One of the inspirations for the major motion picture Everest, starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Keira Knightley.
This is the true story of a 24-hour period on Everest when members of three separate expeditions were caught in a storm and faced a battle against hurricane-force winds, exposure, and the effects of altitude, which ended the worst single-season death toll in the peak's history.
In March 1996, Outside magazine sent veteran journalist and seasoned climber Jon Krakauer on an expedition led by celebrated Everest guide Rob Hall. Despite the expertise of Hall and the other leaders, by the end of summit day eight people were dead.
Krakauer's audiobook is at once the story of the ill-fated adventure and an analysis of the factors leading up to its tragic end. Written within months of the events it chronicles, Into Thin Air clearly evokes the majestic Everest landscape. As the journey up the mountain progresses, Krakauer puts it in context by recalling the triumphs and perils of other Everest trips throughout history. The author's own anguish over what happened on the mountain is palpable as he leads his listeners to ponder timeless questions.
©2011 Jon Krakauer (P)2016 Audible, Ltd
I'm relatively new to audio books but this is definitely the best so far. Starts of with historical information about the mountain and the stories of other people that have been up to the top of Everest or attempted it, which is a nice build up to the events which happened in 1996.
Nearly listened to the whole thing in one sitting but got through it on the second attempt.
Purchased this on a whim as it was in the sale. Wasn't expecting much, but I thoroughly enjoyed it and didn't want it to end. It's been a long time since I have said that about an audiobook!
The book is written in such a way that you almost feel like you are there with the climbers. You get drawn in to the unfolding disaster, as though you were part of it.
Note that it is not necessary to have any interest in climbing to enjoy this book. I certainly haven't, but I did! Enjoy
tough reminder of human frailty but also our resolve.
There are at least 4 points when a section is repeated. clearly missed in the edit.
Really heartbreaking story. Well read but some lines are read twice, I wonder if this was originally cds converted to digital download. If so it needs the extra lines editing out. Overall I enjoyed it and I will probably listen to it again in a few years.
great story . seemed over critical of himself .
loved the honesty of it
the narrator delivers well . even the accents are passable
. a great balance to the Hollywood film
A compelling account of an event that made world headlines. This story manages to take a complex disaster and break it down to a personal , (sometimes) understandable, terrible series of accidents, bad decisions and regrets . I recommend this book to any one even half interested in Everest and some of the people who want to climb it. It lead me to research the characters further to see where some of the survivors are now.
However This book was let down by the audio editing which in at least 3 places repeated a line of narration. Irritating!!!!
If you read a lot of expedition climbing books you soon see a common narrative arc. The setting up of the team, the journey to the peak, the slow struggle up the mountain, the summit, and then the descent and return to a world that doesn’t comprehend what just happened. And all through there is a constant pointing back to how hard previous climbers had it on the same mountain – usually with extensive quotes from previous books.
I stopped reading them because they started to feel similar.
I used to climb. I know some mountains, and I’ve known about the tragedy this book is about for many years.
Having said that I can’t tell you how pleased I am I picked this up.
Sure, it follows the standard path – but with some important differences:
First Krakauer is a great writer, and second the book starts with the fact that you know you are going to hear how 8 people died over a two-day period in 1996. It is not a “who done it?”
As you progress the tension builds up as you follow an account of who perhaps did what. You are actually following the path Krakauer took trying to understand just what he had experienced, what happened, and what when wrong.
Personally, I think it is too hard to apportion blame for actions at high altitude by people struggling through a storm, cold temperatures and starved of oxygen. Krakauer is very open about what he feels are his own mistakes and, when the writing feels so open and honest, maybe other readers will feel confident forming their own opinions. I do not.
The book leaves me with a feeling that for all the guides you can hire big mountains remain big. High altitude climbing is a dangerous sport and the margins between success and failure are so narrow.
For me a 5*. I will read and listen to more by John Krakauer.
With the performance. It is good but in fairness I did think the attempt to replicate accents for particular nationalities of characters in the story did sometimes miss the mark!
Hi I am single late 50 but going on 30 hobbies are my two best friends Harry & Polly my dogs , astromeney , British wildlife , photograpy
Very interesting thought provoking a true story of goals and glory ,
Apart from a couple of editing errors ( you can't miss them , you can't miss them ) that's a clue, a sad but unavoidable story of the power of nature
Would definitely try another book by Jon, Into the wild was excellent as well. The narration I found pretty excruciating.
Close quarters account of what happened on that fateful summit attempt in 1996 from Jon's perspective. Its an opinion, and there are others but a piece of the jigsaw all the same. It was well written and we got a sense of being on the mountain, so well done. Climbers as a breed didn't come off very well as there seemed a lot of ego jostling, but I guess you need to be like that to climb the worlds highest mountain.
OMG, those cheesy accents, they were all over the place. I found the narration poor and it could have been edited better as there were a few double lines read. I hang in till the end though as the story was compelling.
Absolutely. Wasn't too heavy and I was well informed.
"A gripping story told with honesty & understanding"
A very powerful story of a tragedy on Everest which the author witnessed first hand. Difficult to put down. Very well written. Jon suffered from strong guilt after the event which although I understand was entirely unjustified. He could not have done more in his condition. When my late wife died she sent messages back to ask me to stop grieving as it was holding her back. Bodies die not people and the departed are very understanding and prefer us to get on with our lives and drop our guilt. I hope Jon has now done that - it would make the climbers on Everest who died happy.
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