It is a fantastic story - a "modern day missionary" type of story in which an American climber, after failing to climb K2, dedicates his life to building schools in the remotest villages of Pakistan, and later of Afghanistan. It is amazing how people get propelled into impossible looking missions. I suppose as a mountain climber Greg was predisposed to take up such challenges.
Reading this book is also a test to find out how "secular" one is.
I couldn't help thinking once or
twice: why the hell didn't this guy cross the border and also help my Indian
Age-group: 14 and above
The master storyteller has the ability to shock his readers by his directness. This is a thin novella about an old man's love affair with a young girl.
Following are a few snippets from the book:
That night I discovered the improbable pleasure of contemplating a woman's body without the urgencies of desire or the obstacles of modesty.
I became aware that the invincible power that has moved the world is unrequited, not happy, love.
I had finally discovered love at the age of 90 ... The house rose from its ashes and sailed on my love of Delgadina ... Thanks to her I confronted my inner self for the first time ... I discovered ... that I appear generous to conceal my meanness ... that I am punctual only to hide how little I care about other people's time. I learned, in short, that love is not a condition of the spirit but a sign of the zodiac.
Without Delgadina, I proved that it was not only possible but that I myself, an old man without anyone, was dying of love ... I did not bathe or shave or ... because love taught me too late that you groom yourself for someone ... Damiana thought I was sick when she found me naked in the hammock at ten in the morning. I looked at her with eyes clouded by desire and invited her to a naked roll in the hay. She, with some scorn, said: "Have you thought about what you'll do if I say yes?"
Last updated: 28 February 2016
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