The Magician’s Glass by Ed Douglas Book Review

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Book Review: The Magician’s Glass – Character And Fate: Eight Essays On Climbing And The Mountain Life by Ed Douglas

The Magician’s Glass by Ed Douglas is an exceptional collection of eight essays highlighting the achievements, controversies, lives, personalities, and adventures of some of the biggest names in alpinism. If climbing legends like Toni Egger, Ueli Steck, Tomaz Humar, Patrick Edlinger, or Kurt Albert fascinate you, then pick up a copy of The Magician’s Glass. You won’t be disappointed.

The Magician's Glass by Ed Douglas
The Magician’s Glass by Ed Douglas

Award winning author Ed Douglas’s captivating articles provide a fresh perspective on the world of climbing. As a climber, Douglas is able to bring these stories to life in ways that other authors cannot. He brings you behind the scenes and shows you another side of the climbers and the mountains we all know and love.

The Magician’s Glass highlights the reality of the world of alpinism – and it’s fascinating. As Katie Ives writes in the Foreword, “At the heart of many of these tales are the unknowns that emerge when illusions shatter and metaphors fade. As Douglas asks, ‘If you look into the magician’s glass and see yourself as you truly are, would you need it any longer?Some alpinists, he concludes, might decide the risks are no longer worthwhile and abandon the mountains altogether, ‘no longer [seeing] the sense in what they were doing’. This book will make you look at the mountain life in a whole new way.

Let’s take a quick look at the collection of eye-opening essays in The Magician’s Glass by Ed Douglas:

  1. The Magician’s Glass explores the bold attempt on Annapurna III in 1981. This is a line that still remains unclimbed.
  2. Stealing Toni Egger takes an in-depth look at the controversial ascent of Patagonia’s Cerro Torre by Cesare Maestri and Toni Egger in 1959.
  3. Searching For Tomaz Humar highlights the rise and fall of Slovenian climbing superstar Tomaz Humar.
  4. Big Guts looks at the life and times of Kurt Albert – the German climbing pioneer and inventor of “redpointing”.
  5. Crazy Wisdom shines the spotlight on Sherpa culture and the stereotypes and controversies involved in big mountain expeditions and mountain tourism. Crazy Wisdom won Best Mountaineering Article at Banff Mountain Book and Film Festival in 2015.
  6. What’s Eating Ueli Steck? dives into the controversial, but Piolet d’Or award winning, solo ascent of Annapurna’s South Face by Ueli Steck.
  7. Lone Wolf follows Patrick Edlinger’s rise to rock star status through his untimely demise.
  8. Lines Of Beauty: The Art Of Climbing explores why people climb mountains by comparing art to alpinism.

Do any of these articles sound familiar? If you’re a regular reader of publications like Alpinist or Rock and Ice, you may recognize some of Douglas’s insightful essays. Now you can find all of these true tales in The Magician’s Glass. Pick up a copy for your reading pleasure today.

Shortlisted For The 2017 Boardman Tasker Prize

Every mountain enthusiast will enjoy The Magician’s Glass, but don’t take our word for it. This book is shortlisted for the 2017 Boardman Tasker Award. The Boardman Tasker Award for Mountain Literatureis awarded annually to the author or authors of the best literary work, whether fiction, non-fiction, drama or poetry, the central theme of which is concerned with the mountain environment.” The winner of the 2017 award will announced on 17 November 2017.

The Magician’s Glass by Ed Douglas was published on 31 July 2017 by Vertebrate Publishing. Vertebrate Publishing sent The Magician’s Glass by Ed Douglas to us to read and review. We give it a big thumbs up!


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