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Up the Down Volcano by Sloane Crosley
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Up the Down Volcano

by Sloane Crosley

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This is the antidote to those sprawling adventure novels about harrowing stoicism and bravery in the face of almost certain death. When the writer, a NYC-er, decides to climb one of Ecuador's highest peaks on a whim, and without a shred of mountain climbing experience, you know you're in for an adventure. She retells the experience in such a way that it's not only perilous, but hilarious. She finds the funny, even in the midst of severe altitude sickness.

Her guide speaks little English, and makes few serious preparations for their ascent. He's more concerned about his gear getting stolen than with making sure his client is safe and healthy and, most important, physically ready to climb a mountain. As she realizes that maybe this wasn't such a good idea, he assures her that everything will be fine if she'd just be "tranquillo".

Ultimately, this is an essay not just about traveling to a foreign country and climbing a mountain, but about the way we approach living and life, and the consequences of such. It's full of honesty and heart, and a healthy dose of anti-malaria medicine. ( )
  BooksForYears | Mar 31, 2016 |
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