Last spring, Jon Krakauer, the acclaimed author of "Into the Wild", undertook a magazine assignment about expensive adventure/thrill trips around the world. And, in May, he went with an expedition to Mt. Everest, investigating how wise or safe it is to tackle the world's tallest peak. When disaster struck, killing eight climbers, Krakauer survived ...Read MoreLast spring, Jon Krakauer, the acclaimed author of "Into the Wild", undertook a magazine assignment about expensive adventure/thrill trips around the world. And, in May, he went with an expedition to Mt. Everest, investigating how wise or safe it is to tackle the world's tallest peak. When disaster struck, killing eight climbers, Krakauer survived by luck, skill, and discipline. Now, he has written the definitive account of this headline-making tragedy.Read Less
Carney was right! This was a very well written, and thrilling true story that makes you want to climb Everest yourself. NOT! Amazing adventure that you will not be able to put down. Highly recommended
Mar 4, 2008
Even if you already know the story of the deadly Mt. Everest expeditions of 1996, you will appreciate Jon Krakauer's own first person account of the Adventure Consultants and the Mountain Madness groups. Both of these expeditions were led by well-seasoned Everest climbers---Rob Hall from New Zealand and Scott Fischer from the States--and had the aid of expert guides, Sherpas from Nepal and "outsiders". But we soon find that even these experienced people are not immune from the human frailties of greed, denial and self-serving. Those Achilles' heels will cause both expeditions to completely fall apart. At the same time, human error combined with the unforgiving terrors of high altitude climbing sets the scene for heroism in many of the climbers and crew. Krakauer, a journalist who signed on with Hall's expedition to do a story for Outside magazine, doesn't disappoint as weaver of a tale. I took the book everywhere with me while reading it, always eager to find out what would happen next.
If a book that explores deftly our desire to reach an unreachable summit appeals to you....especially when that book does not shy away from the tragedy caused when the desire to reach it undoes common sense and humanity....I highly recommend "Into Thin Air."
Apr 14, 2007
Excellent account of trek
If you are an adventurer, this book is excellent. Saw the movie to follow reading the book. It paled in comparison to the writing of Krakauer. He is an excellent journalist and writer. His delivery makes you feel almost as if you were on the journey and it is a bit difficult to put down. Loaded with excellent information and facts of Mt. Everest and the lives of the sherpas. Excellent read.
Publishers Weekly, 1997-03-17 What set out to be a magazine article on top-of-the-line tours that promise safe ascents of Mt. Everest to amateur climbers has become a gripping story of a 1996 expedition gone awry and of the ensuing disaster that killed two top guides, a sherpa and several clients. "Climbing Everest was primarily about enduring pain," writes Krakauer (Into the Wild). "And in subjecting ourselves to week after week of toil, tedium and suffering... most of us were probably seeking, above all else, something like a state of grace." High-altitude climbers are an eccentric breedæOlympian idealists, dreamers, consummate sportsmen, egomaniacs and thrill-seekers. Excerpts from the writings of several of the best-known of them, including Sir Edmund Hillary, kick off Krakauer's intense reports on each leg of the ill-fated expedition. His own descriptions of the splendid landscape are exhilarating. Survival on Mt. Everest in the "Dead Zone" above 25,000 feet demands incredible self-reliance, responsible guides, supplemental oxygen and ideal weather conditions. The margin of error is nil and marketplace priorities can lead to disaster; and so Krakauer criticizes the commercialization of mountaineering. But while his reports of guides' bad judgments are disturbing, they evoke in him and in the reader more compassion than wrath, for, in the Dead Zone, experts lose their wits nearly as easily as novices. The intensity of the tragedy is haunting, and Krakauer's graphic writing drives it home: one survivor's face "was hideously swollen; splotches of deep, ink-black frostbite covered his nose and cheeks." On the sacred mountain Sagarmatha, the Nepalese name for Everest, the frozen corpses of fallen climbers spot the windswept routes; they will never be buried, but in this superb adventure tale they have found a fitting monument. Author tour. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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