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High Crimes: The Fate of Everest in an Age…

High Crimes: The Fate of Everest in an Age of Greed (edition 2008)

by Michael Kodas

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Title:High Crimes: The Fate of Everest in an Age of Greed
Authors:Michael Kodas
Info:Hyperion (2008), Hardcover, 368 pages
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High Crimes: The Fate of Everest in an Age of Greed by Michael Kodas



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Ok. This book settles it for me. I am officially not going to climb Mount Everest. Not if someone is going to steal my food and gear while I'm trying to summit or sell me faulty oxygen canisters or threaten to abandon me if I don't pay more money. This book was an eye-opening look at the Wild West- style of atmosphere that is Everest climbing these days. Like many, I read Into Thin Air some years ago and was fascinated by the whole business how people end up at the top of the world's highest peak. The conditions are so extreme that the balance between helping others and keeping yourself alive (or achieving the summit experience you paid $60,000 for) makes for dramatic decisions. The concept that those who show up less-prepared or less-conditioned present a danger to others around them had not occurred to me and put a new twist on how those decisions are made. Of course, extreme adventures can also attract extreme personalities.

This book was fascinating but not the easiest to read. It tells the stories of two climbing groups approaching Everest from two sides of the mountain at the same time. It also bounces back and forth in time, which makes it more difficult to keep things sorted out. I'm glad I persevered and this will probably find more Everest books to read. ( )
  400mom | Nov 23, 2016 |
I had no idea how much corruption goes on around human's obsession with reaching this highest peak! ( )
  Jen.ODriscoll.Lemon | Jan 23, 2016 |
I had no idea how much corruption goes on around human's obsession with reaching this highest peak! ( )
  Jen.ODriscoll.Lemon | Jan 23, 2016 |
This book was a slogger (tough to slog through). There were at least two separate stories and plots going on at the beginning of the book with numerous characters making it difficult to keep everything straight. Towards the end of the book, the different stories and plots were much better integrated.

What did I get from this book? I believe the main point that I got out of this book is that Everest is no longer a worthy achievement. There is so much corruption and crime taking place behind the scenes, and in some cases in front of the scenes, that who in their right minds would want to climb Everest??? There are thieves, faulty equipment, inexperienced guides, waiting lines at every turn, garbage littering the snow, and enough dead buried bodies for Agatha Christie to have a hay day.

Yes, it is not your father's Everest. One thumb up. ( )
  branjohb | Jan 22, 2015 |
This was my first book about Everest and was quite illuminating--I would definitely recommend that anyone seriously considering climbing the mountain read this book first to know what to watch out for! Kodas relates all kinds of reprehensible human behavior taking place around the mountain, much of it tragically leading to the loss of human life: guides misrepresenting their level of experience, people selling faulty equipment, rampant theft even high up on the mountain, and even guides completely abandoning their clients in some of the most perilous conditions on Earth. Kodas himself was part of an expedition that went sour, but the book is at its best when he's relating stories he wasn't immediately involved in (the parts about his own story often feel uncomfortably like being involved in a personal feud in which not all the parties have a chance to defend themselves). This isn't a book to read if you're primarily interested in the beauty of Everest or want triumphant stories about human perseverance and accomplishment, but it was interesting throughout and has definitely made me want to learn more about Everest and mountaineering. ( )
  mrlzbth | Feb 6, 2014 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Michael Kodasprimary authorall editionscalculated
Deakins, MarkNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Much has changed on Mount Everest in recent years. This is the first book to detail how the recent infusion of wealth into the mountains is reacting with the age-old lust for glory to draw crime to the highest places on the planet, and how a mountain's ability to reduce climbers to their essential selves is revealing villains as well as heroes, greed as well as selflessness. The change is caused both by a tremendous boom in traffic to the world's mountains and a new class of parasitic and predatory adventurer. Beatings, thefts, drugs, prostitution, coercion, threats, and abandonment on the highest slopes of Everest and other mountains have become the rule rather than the exception, and journalist Kodas describes many of these experiences and explores the larger issues they raise with thriller-like intensity.--From publisher description.… (more)

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