East Markham Book Club
Thin Air
by Michelle Paver

The Himalayas, 1935. Kangchenjunga.

Third-highest peak on earth. Greatest killer of them all.

Five Englishmen set off from Darjeeling, determined to conquer the sacred summit. But courage can only take them so far - and the mountain is not their only foe.

As the wind dies, the dread grows. Mountain sickness. The horrors of extreme altitude. A past that will not stay buried.

And sometimes, the truth does not set you free.

Next Meeting 20th November 2016 at 7.30pm

Club Opinion
Here is a review of 'Thin Air' by Michelle Paver (made up from comments made at last night's meeting). 'Thin Air' was found to be slim pickings indeed by our book club members. A lack of characterisation, suspense and/or intrigue were some of the main criticisms levelled at this new offering by Paver.

We were especially disappointed by Paver's one dimensional main character whom no-one seemed able to relate to or sympathise with. It wasn't so much we didn't like him - more we just did not care about him; his past, future or current woes presented in the book. The relationships between characters - which could have proved an interesting diversion from the monotony of the rest of the story - were not explored and seemed cliche and mundane. The only character to get a favourable review was Cedric the dog. Cedric emerged the hero of the hour with our readers - and even led to the theory that Cedric was himself a ghost!

Its plot was straight out of the 'Big Ladybird Book Of How To Write Fiction' - and seemed more suited to children's literature. Some of the devices used within the novel to convey the supernatural theme became simply laughable and did not invoke in any of our readers the desired reaction. Unless the desired reaction was 'I am so bored of this bloody backpack!'

Paver used language and presented attitudes in 'Thin Air' which were 'of their day' and were supposed to reflect the time in which the book was set. But these proved to be a tun off to our readers who found their lack of subtlety and nuance irritating. Certain phrasing was repeated numerous times throughout the brief book, which felt lazy.

In brief then, we did not love 'Thin Air'. However, we did love talking about it in a friendly, warm and open atmosphere where everyone was free to contribute and have a bit of a giggle.

Review by: Helen Waters-Marsh - November 2016.

P.S All grammar/ spelling mistakes are my own - please take a deep breathe, count to 10 and ignore them.

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