Review

“This is the sort of book that restores confidence in the travel genre. Erudite, full of information you did not know you wanted to know, and charged with the author’s singular passion for his subject.”
—Robyn Davidson, author of Tracks

“A compelling meditation on what draws man to risk himself to be on top of empty, dangerous crags, this is an assemblage of dreamers and athletes, the bloody-minded and crazed––all those proud and ultimately helpless protagonists who take on the lofty slopes of the mountains which are Macfarlane’s fascination. He has been up there and come back down through the foothills to offer us his thoughtful and gracious elegy, telling us eloquently the secret of it all, which is that no one can ever truly conquer a mountain.”
—Benedict Allen, editor of The Faber Book of Exploration

“If you have ever wondered why people climb mountains, here is your answer. Part history, part personal observation, this is a fascinating study of our (sometimes fatal) obsession with height. A brilliant book, beautifully written.”
—Fergus Fleming, author of Ninety Degrees North

“What a vertiginously skilled writer! This is a terrific exploration, abundant with sensorial nuance, of our human obsession with stony heights. Despite its apt title and the history of ideas that it expertly narrates, Macfarlane’s book really shows how the Earth’s mountains, cloud-kissed and implacable, steadily resist and refute the successive attempts of the human mind to scale them.”
—David Abram, author of The Spell of the Sensuous

About the Author

Robert Macfarlane was born in 1976. He is a fellow of Emmanuel College, Cambridge, and he contributes to the Observer, the Times Literary Supplement, and the London Review of Books, among other publications. Mountains of the Mind is his first book.

Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Pantheon (3 June 2003)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 320 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0375421807
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0375421808
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 581 g
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 16.43 x 2.82 x 24.31 cm
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.6 out of 5 stars 405 ratings

Customer reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5
405 global ratings
How are ratings calculated?

Top review from India

Reviewed in India on 29 July 2014
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Top reviews from other countries

Podiceps cristatus
5.0 out of 5 stars A Classic
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 8 April 2019
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16 people found this helpful
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A. G. Young
4.0 out of 5 stars A fascinating read (but you can keep your crampons - I'm happy to climb by armchair).
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 1 May 2021
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jonxboy
4.0 out of 5 stars As ever, Robert McFarlane's writing is beautiful and stimulating
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 19 June 2017
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7 people found this helpful
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Mark
5.0 out of 5 stars A genuine work of art
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 4 January 2017
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10 people found this helpful
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Guy
4.0 out of 5 stars An unusual but enjoyable read
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 20 February 2013
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13 people found this helpful
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