Having a 10 day trip in Mexico is awesome. A few books were required between drinking, swimming and exploring. I was fortunate to have acquired a couple over the Christmas holidays. This was one of them.
The book, Feeding the Rat, is written by English poet, writer and critic, Al Alvarez.
The term “feeding the rat” refers to a phrase Anthoine uses to describe the mixture of pleasure, fear and pain that is fed in the climber, a feeding he can’t get enough of.
Written beautifully, Feeding the Rat, gives the reader an intimate portrait of Mo Anthoine. It provides the reader with a visceral sense of being on a variety of climbs, and much sound and accessible philosophical matter to think about. Mo Anthoine was considered to be a cautious climber who valued safety, travel and the companionship of friends more than the actual summit which really hit a chord with me as my values are quite similar. The book portrays some of the best stories of adventure and personal experiences allowing climbing enthusiasts and book junkies to feed their own rat.
Mo was often criticized for being overly cautious. His response to those who criticized his climbing technique was simple: “No mountain is worth a mate.” Mo never lost a member of his team on expeditions carried out in over 20 years of his time.
I read this book in 2 days. Matt read it cover to cover on the plane ride over. This book draws you in, allows you to befriend Mo and ultimately leaves you full of emotional and a sudden need for adventure. A poignant journey.
Anyone who plays the stunt double for Rambo is wicked. Mo was wicked. His accomplishments and his outlook on life makes me want to be a better person. If only I could have met the guy. A top read and a must for anyone who is looking to read an intimate encounter about an amazing individual.
I give this book two thumbs up, five stars and a high five.