It’s only fiction

Why the fuss about Jeffrey Archer’s latest novel which tells the story of George Mallory as if he made the first ascent of Mount Everest?

It’s not, as the headline says, an insult to Sir Ed Hillary. It’s a novel, a work of fiction, not  a biography which means although it’s based on real life there is no need to worry about letting the facts get in the way of the story.

Even if it was purporting to tell a true story there’s no insult to Hillary. Successful climbs are like successful flights – getting up is only half way, you haven’t succeeded until you get back down again and Mallory died on the mountain.

4 Responses to It’s only fiction

  1. I fully agree, HP.
    Jeffrey Archer is a well-known novelist.
    Everyone knows what he writes is a work of fiction.
    I am sure there was no slight intended on Sir Ed.
    The Mallory theory has been a longstanding theory and one pretty much unproven either way.
    I guess the SST was desperate for something meaty, and having a go at Archer fitted in beautifully with the paper’s left-wing, anti-Brit nationalism.
    I’m surprised they didn’t get Uncle Helen to comment.

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  2. […] Homepaddock has commented here. The SST (aka The Spectacularly Stupid Times) item is here. […]

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  3. Mark Hubbard says:

    An interesting audio interview with Archer about this book online here (just click on the start button – note the interview starts about a minute in, thanks to a stuff up by the good old BBC):

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b00j16gl/The_Book_Cafe_09_03_2009/

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  4. Archer is a loathsome specimen, a convicted criminal and a terrible writer to boot, but there are so many other better things to criticise him on than this silly piece of trivia.

    Mind you, it probably took 20 minutes to write, costing the paper only three and sixpence AND got everyone talking… so the beancounters running the SST will be happy.

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