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Eiger Dreams by Jon Krakauer
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Eiger Dreams (1990)

by Jon Krakauer

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Nice collection of essays about mountaineering. It was Krakauer's first book, but it shows his usual writing style, which I happen to like a lot. Nice, entertaining and easy reading if you are into mountaineering, or at least if you're curious about it. ( )
  chaghi | Jun 1, 2014 |
A dozen fascinating essays on climbing, its history and its personalities. I always enjoy Krakauer's work, and this is no exception.
  wareagle78 | Mar 17, 2014 |
Now why would someone who generally hates cold weather and snow become so intrigued by books and videos about mountaineering? I was fooling around with my IPODs (have one of each generation being an addict to electronic devices) that plays video and just for laughs downloaded The Discovery Channel's Everest series from iTunes and watched it on my little iPod. Clarity and resolution are astonishing.

That got me back into Eiger Dreams. It's outstanding. I had already read Into Thin Air and Into the Wild, both excellent. So here I am blowing snow off my long (800 ft) lane, knocking back drifts, trying to keep my glasses free of snow, enjoying Audible's Eiger Dreams, read quite credibly by the author. Bizarre scene, but very enjoyable.

I am more than a little surprised that no one has forced the climbers to clean up after themselves, What a mess on the Everest summit; and apparently, according to Krakauer, it's difficult to find clean snow to melt on Mt. McKinley there is so much excrement from previous climbers. Time to send some cleanup expeditions. ( )
  ecw0647 | Sep 30, 2013 |
Although published rather recently (2009), this book has the feel of a book written long before that. And, indeed, it turns out to be a collection of magazine articles Krakauer has written over a 15 or 20 year career. It is clearly Krakauer, but it is not as polished or as evocative of some of his best, later writing. Nevertheless, a most enjoyable book about some of the characters who climb the world's biggest and most challenging mountains. ( )
  co_coyote | Apr 8, 2012 |
Eiger Dreams is a collection of Krakauers atricles on mountain climbing from various magazines. The articles are typical Krakauer. Writing with his usual terrific reporting and vivid descriptions, he takes the reader along on his trips onto mountain across the globe. A great collection of adventure writing, even for someone who has never climbed the smallest of hills. ( )
  SethAndrew | Jan 22, 2012 |
Showing 1-5 of 13 (next | show all)
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Mountain climbing is comprehended dimly, if at all, by most of the nonclimbing world. (Author's note)
In the early moments of The Eiger Sanction, Clint Eastwood saunters into the dimply lit headquarters of C-2 to find out who he is supposed to assassinate next.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0385488181, Paperback)

No matter what the actual temperature may be, several pages into Eiger Dreams you will begin to shiver. Halfway through you will acquire a new appreciation for your fingers, toes, and the fact that you still have a nose. And by the end of this collection, you'll define some commonly used phrases in an entirely different way. The understated "catch some air" and the whimsical "log some flight time" are climbers' euphemisms for falling, while "crater" refers to what happens when you log some flight time all the way to the ground. "Summiting," the term for reaching the top of a mountain, seems almost colorless in comparison. The various heroes, risk-takers, incompetents, and individualists Krakauer captures are more than colorful, whether they summit or not. The author is more interested in exploring the addiction of risk--the intensity of effort--than mere triumph. There's the mythical minimalist climber, John Gill, whose fame "rests entirely on assents less than thirty feet high," and the Burgess brothers--freewheeling, free-floating English twins who seem to make all the right decisions when it counts, and hence most often fail to reach the top. Of course, they are alive. Over these and other talented climbers hangs a malignant, endlessly creative nature--its foehn winds can make people crazy and its avalanches do far worse. Eiger Dreams is an adrenaline fest for the weary, an overdue examination of a stylish, brave subculture. As one of the heroes Krakauer outlines says of his occupation, "It's sort of like having fun, only different."

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:21:02 -0400)

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Explores the adventure and risks that compel climbers to face the challenges of such peaks as Denali, K2, Everest, and the Eiger.

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