Friday 13 August 2021

Book Review: Peaks And Bandits by Alf Bonnevie Bryn


In 1909 two students at the University of Geneva set out to discover Corsica and climb some mountains. This book is the story of their adventures. As with the conceit of discovering Corsica as if it's an unknown country the tale is told with a wickedly dry sense of humour. The two students are the author, Alf Bonnevie Bryn, who later had a career as an author and engineer, and George Ingle Finch, who was to gain fame on the Everest 1922 Expedition.

All this lay ahead as they set out for Corsica with little money and much ambition and enthusiasm. They climb mountains, encounter locals (friendly and otherwise), and, indeed, meet some bandits. Although some of the situations, both in the mountains and with people, are potentially dangerous the stories are told in a light-hearted carefree manner.

In the midst of the escapades there is also interesting information on Corsica and mountaineering at that time. 

First published in Norwegian as Tinder og Banditter in 1943 this new translation by Bibbi Lee is excellent. Peaks And Bandits is a very entertaining travel and mountaineering book that's well worth reading.

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