Some of the people who read this blog or follow any of my climbing or sporting exploits may well know that over the past year, I have slaved away writing a book inspired by some of my climbs in the Himalayas including that of Everest. As much as I wished to only live many of the most agonising parts of expedition life once, I decided to live through them a second time whilst I put pen to paper and began to formulate my manuscript, entitled ‘Dare to Dream’.
I had decided even prior to climbing Everest that I would write a book, but at that point, I wasn’t sure what I would be writing for. Initially and for most of the way through writing, right up until the first edit had been read through in fact, the book was merely intended as my own diary of events on the mountains. I thought that by writing down everything whilst I still had a relatively good memory of events which unfolded, I would be able to look back in years to come at what was running through my young mind whilst doing the splits over a crevasse at the summit of Baruntse for instance.
Apparently though, the book was a bit better than that, mainly I think because it was written without any specific audience in mind, and so on the advice of a few, and perhaps in the hope that someone else might find what I have written somewhere in between moderately interesting and emotionally gripping, I have decided to publish my work. Initially the book will be available as an ebook only, which includes all current e-formats such as mobi files for the kindle and also a pdf for those without ebook readers, which you can read from the computer or print off if you have a spare ream of paper and a few ink cartridges going spare (you could always print it off in your office as work related research). And so this is mainly what I have been doing since my last trip to the Himalayas, my own way of wrapping up the journey to Everest.
Without giving too much away or spoiling the gripping cliffhanger ending where you are left wondering whether I survived to tell the tale (yes it really is that gripping), I thought I would share the books synopsis so you can make your own judgement as to whether this is the book for you.
Dare to Dream is, without sounding too vain, the account of me, Matthew Dieumegard-Thornton, and my journey to the top of the world’s highest mountain, Mount Everest, in May 2012. The book however is more than just a self biography. Dare to Dream is a fusion of adventure, endeavour and some Bill Bryson style travel writing in an effort to explain just what is needed to climb Everest. I think this book has something for everyone; if you want to know of some of the harrowing events of the Everest 2012 season, or if you are fascinated with Lincolnshire, my home county and the birth place of Abi Titmuss, you won’t be disappointed. Undoubtedly the main point of the book is to document the ascent of Everest which was world record breaking, with the three members of the expedition, including myself, becoming the youngest ever team to successfully summit and descend the mountain. The climb was acknowledged by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II & Sir Ranulph Fiennes and the story reached an estimated 100 million people worldwide, including 10 from Djibouti.
The book however begins in a different fashion, describing the longer journey to the mountain, and the decisions that led me to that point. The book focuses firstly upon the humorous aspects my home town in Lincolnshire, a notoriously flat county, and my younger life as nationally ranked squash player with always too much to lose. This lifestyle is then flipped upside down by a fateful stint in the French Alps where my love of the mountains grew, and eventually saw me planning a complex route to the top of the world. Three major expeditions then unfold, firstly in the little known Kyrgyzstan, secondly in Nepal to a remote range of mountains, and finally to Everest itself, with each period of time in between expeditions revealing a new set of challenges, both physically and emotionally, to overcome.
Over the course of the expeditions, there moments that will make you laugh, moments that will make you cry, and many moments where you’ll be aghast, as I aim to bring Everest and all its dangers to the chair. No other account has documented the successes and tragedy on the south side of Everest during the 2012 season, and whilst these events are described and explained, many personal challenges and dangers are also brought to life, such as the constant danger to life and sanity from the constant high altitude, the hidden dangers of the bottomless crevassed underworld, and the obvious dangers brought by multiple avalanches, all of which came too close.
The book finally concludes with an ending, as most books do, but this time with the huge physical and emotional stresses built up during such a journey, and the unique perspective that the climb has given a young 22 year old man.
So there you have it, ‘Dare to Dream’. Of course you are now probably thinking where can I purchase this work of art, but before I share any links to my work, I would like to be completely transparent and share with you some reviews from some of the most respected publications in the world today. Reviews often speak volumes about the piece of work they have reviewed, and I hope you are able to come to a favourable descision after reading the following honest words.
The Mail on Tuesday
“A real page turner; the pages are 1.5% lighter, so light they almost turn themselves.”
The Thursday Times
“We’ve seen all the words before, but never in this order.”
“Avid readers of books will love this modern twist on ‘the’ book, still with just as many words waiting to be read…”
The Kiribati Post
“The author clearly has some grasp of the English language; if only he could speak Gilbertese this book would be of great use to our tiny nation.”
News of the Sun
“The Harry Potter series is a must read, timeless classic collection of books which marked a historic point in British literature. This is also good.”
“This book will go down in history as one of the many books written in 2013.”
The Daily Moon
“A great read. Keep your receipt.”
The Weekly Mail
“Like the best novels ever written this book has a front cover, a back cover, and many words of varying lengths and meanings in between. This is a book in the truest sense of the word.”
The Puffington Host
“This is a book.”
Thank you for reading this blog about my book, and for those still wanting the next best thing not from Waterstones, you can find all the information you need either on Amazon for Kindle and for all e-book formats (a free app is available from Amazon to read on all computerised devices by following the ‘buy’ link) here: Dare to Dream