White Heat, by Wayne Johnson
Sunday 11 January 2009
"This book is intended to put the reader on the mountain," explains ski enthusiast Wayne Johnson in his foreword, but it's a mighty zigzagging ride to the end as he veers between history, technical detail and personal experience in a frequently irritating "Look at me!" novelistic style, much of the time archly referring to himself in the second person.
He is obviously no mean skier himself, and boy does he let you know it, with often unintentionally hilarious results: a snowboarder has "an expensive jacket, a Mountain Hardwear. Like yours. This kid's an expert".
Persevere, though, and there is much of merit in this mish-mash: the sections detailing his work with the Mountain Patrol in Utah, rescuing injured skiers and learning how to dynamite snowfalls that threaten avalanches, are genuinely gripping, and at his best he manages to convey the sheer joy of skiing very effectively. He is on less certain ground when he tries to get down with the freestyle kids, but that, as he frequently says, is another story.
Published by Simon & Schuster in paperback, £7.99
TV review Nick Hewer, the man whose eyebrows speak a thousand words, is set to leave The Apprentice
Film The critics but sneer but these unfashionable festive films are our favourites
TV We're so close to knowing what happened to Oliver Hughes, but a last-minute bluff crushes expectations
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Peter Lik: The self-proclaimed 'fine-art photographer' whose work sells for millions
The best underrated Christmas movies from Love, Actually to While You Were Sleeping
Grace Dent on TV: The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies was a beautifully shot, immensely considered drama
The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies, review: Jason Watkins is brilliant, but real victim Joanna Yeates is reduced to a footnote
Marilyn Manson denies involvement in shocking Lana Del Rey rape video
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre
Sony hack: Angelina Jolie branded 'seriously out of her mind' in further embarrassing leaked email saga
Panic Saturday: 13 million Britons spend £1.2bn – while 13 million others across the country live in poverty unable to afford food