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Summary

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

What listeners say about Into Thin Air

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Exceeded expectations

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

22 people found this helpful

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Brilliant

Any additional comments?

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.

18 people found this helpful

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So gripping, so intense!

haunting, chilling, and utterly enthralling! could not stop listening, to hear the story through johns eyes was such an experience 10/10

9 people found this helpful

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Needs editing

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.

8 people found this helpful

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Real life adventure

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

6 people found this helpful

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Audio glitches abound

Great book with a decent performance, however, there are atleast 10 occasions throughout the book where the audio loops. This isn't a deal braker by any means but it does snap you out of the great sense of immersion that J . K creates throughout.

4 people found this helpful

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couldn't stop listening

this is a well read interesting account of the events that took place on Everest. thoroughly enjoyed it

4 people found this helpful

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Powerful

An Intensely powerful and thought provoking recount of an incredible event. I Couldn't stop listening. Accents a little dodgy!!

3 people found this helpful

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Epic Tale

Would you try another book written by Jon Krakauer or narrated by Philip Franklin?

Would definitely try another book by Jon, Into the wild was excellent as well. The narration I found pretty excruciating.

What did you like best about this story?

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.

How could the performance have been better?

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.

Was Into Thin Air worth the listening time?

Absolutely. Wasn't too heavy and I was well informed.

10 people found this helpful

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Good story, annoying narrator

While the book was interesting, the narrator did very bad accents for Brits, South Africans and New Zealanders which was quite grating.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Daniël Cloete
  • 20-11-17

Balanced

As an avid amateur mountaineer and writer, this book spoke to me on many levels. Perhaps it seems more intellectual to criticize, but I will avoid this pretentious practice.

Krakauer's account is rendered with a balance of awe, realism, adventure, reverence and sadness. While not as experienced as John myself, the technical and physical aspects of climbing were completely relatable to me as an amateur. The surrealism of losing a teammate on the mountain is so relatable that I was reduced to tears I was unable to shed previously.

Thank you for this John, and may you find the peace you seek.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 15-05-21

Great story. But that kiwi accent!

I thoroughly enjoyed Krakauer's account of the disaster.

The narrator was great until the kiwi/South African accent came out. I found it quite funny at first but by the end, it was rather grating. Maybe I’m too tough a critic being a kiwi myself 😂

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  • Tom Colyer
  • 17-04-21

Thrilling, interesting, and we’ll written.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I read it directly after Ed Viesturs, no shortcuts to the top, which gave incredible perspective about the incredible risks the 96 expedition took. It also gives an understanding of how amazing inhuman Ed is. Both books should be read together in my opinion and they provide a great perspective on high altitude mountaineering, 1 amateur and 1 expert.

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  • Tina
  • 03-12-20

Riveting

Jon Krakauer puts you right in the middle of this unbelievable trip up Everest. It’s graphic and gritty and he’s not shy to be self critical. I rate him as a properly talented writer. The story has left me wanting to look for images online and find the movie.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 06-04-20

Does not get more real

Grim at places but beautiful.
This real life story takes you as close to reality as possible.

The author speaks truly from deep inside.

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  • Safjoe
  • 18-02-20

Sobering!

For those that are dreamers: May the truth guide you and poison you not to the perils that befell those that came before you, for through the desire to achieve you will invite your own perils and whether by force or through providence you either will or you won't end up where you intended. Whatever the outcome, so it should be for therein lies your lesson or your salvation. Interpret both with grace.

A sad story, expertly told.

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  • Amanda
  • 12-01-20

Into Thin Air

The subject matter of the book is riviting, and Jon Krakauer uses his excellent journalistic skills to draw the reader into the events. You will not only feel as if you were there to experience it, you will also be confronted by some of the very difficult moral choices people had to make.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 29-05-18

Great book...

Loved it! i'm not a mountaineer but enjoyed the epic story! Great, Gripping, and life lessons to be learned.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 27-09-17

Great

It feels like as true an accounting of a tragedy, that anyone can give, having being in the middel and/or apart of it.

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  • Kate Oats
  • 14-05-17

Compelling and cautionary

Tragic story compellingly told. Use of accents by narrator was not great though, as someone very familiar with South African and New Zealand accents, it made for some awkward moments. Otherwise, a very good listen.