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Summary

Includes two new chapters on Alex Honnold's free solo ascent of the iconic 3,000-foot El Capitan in Yosemite National Park

On June 3rd, 2017, Alex Honnold became the first person to free solo Yosemite's El Capitan - to scale the wall without rope, a partner, or any protective gear - completing what was described as "the greatest feat of pure rock climbing in the history of the sport" (National Geographic) and "one of the great athletic feats of any kind, ever" (New York Times). Already one of the most famous adventure athletes in the world, Honnold has now been hailed as "the greatest climber of all time" (Vertical magazine).

Alone on the Wall recounts the most astonishing achievements of Honnold's extraordinary life and career, brimming with lessons on living fearlessly, taking risks, and maintaining focus even in the face of extreme danger. Now Honnold tells, for the first time and in his own words, the story of his three hours and 56 minutes on the sheer face of El Cap, which Outside called "the moon landing of free soloing.... A generation-defining climb. Bad ass and beyond words.... One of the pinnacle sporting moments of all time."

©2018 Alex Honnold (P)2019 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

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What listeners say about Alone on the Wall (Expanded Edition)

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Shame Alex didn’t narrated

Shame Alex didn’t narrated great book otherwise. What a fascinating human being. Was worth any minute.

2 people found this helpful

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Truly amazing feat.

I was lucky enough to see this in IMAX with a live q&a with Alex and Jimmy at the end of the movie.
This is an easy listen, well narrated that covers many of Alex's climbs and trips, culminating with El Cap at the end of the book. An enjoyable insight into some of Alex's amazing achievements.
Thanks

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The human story

A mixture of biography and autobiography, this tells Alex's story and attitude to climbing and to life well, I think. there's a lot of climbing terminology, but some clear explanations are given early in the book thankfully. As good as the film Free Solo was, this book really shows Honnold as a deep thinker, and as a refreshingly honest and considerate individual, not as glib has he can sometimes appear on camera. Got a little less interested in the narrative in the third quarter of the book, but over and all really enjoyed it.

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Surely someone proof listens to these things first?

Obviously an amazing chapter in climbing history but the narrator wasn’t familiar with many climbing terms, like how to pronounce ‘alpinist’ and ‘alpinism’. At one point he referred to the ‘Down’ Wall on El Cap.

It would be so easy to fix these things. I don’t know why they don’t make the effort.

The narrator also manages to make Honnold sound quite disdainful and aggressive. Maybe he is? If he isn’t, the tone chosen is unhelpful.

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Unbelievable story, very well told!

great book about alex honnold, his unbelievable climb of el Capitan but also his story leading up to this incredible achievement. quite technical in descriptions, so non climbers like me will lose some of the incredible detail, but hey, amazing story, achievement and personality

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  • 17-11-21

Just love this book

I love the ability to not only listen to this book but the way that it has taken me to online videos of Alex climbing ( true mastery in motion) and films on other climbers from back in the day like Royal Robbins ( what a name). Seeing film of Half Dome and Yosemite …..soooo beautiful and awe inspiring. It’s also interesting to see the degrees of separation between someone of Alex’s generation and someone from a bygone era like John Muir.

If you enjoyed this book I would thoroughly recommend the film “ Valley Uprising”. It illustrates those old sayings “ standing on the shoulders of giants” and “out with the old and in with the new”.

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Only for climbers

After watching a few documentaries and films about Alex I was keen on this book. Unfortunately this is only good for those who know climbing. The terminology, the phrases, the general chat… all of this went over my head and I just didn’t understand any of it. It came across as a very technical description of his climbs, and as a result was not at all engaging. The equivalent would be a cyclist describing every pedal stroke in a Tour de France or a footballer detailing every pass in a season.

Despite the good vocal performances on the audiobook, there was no real narrative or story. Just a description of climbs Alex has done.

Unless you know your climbing, stick to the films.

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Extremely Compelling

I've been pretty obsessed with Alex Honnold recently and discovered this autobiography whilst in the middle of Free Solo. His personal account accompanies the film (and others mentioned in the book) very well and gives a great insight into mindset, training regime and beliefs. Thanks, the book has changed my perspective on life.

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A story about excellence and adventure

An inspiring account of Honnold's joyous approach to life and adventure. It is technical in parts but that is not a drag. Also the glimpses Alex has provided behind the scenes should be respected along with his epic achievements.

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Great story of success

Both narrator and narration fit the text smooth as slate. An amazing success story from an IB student that I try to share with all my IB students. Especially the use and importance of process journaling :) Amazing Alex! Thanks for sharing.

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  • Pablo Lema
  • 10-11-19

Surprisingly Slow Read

What could have been an exhilarating journey, was a surprisingly bum read with way too much filler. This could be a fun read at three chapters long. Disappointing.

A damn boring read.

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  • Kimberly
  • 19-12-20

Boring, ended up disliking Alex Honnold

I'd you are a climber and can really truly appreciate technical climbing language then you may be able to hang on and finish book just to read about Alex's climbing feats. If you are a just a reader of outdoor non- fiction who loves to learn about other adventure sports and exciting outdoor stories, don't waste your time. There are a lot of stories that may be exciting If you are a climber, but the writer fails to make them seem so or even make me care what will happen to the individuals in the experience. I ended up not finishing and skipping around since overall, I ended up with an actual dislike for Alex, the main subject. Found him selfish and inhuman most of the time, at least from the perspective of the book. Although to be fair, people who are " genius" in their own field often come off that way whether or not they are. Overall boring and uninspiring to a non rock climber.

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  • Polly
  • 25-01-21

Meh

The narrator for 'Alex' is incredibly obnoxious and doesn't seem to understand his personality at all. I gave up because of that. While Alex might not be for everyone, in this book, he comes off as a self-entitled a#*$ole, rather than a person who really has no filter. For climbers who have been paying attention, there is also very little new information, so far as I have read, which you wouldn't already know.

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  • james toole
  • 26-08-21

filling in these details completes the experience

As an ex boundary pushing alternative athlete from the seventies I'm able to vicariously understand how badass this achievement truly is.. Alex, you DA MAN EXPONENTIALLY. As your peer group already exist at such a high level, your evolution is in another stratosphere.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Daniel
  • 30-08-20

Last few chapters were great

I enjoyed this book, but it was a little confusing with different narrators. I saw the movie Free Solo and this book doesn't bring anything new although it gave a more in depth view of the mind of Alex. All in all a nice book.

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  • Souvik Paul
  • 13-03-22

Weird performance

The content was awesome - the performances so-so. From weird pronunciations of words like ‘alpinist’ and names like ‘Bachar’ to calling a 5.11 a ‘five one one’ and segments where it was clear that the recording was done on someone’s phone, the performances were jarring enough to take me out of the action at times.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 22-01-22

Good, not great

iI think this book made Alex seem full of himself and missed a lot of important parts of a full story

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  • Kevin Lynch
  • 12-10-21

A Loner's Dream

I've never climbed. didn't need to, fantastic story, inspiring to loners and athletes alike

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  • Matthew Beyer
  • 21-08-21

No insight beyond the obvious

This book is just a mostly tedious recollection of Honnold's climbing history. It offers little more insight than what's in his social media feeds or interviews. He has such a distinctive voice that it was odd to hear someone else's voice reading. It struck me as a little dishonest and a little self serving that he didn't mention that he's fallen several times soloing in Owen's River Gorge. Sort of overselling this "controlled risk" persona he has. Honnold is an interesting guy, but you'd never know from reading this book.

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  • Mango
  • 14-07-21

Peace love hike

The audio story made me feel like I was there. You can be normal to be great.