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Fragile Edge (1989)

por Maria Coffey

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523385,612 (4.25)Nenhum(a)
Maria Coffey's tale is at once a deeply personal love story and a penetrating look into the world of professional climbers. Such clarity and honesty are seldom seen in mountain writing." - Greg Child, author of Postcards from the Ledge Critically acclaimed Fragile Edge won the coveted the International Literary Mountain prize for Maria Coffey's eloquently written story of how climbing tragedies affect those who are left behind. This is a powerful story describes how she survived the loss of her long-time partner, dealing with the sorrow and confusion, anger and healing. With openness and honesty, Coffey describes her love affair with elite British mountaineer Joe Tasker, who perished with his climbing partner Peter Boardman while attempting Everest's then-unclimbed Northeast Ridge in 1982. She relives her experiences, first within the hard-partying mountaineering scene and then during her long journey to understanding and acceptance of the tragedy that cost her the man she loved. She gives us an insider's view of the life of a world-class mountaineer and recounts her deeply moving pilgrimage with Boardman's widow across Tibet, a journey that retraced Tasker and Boardman's steps to their abandoned Advance Base Camp at 21,000 feet on Everest. "… (mais)
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Having previously read Maria Coffey's fascinating and excellent book "Where the Mountain Casts Its Shadow: The Personal Costs of Climbing," I was already familiar with the broad strokes of the story in her memoir "Fragile Edge: A personal portrait of loss on Everest." I knew I would like this book because Coffey really has something interesting to say.

"Fragile Edge" is the story of her relationship with Joe Tasker, who disappeared high on Mt. Everest, along with his climbing partner Pete Boardman in 1982. They were two of England's top high-altitude mountaineers at time.

Even though it was written about six years after their deaths, Coffey's book comes across as very raw. Emotions tumble out as she struggles with Tasker's devotion to climbing and putting his life in danger and willingness to leave her behind (even before his death.) Coffey, who is not a climber herself, has an interesting viewpoint that is not often explored in mountaineering-related memoirs. ( )
  amerynth | Apr 17, 2013 |
This is an amazing book. Maria Coffey was in love with Joe Tasker, writer and committed climber, who disappeared on Everest in 1982 alongside his climbing partner Peter Boardman. Coffey is very open about their lifestyle and the problems of being in love with someone addicted to high-altitude climbing, especially as one by one Tasker's friends are killed in various climbing incidents. I felt her frustration at Tasker's inability to commit to her, while there is still one more mountain to climb. Following Tasker's disappearance, Coffey and Hilary Boardman, Peter Boardman's widow, journey to Tibet seeking some kind of resolution. This is an emotional book which somehow seems to perfectly encapsulate the dilemma of being in love with someone addicted to danger, and should be required reading for anyone interested in mountaineering, ( )
  riverwillow | Mar 6, 2010 |
This is a very good book, presenting a very different perspective on mountaineering. This is the impact that the sport / lifestyle has on those at home - the loved ones.
Maria Coffey provides a frank account of her life in and around the hard-partying, high stakes lifestyle of the British climbing community in the late 1970s and early 1980s. She falls in love with Joe Tasker, who disappeared on Mt Everest in 1982 with Pete Boardman. They were part of the British team attempting the east north east ridge ascent. Chris Bonington was part of that team.

After their death, Maria, and Hilary, Boardman's widow undertake their own journey to Tibet - seeking resolution, answers, closeness to their lovers...

She is very frank about the nature of her relationship with Tasker and her fears, his shortcomings as a partner etc. The second part is about the journey Maria takes, both physical, and emotional in dealing with the loss of a partner.

In a way, it seems Hilary was better able to deal with the emotional trauma because of the surety of her relationship with Boardman. Maria and Joe had yet to make a long-term commitment.

A frank and revealing and very personal story. If you are addicted to Everest and mountaineering books (as I am) this is a worthy one to add to the collection. ( )
1 vote saliero | Jun 24, 2007 |
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Maria Coffey's tale is at once a deeply personal love story and a penetrating look into the world of professional climbers. Such clarity and honesty are seldom seen in mountain writing." - Greg Child, author of Postcards from the Ledge Critically acclaimed Fragile Edge won the coveted the International Literary Mountain prize for Maria Coffey's eloquently written story of how climbing tragedies affect those who are left behind. This is a powerful story describes how she survived the loss of her long-time partner, dealing with the sorrow and confusion, anger and healing. With openness and honesty, Coffey describes her love affair with elite British mountaineer Joe Tasker, who perished with his climbing partner Peter Boardman while attempting Everest's then-unclimbed Northeast Ridge in 1982. She relives her experiences, first within the hard-partying mountaineering scene and then during her long journey to understanding and acceptance of the tragedy that cost her the man she loved. She gives us an insider's view of the life of a world-class mountaineer and recounts her deeply moving pilgrimage with Boardman's widow across Tibet, a journey that retraced Tasker and Boardman's steps to their abandoned Advance Base Camp at 21,000 feet on Everest. "

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