This is an engaging reconstruction. It’s very explicitly reconstruction, with its retrospective and explanatory quotes. It’s a tale of a man reflecting on his life, telling his story, after many years of keeping it to himself. This is part of the story’s appeal. Still, we mused on what a more purely narrative, in-the-moment reconstruction would have been like, perhaps one that treated the expeditions in the Himalayas as the central, driving narrative, with digressions for background and comment from Schaller. We posit this as simply a craft question worth considering.

Read “Spy Robert Schaller’s Life of Secrecy, Betrayal and Regrets,” by Carol Smith

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