Review: Sarah Lotz – The White Road

The White Road
Sarah Lotz

Simon does a terrifying crawl through a bared off cave where three people died beforehand. He wants to get footage of their bones, and wants to prove himself a decent climber after the fall that shattered his shoulder and ankle. His video footage goes viral, and he needs to top it. What better than Everest’s dead?

I couldn’t get behind this novel. I attempted to read it twice and at least got in about a quarter of the way before giving up this time. While the opening chapter puts you a bit on the edge of your seat, you know that he survives it because he writes the rest of the novel! It goes downhilll from there as Simon’s narration becomes increasingly erratic and we are introduced to more and more characters. I got sick of the frequent, gratuitous swearing that did nothing to endear me to Simon.

Additionally, I thought that for all his ‘brave’ climbing, Simon was a complete push-over. He was also irresponsible – you’re going to get stuck for sure, and you don’t care about the cost of the rescue party? I get that his family doesn’t care for him much, and that he feels like he doesn’t have an aim in life. That doesn’t mean that you should let your best-friend push you into climbing a mountain while he sits back home and counts dollars.

I stopped reading this novel and decided to release it into the wild. I (hopefully) have better things to read that I have brought with me, and I don’t want to waste my reading time on something that is not going to effectively distract me through very long hours of driving. I’m not really sure where I am going to source books when I have gotten through the ones in my luggage, but I will make do. The Australia Post guy back home said that he couldn’t deliver any more mail because the box was full! Oops, sorry bookies…

2 stars from me. Maybe the right audience who always wanted to read a fictional novel about the challenges of caving and Mount Everest, but I’d rather read a memoir of an Everest climber who has a decent story.

Hachette Australia | 16th May 2017 | AU$29.99 | paperback

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