This review is for the PDF ebook. I checked it out from the library and was shocked it wasn't available in epub or kindle format. The PDF format is truly annoying to read, because the size of print at 100% is too small to read, so I had to jack it up to 150% and then I had to move the text all around the page to see it in the two-column format used on some pages, and to see the images. I was lucky I was reading it on my Kobo Aura with a touch screen, so I could manipulate the pages pretty easily. On my old Kindle with the keyboard and arrow pad I would have just given up.
The B/W photo images rendered pretty good on my Kobo, and all indicators are that this was a top quality print book. Bodden's text is engaging to read, and interspersed with primary sources from the 1953 expeditioners' journals.
I'm not sure what this book tells us about the first ascent that we wouldn't get in almost any other book. It's competing with Steve Jenkins' 2002 book [b:The Top of the World: Climbing Mount Everest|1093589|The Top of the World Climbing Mount Everest|Steve Jenkins|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1348582242s/1093589.jpg|1080405], and others. I expect a book like this to offer a new take on the existing information. The presence of the primary sources (not scans, but transcriptions) begs for some interpretation of the event. This a-theoretical, no-stance approach has been done before, and for a high-quality print production I expected more.
The photo credits are all there is for sourcing in the book. A timeline, short extension bibliography, glossary, and index are all there is for back matter. I expected Bodden to at least tell where she got the journal entries, even if from a secondary source... It would be disappointing if she hadn't seen at least facsimiles of the original journals.