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Into Thin Air: A Personal Account of the Mt.…
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Into Thin Air: A Personal Account of the Mt. Everest Disaster (1997)

by Jon Krakauer

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
11,051262374 (4.19)317
  1. 71
    The Climb: Tragic Ambitions on Everest by Anatoli Boukreev (marzipanz, oregonobsessionz, coclimber, bluepiano)
    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.
    bluepiano: I may be the only reader of Krakauer's book who thought Boukreev came across as a hero in it. The Climb is a heartening reminder that experience, intelligence, and calm can be the makings of heroism, and it's quite interesting as well.
  2. 50
    The Perfect Storm: A True Story of Men against the Sea by Sebastian Junger (kraaivrouw)
  3. 40
    Left for Dead: My Journey Home from Everest by Beck Weathers (riverwillow)
  4. 30
    Everest: The West Ridge by Thomas F. Hornbein (BookWallah)
    BookWallah: If you liked Into Thin Air, then you are ready for the mountaineering classic, Everest: The West Ridge. This sparse first person account of the other American team that came after Whitaker in 1963 and put up a route that has seldom been repeated.
  5. 30
    Touching the Void by Joe Simpson (VivienneR)
  6. 20
    Eiger Dreams: Ventures Among Men and Mountains by Jon Krakauer (fichtennadel, Sandydog1)
    Sandydog1: If you want some background on "what makes Krakauer tick", do check out his earlier stories.
  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
    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.
  9. 20
    K2 : Life and Death on the World's Most Dangerous Mountain by Ed Viesturs (Grandeplease)
  10. 10
    Annapurna by Maurice Herzog (Sandydog1)
  11. 10
    Dead Mountain: The Untold True Story of the Dyatlov Pass Incident by Donnie Eichar (sweetbug)
    sweetbug: Both stories of mountaineering adventures gone terribly, terribly wrong.
  12. 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)
  13. 10
    Ultimate High: My Everest Odyssey by Göran Kropp (Navarone)
  14. 10
    The Long Walk: The True Story of a Trek to Freedom by Slavomir Rawicz (sombrio)
  15. 10
    The Other Side of Everest: Climbing the North Face Through the Killer Storm by Matt Dickinson (riverwillow)
  16. 10
    The Kid Who Climbed Everest: The Incredible Story of a 23-Year-Old's Summit of Mt. Everest by Bear Grylls (FireandIce)
  17. 00
    The Lost City of Z by David Grann (g33kgrrl)
  18. 00
    Dead Lucky: Life after Death on Mount Everest by Lincoln Hall (RMSmithJr)
  19. 00
    Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer (sturlington)
  20. 00
    The Summit of the Gods, Volume 1 by Jirô Taniguchi (villemezbrown)

(see all 26 recommendations)

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» See also 317 mentions

English (253)  Spanish (3)  Italian (2)  Portuguese (Brazil) (1)  German (1)  French (1)  All languages (261)
Showing 1-5 of 253 (next | show all)
Don't Be Fucking Stupid should be the title. Into Thin Air shares this distinction with Werner Herzog's Grizzly Man. The hubris depicted here has other effects than the envirnonmental ones described: thinning the herd, officer; Malthus would agree.

It isn't bad journalism. ( )
  jonfaith | Feb 22, 2019 |
This story is harsh and sobering but completely gripping. ( )
  brokensandals | Feb 7, 2019 |
A history of Mount Everest expedition is intertwined with the disastrous expedition the author was a part of, during which five members were killed by a hurricane-strength blizzard. SOFT
  JRCornell | Jan 29, 2019 |
Seriously considering going back to page 1 and reading the whole book again. ( )
  diylibrarian | Jan 23, 2019 |
This is a true story written by one of the climbers that was on this trip in 1996. He is a reporter, but also an avid climber, and had always wanted to climb Everest. He got the people at his magazine that he wrote for to fund his trip (did you know the trips cost $65,000? And that was in 1996) and so he went. The book tells of his trip, and what happened to cause the death of 5 people on that trip.



I liked this book. If nothing else it taught me that people who want to climb Everest are borderline crazy. If not completely insane. The account from the author makes it sound terrible - every single second. From getting altitude sickness to major frostbite to cerebral edema to death. He talks about being so deprived of oxygen that he couldn't think straight when it was most critical. And how he lost so much weight for having to work so hard that he almost froze to death.



And the Sherpas. The people who live at the base of Everest who are hired to go on these climbs and set the ropes and carry the loads and care for the people who paid for these trips. There are no words for how awful their jobs are but how they don't see it that way. These mountain climbs of things of honor for them, but I felt nothing but terrible for them.



Many of the people on these trips have families that they leave behind to climb a mountain. And die trying. They are not fighting in a war for their country. They are not putting themselves in harms way to save the life of another. They have paid an exorbitant amount of money to have a team help them climb a snowy mountain. It seems beyond silly.



But I am getting off track. The book was well written and definitely worth the read. He tells the good with the bad (mostly bad if you ask me) in taking on a climb to 29,000 feet.



So check it out. ( )
  JenMat | Jan 10, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 253 (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 (11 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Krakauer, Jonprimary 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.
Quotations
Getting to the top of any given mountain was considered much less important than how one got there: prestige was earned by tackling the most unforgiving routes with minimal equipment, in the boldest style imaginable. John Krakauer
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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 Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:08:00 -0400)

(see all 8 descriptions)

A history of Mount Everest expedition is intertwined with the disastrous expedition the author was a part of, during which five members were killed by a hurricane-strength blizzard. When Jon Krakauer reached the summit of Mt. Everest in the early afternoon of May 10, 1996, he hadn't slept in fifty-seven hours and was reeling from the brain-altering effects of oxygen depletion. As he turned to begin his long, dangerous descent from 29,028 feet, twenty other climbers were still pushing doggedly toward the top. No one had noticed that the sky had begun to fill with clouds. Six hours later and 3,000 feet lower, in 70-knot winds and blinding snow, Krakauer collapsed in his tent, freezing, hallucinating from exhaustion and hypoxia, but safe. The following morning he learned that six of his fellow climbers hadn't made it back to their camp and were in a desperate struggle for their lives. When the storm finally passed, five of them would be dead, and the sixth so horribly frostbitten that his right hand would have to be amputated. Krakauer examines what it is about Everest that has compelled so many people - including himself - to throw caution to the wind, ignore the concerns of loved ones, and willingly subject themselves to such risk, hardship, and expense. Written with emotional clarity and supported by his unimpeachable reporting, Krakauer's eye-witness account of what happened on the roof of the world is a singular achievement.… (more)

» see all 10 descriptions

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