The White Spider, Paperback Book
3 out of 5 (2 ratings)


A classic of mountaineering literature, this is the story of the harrowing first ascent of the North Face of the Eiger, the most legendary and terrifying climb in history.Heinrich Harrer, author of `Seven Years in Tibet' and one of the twentieth century's greatest mountaineers, was part of the team that finally conquered the Eiger's fearsome North Face in 1938.

It was a landmark expedition that pitted the explorers against treacherous conditions and the limits of human endurance, and which many have since tried - and failed - to emulate.Armed with an intimate knowledge that comes only from first-hand experience of climbing the Eiger, Harrer gives a gripping account of physical daring and mental resilience.

A new introduction by Joe Simpson, author of `Touching the Void', confirms the lasting relevance of this true adventure classic.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 336 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Autobiography: sport
  • ISBN: 9780007197842

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Showing 1 - 2 of 2 reviews.

Review by

Man meets mountain. Man falls off mountain to stony death. Man repeats until mountain finally yields. A tribute to human persistance, endurance and insanity.

Review by

A quick read, though unsatisfying either due to Harrer's wooden and often hackneyed prose or the translation, maybe both. (What's with all the ellipses?) The book is weighted down with a bizarre defensiveness. What would be most interesting-- the texture of life on the mountain face-- is left out completely, replaced with logistic discussions which become repetitive. Though, I suppose in wanting the vicariousness of a sensory narrative I'm one of the "rubberneckers" he seems to have such disdain for. <br/><br/>Being a brave adventurer doesn't exactly make one a natural storyteller- this book is proof of that.<br/><br/>Also, the passages on the women climbers are deeply sexist, which sealed my dislike.