Three Cups of Tea

Climber fails to climb K-2, gets lost on his way down the mountain and wanders into a remote village where the people treat him well. Climber vows to return and build a school for the village, returns to US, raises money through various letters and phone calls, discovers that computers are more efficient than typewriters, couch-surfs and picks up night shifts at the hospital to earn money for the school. Climber returns to Pakistan with funds for school, buys all supplies to build school then shows up with fully laden truck at a remote village on the way to his school village, gets waylaid, loses some of the supplies, has to go back home to raise funds to build a bridge to get the supplies to the village. Upon arrival in the US, his girlfriend breaks up with him, sending him into a downward spiral. Fast forward another year, and he’s happily married, has a kid, builds the first school and then many more, and becomes a hero of sorts.
Supposedly written by both Mortenson (the climber) and Relin (the journalist), their use of 3rd person for Greg rubbed me the wrong way. If instead Mortenson had written this as first person, it would have had much more weight and less effect of “ego-boosting”. He’s depicted as this hero figure, which seems very self-aggrandizing. This, combined with cheesy writing, dooms the book for the recycling bin for me.


auth=Mortenson, Greg and David oliver Relin
pub=2006
sub=One Man’s Mission to Promote Peace… One School at a Time
isbn=0670034827