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Friday, June 19, 2009

Wildest Dream

Mark MacKenzie

ISBN 0719521238(978-071-952123-2)
RRP $35.00 April 2009
John Murray Paperback (C)

In 1924, George Mallory and Sandy Irvine disappeared into the clouds encircling the peak of Everest. Whether they were the first men to reach the top of the Earth's highest mountain remains a mystery. They never returned from their ill-fated expedition. Seventy-five years later, the then-unknown mountaineer Conrad Anker made an extraordinary discovery. He spotted 'a patch of white' standing out against the rock; it was Mallory's frozen body. Mallory's treacherous route on Everest's northern slopes remains one of the most demanding challenges in mountaineering. So, is it possible that Mallory and Irvine - exhausted, confused and oxygen-starved - could have made the ascent all those years ago without artificial aid? Last year, Anker returned to Everest to find out. His partner was Leo Houlding, a freakishly talented young British climber with an appetite for death-defying ascents but untested at extreme altitude. Houlding, the lightning-fast, wild child of climbing, stands poles apart from Anker, a soft-spoken altruist and environmentalist. Kitted out in replica clothing and with a film crew recording their every move, they set off to solve Everest's oldest mystery.


For readers of the bestselling "White Mischief" and "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil"--"Vanity Fair" contributing editor Mark Seal tells the mesmerizing story of the captivating life and shocking death of world-renowned naturalist Joan Root.

From her passion for animals to her storybook love affair to her hard-fought crusade to save Kenya's beautiful Lake Naivasha, "Wildflower" is naturalist, filmmaker, and lifelong conservationist Joan Root's gripping life story--a stunning and moving tale featuring a remarkable modern-day heroine.

After twenty years of spectacular, unparalleled wildlife filmmaking together, Joan and Alan Root divorced and a fascinating woman found her own voice. Renowned journalist Mark Seal offers this breathtaking, culturally relevant portrait of a strong woman discovering herself and fighting for her beliefs before her mysterious and brutal murder.

With a cast of characters as wild, wondrous, and unpredictable as Africa itself, "Wildflower" is a real-life adventure tale set in the world's fast-disappearing wilderness. Rife with personal revelation, intrigue, corruption, and murder, readers will remember Joan Root's extraordinary journey long after they turn the last page of this utterly compelling book.

Journalist Mark Seal set out to investigate the tragic death of environmentalist Joan Root, but he ended up telling the amazing story of her life. In 2006, the 69-year-old Root was murdered by gunmen in her home in Kenya, in what police believed was a botched robbery. As Seal began to look into the case, he found that it was far more likely that Root was intentionally targeted by the poachers and/or urban developers she had dedicated her life to stopping. In his research, Seal uncovered Root's diaries and letters and gradually became enchanted with the love story that defined her remarkable life. He finds that Root was a vibrant soul who fell in love with her husband Alan against the spectacular backdrop of colonialist Kenya, and the two spent twenty years pursuing adventure and producing award-winning nature documentaries. As Kenya developed, the unique wilderness began to disintegrate, causing Root to reinvent herself as a political activist promoting conservation, a crusade which likely led to her terrible death.

ISBN 0733624375(978-073-362437-7)
RRP $32.99 July 2009
Hachette Aust Paperback (234 x 180)

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