Friday, May 08, 2009

Into Thin Air

This book that recounts the disaster of the May, 10 1996 Everest disaster is excellent.  Jon Krakauer was a member of a commercial expedition going to the top of the mountain.  The group consisted of three guides and several recreational mountain climbers.  Another group, very similar in makeup, was ascending at the same time.  The two large groups made a series of small errors and lapses in judgement that ended in the death of five people, including three of the guides. 

This was an amazing book that was written very well. Krakauer paints a picture of people that become single minded on their goal.  I relate to this as when I was training for my Marathon I hurt my knee on the final twenty miler before the race.  I ran the race anyway and even though my knee felt like someone was ramming an Ice pick into the side of it from about 10 miles on to the finish, I kept going.  I didn't know what I was doing to my knee, I just knew that I had prepared long and hard for that day.  I had also spent quite a bit of money to pay for the training, the race, and getting there.  Nothing was going to stop me from getting to the finish line.  So, I vaguely understand what these people were feeling as they kept climbing long after they should have stopped. 

This book has some language and presents some very disturbing death scenes, so it may not be for everyone.  It is a very good book and most will not be able to put it down.  The very last line of the book is very haunting and really closes the book well.  An amazing read.   

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Steve Betz said...

This was one of the most riveting non-fiction books I've ever read. It still creeps me out when I think about it and wonder what I would do in the same circumstances.

Red Mosquito said...

It is a good book. I listened to it on audio.

michaelsean said...

I will concur. This book (I first caught it in Outside Magazine) is an amazing read. Strongly recommended.