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Into Thin Air (Turtleback School & Library…
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Into Thin Air (Turtleback School & Library Binding Edition) (original 1997; edition 1999)

by Jon Krakauer

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8,734None345 (4.18)211
Member:ColieCakes
Title:Into Thin Air (Turtleback School & Library Binding Edition)
Authors:Jon Krakauer
Info:Turtleback (1999), Hardcover, 416 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:*****
Tags:None

Work details

Into Thin Air: A Personal Account of the Mt. Everest Disaster by Jon Krakauer (Author) (1997)

(26) adventure (583) Asia (28) autobiography (64) biography (133) climbing (191) death (46) disaster (148) disasters (29) Everest (515) exploration (32) Himalayas (77) history (76) Jon Krakauer (24) journalism (38) memoir (293) mountaineering (535) mountains (59) nature (58) Nepal (82) non-fiction (1,067) outdoors (86) own (40) read (138) sports (52) survival (185) to-read (74) tragedy (58) travel (176) unread (36)
  1. 61
    The Climb: Tragic Ambitions on Everest by Anatoli Boukreev (marzipanz, oregonobsessionz, coclimber)
    marzipanz: It may seem like an obvious recommendation, but I would really urge everybody to read The Climb instead of or in addition to Into Thin Air. It really sheds a completely new light on some of what Krakauer writes, and - to me - seemed a far more convincing account of some of the events.… (more)
    oregonobsessionz: While The Climb is not an easy read like Into Thin Air, it does provide a different perspective on the disaster, and answers some of Krakauer's criticisms of Boukreev's actions.
  2. 40
    Left for Dead: My Journey Home from Everest by Beck Weathers (riverwillow)
  3. 40
    The Perfect Storm: A True Story of Men against the Sea by Sebastian Junger (kraaivrouw)
  4. 30
    Touching the Void by Joe Simpson (VivienneR)
  5. 20
    Eiger Dreams by Jon Krakauer (fichtennadel, Sandydog1)
    Sandydog1: If you want some background on "what makes Krakauer tick", do check out his earlier stories.
  6. 20
    Shadow divers : the true adventure of two Americans who risked everything to solve one of the last mysteries of World War II by Robert Kurson (alaskabookworm)
    alaskabookworm: Couldn't put "Shadow Divers" down; one of my favorite nonfiction adventure books of all time.
  7. 20
    Blind Descent: the Quest to Discover the Deepest Place on Earth by James M. Tabor (PamFamilyLibrary)
    PamFamilyLibrary: Who would guess, but going down into the Super Caves is as dangerous as going up K2 or Everest.
  8. 20
    K2: Life and Death on the World's Most Dangerous Mountain by Ed Viesturs (Grandeplease)
  9. 10
    The Other Side of Everest: Climbing the North Face Through the Killer Storm by Matt Dickinson (riverwillow)
  10. 10
    The Kid Who Climbed Everest: The Incredible Story of a 23-Year-Old's Summit of Mt. Everest by Bear Grylls (FireandIce)
  11. 10
    Dark Summit: The True Story of Everest's Most Controversial Season by Nick Heil (normandie_m)
    normandie_m: The events in this book re-opened discussion of the controversies surrounding the 1996 disaster. Heil examines similar themes, particularly the ethical dilemma of whether or not to offer assistance to/rescuing sick climbers when one's own health and supplies such as oxygen are depleted.… (more)
  12. 00
    Göran Kropp : [8000 ] by Göran Kropp (Navarone)
  13. 00
    Snowstruck: In the Grip of Avalanches by Jill Fredston (alaskabookworm)
  14. 00
    K2: Triumph and Tragedy by Jim Curran (Polaris-)
  15. 00
    Dead Lucky: Life after Death on Mount Everest by Lincoln Hall (RMSmithJr)
  16. 00
    The Long Walk: The True Story of a Trek to Freedom by Slavomir Rawicz (sombrio)
  17. 00
    Climbing High: A Woman's Account of Surviving the Everest Tragedy by Lene Gammelgaard (cjoats)
  18. 00
    No Way Down: Life and Death on K2 by Graham Bowley (jan.fleming)
    jan.fleming: It's the summit of K2, 1 August 2008. An exhausted band of climbers pump their fists into the clear blue sky - joining the elite who have conquered the world's most lethal mountain. But as they celebrate, far below them an ice shelf collapses and sweeps away their ropes. They don't know it yet, but they will be forced to descend into the blackness with no lines. Of the thirty who set out, eleven will never make it back. Following the stories of climbers from around the world, "No Way Down" weaves a tale of human courage, folly, survival and devastating loss. The stories are heart-wrenching: the young married couple whose rope was torn apart by an avalanche, sending the husband to his death; the 61-year-old Frenchman who called his family from near the summit to say he wouldn't make it home. So what drove them to try to conquer this elusive peak? And what went wrong that fateful day?… (more)
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» See also 211 mentions

English (187)  Italian (2)  German (1)  Spanish (1)  Portuguese (Brazil) (1)  All languages (192)
Showing 1-5 of 187 (next | show all)
A chilling read. A real page-turner. ( )
  linda.temple | Apr 9, 2014 |
A riveting story, a classic in the adventure/survival realm of reading. I recommend it highly. ( )
  wareagle78 | Apr 3, 2014 |
Wow. ( )
  earthforms | Feb 2, 2014 |
Climbing the world's highest mountain is not for the faint-hearted. Even with all of our modern technological advancements that have made mountain climbing safer in general, Everest takes a heavy physical and mental toll, and it can be vengeful, as Jon Krakauer's expedition in May 1996 found out, to great cost. Eight people died as the result of a sudden snowstorm on the mountain. In this book, Krakauer tells the story of the expedition, analyzes what went wrong, and ponders the extent to which he himself is culpable.

This is a harrowing book. Krakauer does not hold back from descriptions of the various physical ailments the human body is subject to at high altitude: pulmonary edema, cerebral edema, frostbite that turns its victims' skin black and silvery-grey, lacerated corneas (from needle-like ice crystals whipped up by the storm), and of course the insidious effects of low oxygen on the brain. His descriptions of the weather and the barren landscape had me shivering, despite the fact that I was huddled under a warm blanket in an adequately heated house.

And because the players in this story were not always in a position to remember the situation clearly, Krakauer filled in the blanks and sought clarification by interviewing other survivors in the party and mountaineers who were further down Everest at the time. It is a very emotional book; the details that come to light prompt an agony of self-recrimination. If only they had known, if only they had turned back sooner, if only…

One of the guides present on Everest that day, Anatoli Boukreev, objected to his portrayal in this book and wrote a rebuttal, The Climb. Krakauer responds in a series of postscripts, with further editions of the book shedding new light on the authors' dispute. The book itself is a follow-up to Krakauer's original article published in Outside magazine, and made use of the details from other survivors to paint a more complete picture of what happened -- although there will probably be some aspects that always remain a mystery.

This is worth reading if you are interested in the subject matter or have seen the IMAX film Everest; the filmmakers were on the mountain when this disaster occurred and played a role in helping the survivors. ( )
  rabbitprincess | Feb 1, 2014 |
"Please place the oxygen mask on your own face before assisting others." says the standard instructions from airlines everywhere. Jon Krakauer faced this situation - repeatedly - on Mt. Everest and still can't come to terms with his decisions.

This book is an unflinching account of a disastrous mission to climb Mt. Everest by an author sent specifically to document an example of a "guided" expedition (with the implication that Everest had become a glorified tourist destination.)

I finished the book in three sittings, but could have finished it in one setting if I didn't want to sleep. Krakauer is an excellent author who brings the sport of mountain climbing to life (or death, as it were). It is also written as an eyewitness account, and the author takes great pains to explain how he made every effort to get all the facts straight, but realizes that the combination of stress, cold and oxygen deprivation caused considerable confusion.

The mission was led by a guide who had the best reputation in the business and who never lost a customer. He was a consummate professional who was known for his intense preparation. In the end, several people died, and many survivors lost body parts to frostbite. And, like most catastrophes, it wasn't one bad decision, but many, many small ones. Ironically, several people who had no business being on the mountain survived, and some of them were saved by much more qualified people who didn't make it.

I never had "Climb Mount Everest" on my bucket list, but I've just added "never get anywhere near Mount Everest." ( )
  drmamm | Jan 12, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 187 (next | show all)
An experienced climber himself, Mr. Krakauer gives us both a tactile appreciation of the dangerous allure of mountaineering and a compelling chronicle of the bad luck, bad judgment and doomed heroism that led to the deaths of his climbing companions.
 
it is impossible to finish this book unmoved and impossible to forget for a moment that its author would have given anything not to have to write it.
 

» Add other authors (22 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Krakauer, JonAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Karl, AnitaMapssecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Perria, LidiaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rackliff, RandyIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Men play at tragedy because they do not believe in the reality of the tragey which is actually being staged in the civilised world. --José Ortega y Gasset
Dedication
For Linda; and in memory of Andy Harris, Doug Hansen, Rob Hall, Yasuko Namba, Scott Fischer, Ngawang Topche Sherpa, Chen Yu-Nana, Bruce Herrod, and Lopsang Jangbu Sherpa
First words
Straddling the top of the world, one foot in China and the other in Nepal, I cleared the ice from my oxygen mask, hunched a shoulder against the wind, and stared absently down at the vastness of Tibet.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Please distinguish between print editions of Jon Krakauer's 1997 memoir, Into Thin Air, and the abridged audio version. Thank you.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0385494785, Paperback)

A bank of clouds was assembling on the not-so-distant horizon, but journalist-mountaineer Jon Krakauer, standing on the summit of Mt. Everest, saw nothing that "suggested that a murderous storm was bearing down." He was wrong. The storm, which claimed five lives and left countless more--including Krakauer's--in guilt-ridden disarray, would also provide the impetus for Into Thin Air, Krakauer's epic account of the May 1996 disaster. With more than 250 black-and-white photographs taken by various expedition members and an enlightening new postscript by the author, the Illustrated Edition shows readers what this tragic climb looked like and potentially provides closure for Krakauer and his detractors.

"I have no doubt that Boukreev's intentions were good on summit day," writes Krakauer in a postscript dated August 1998. "What disturbs me, though, was Boukreev's refusal to acknowledge the possibility that he made even a single poor decision. Never did he indicate that perhaps it wasn't the best choice to climb without gas or go down ahead of his clients." As usual, Krakauer supports his points with dogged research and a good dose of humility. But rather than continue the heated discourse that has raged since Into Thin Air's denouncement of guide Boukreev, Krakauer's tone is conciliatory; he points most of his criticism at G. Weston De Walt, who coauthored The Climb, Boukreev's version of events. And in a touching conclusion, Krakauer recounts his last conversation with the late Boukreev, in which the two weathered climbers agreed to disagree about certain points. Krakauer had great hopes to patch things up with Boukreev, but the Russian later died in a avalanche on another Himalayan peak, Annapurna I. Krakauer further buries the ice axe by donating his share of royalties from sales of The Illustrated Edition to the Everest '96 Memorial Fund, which aids various environmental and humanitarian charities. --Rob McDonald

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:26:57 -0400)

(see all 8 descriptions)

"Reeling from the brain-altering effects of oxygen depletion, Jon Krakauer reached the summit of Mt. Everest in the early afternoon of May 10, 1996. He hadn't slept in fifty-seven hours. As he turned to begin the perilous descent from 29,028 feet (roughly the cruising altitude of an Airbus jetliner), twenty other climbers were still pushing doggedly to the top, unaware that the sky had begun to roil with clouds..." "This is the terrifying story of what really happened that fateful day at the top of the world, during what would be the deadliest season in the history of Everest. In this harrowing yet breathtaking narrative, Krakauer takes the reader along with his ill-fated expedition, step by precarious step, from Katmandu to the mountain's pinnacle where, plagued by a combination of hubris, greed, poor judgment, and plain bad luck, they would fall prey to the mountain's unpredictable fury."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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