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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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2082056,261 (3.58)5
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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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 |
In 2004, journalist Michael Kodas joined local mountain climbers from home on an expedition to Mount Everest. He anticipated an exhilarating and arduous adventure among a group of like-minded idealists that he could report to his readers back in Connecticut. But on the Himalayan mountain, he discovered thieves, prostitutes, con men, and blackmailers. There were people who would do anything for a quick buck, or a guarantee of reaching the top. And some of them were on his own team.

Thieves stole equipment on which the team's lives depended, Kodas's life was threatened by one of his teammates, and a climbing partner was beaten unconscious by another in Base Camp. He returned from the Himalaya disillusioned. But a plea for help from the daughter of a mountaineer who vanished on Everest on the very day that Kodas had retreated from his own disintegrating team prompted him to return to Everest and uncover an underworld that preys on unsuspecting climbers on major peaks around the world.

High Crimes is a shocking expose of the dark underside of Everest: people stepping over dying climbers on their way up; unscrupulous con men who sell faulty oxygen tanks that leave climbers without air when their lives depend on it; drugs and prostitution in Base Camp; and people all but murdered in the cutthroat race to get to the top. Illustrated with incredible photographs and written with thriller-like pacing, High Crimes is a gripping and fascinating story.

If summiting Everest is on your list of "100 Things to do Before I Die" you should read this compelling if somewhat disheartening look at the dark side of climbing the world's tallest mountain.

High Crimes explores the corruption of one of the purest places on earth, Mount Everest, and the author doesn’t pull any punches pointing the finger and naming names of those who indulge in dishonest and outright criminal behaviour putting others’ lives at risk….and worse.

The author compares Everest Base Camp to a Wild West boomtown… with no sheriff.

He is especially critical of the Everest peak baggers who pay thousands of dollars to unscrupulous commercial operators to be dragged to the top and back down again (if they are lucky), "climbers" who have as much business being on the mountain as I do.

The structure of the novel is a little distracting, as the author tells his own summit attempted with the wife beating climbing team from Hell and the heart-breaking story of Dr. Nils Antezana, both threads running through the book pulling it all together.

Fascinating stuff
( )
  jan.fleming | Jan 31, 2014 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Michael Kodasprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
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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