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Left for Dead: My Journey Home from Everest

3.63  ·  Rating Details ·  3,685 Ratings  ·  274 Reviews
As featured in the upcoming motion picture Everest, starring Jason Clarke, Josh Brolin, John Hawkes, Robin Wright, Emily Watson, Keira Knightley, Sam Worthington, and Jake Gyllenhaal

“I can tell you that some force within me rejected death at the last moment and then guided me, blind and stumbling—quite literally a dead man walking—into camp and the shaky start of my retu
Paperback, 352 pages
Published November 6th 2001 by Dell (first published 2000)
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Paula No- its more about their dysfunctional (in a very non-threatening way) relationship from first date to his return from Everest. Its a story you've…moreNo- its more about their dysfunctional (in a very non-threatening way) relationship from first date to his return from Everest. Its a story you've heard a million times from your own friends. He meets a girl and they get married. She expects him to grow up and start "acting responsible". He expects that he can keep doing exactly what he's been doing while she'll sit home waiting for him. (less)
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Jul 10, 2016 Paula rated it it was ok
I was hoodwinked. I feel like the author conned me with a catchy title about a survival story then delivered his-and-hers complaints about a marriage where neither partner ever confided in the other, did whatever they wanted (he's off climbing mountains, she's "playing Russian roulette" with her birth control pills) and resented each other for it. The first 20% of the book is about him actually surviving Everest, and its not that great a story. Certainly a miraculous event, but I'm surprised at ...more
Nov 05, 2008 Mazola1 rated it really liked it
Although I didn't really plan it that way, I read Beck Weather's book Left for Dead right after I read Lincoln Hall's book, Dead Lucky. The two books have some obvious and uncanny similarities. Both Beck Weathers and Lincoln Hall were left for dead just below the summit of Mount Everest, thought to be beyond all hope of rescue. Both were believed to have died on the mountain, and both of their families were told that. Both were apparent victims of particularly lethal years on Mount Everest, whic ...more
I can't get enough of climbing memoirs, but Beck Weathers' book "Left for Dead" is not really that kind of book. It is, in part at least, the story of his remarkable survival in the deadly 1996 season on Mount Everest, where he was left for dead but survived.

In his opening chapter, he describes himself as an "amateur climber," in my opinion someone who had not business being on Everest, and his book reads that way. It annoyed me the first time he described his crampons (essentially cleats that y
May 17, 2010 Jennifer rated it liked it
I was disappointed in this book. Don't get me wrong, I love to read books and watch TV program about Everest and the amazing people that decide to challenge the mountain, but this book just wasn't what I was expecting. If you are looking for a book that talks a lot about mountain climbing or his experience on Everest, this isn't the book for you. While he does talk about these things briefly, most of the book details Beck Weathers' life all the way from a child up to present day. It is narrated ...more
Jan 04, 2011 Maggie rated it it was ok
This book is a hot mess. Is it his journey home from Everest or his autobiography? I sincerely do not care about his growing-up years in Japan. I thought maybe by starting off with the Everest tragedy it would play out the book in a more unusual, enticing way, but not true. And the excerpts of conversations with his wife "Peach" about their dating years had to do with Everest how? I mean I understand people may have wanted to learn more about the person behind this obsessive desire of mountainee ...more
Zoya Bozhko
Nov 16, 2010 Zoya Bozhko rated it really liked it
Admittedly, I am a bit bias in my appreciation of this book. Meg, Beck's youngest child, was a classmate of mine and, at various points throughout my 8 years at Hockaday, a friend. When Beck came to speak to us at a school assembly, I remember crying and being in awe of his courage.

Surprisingly, this book has only strengthened those initial responses. This is not the story of a hero. This is not the story of a family man. This is a story of each of us when we feel alone and misunderstood and the
Nov 01, 2008 holly rated it it was amazing
I always enjoy reading Everest books, especially while under the warmth of my covers in bed :-) I really enjoyed how the author, Beck Weathers, injected his humor throughout the book, I found myself snickering which I rarely do while reading a book......I enjoyed reading the perspective from his wife Peach as's amazing that she stayed with him. I also enjoyed the layout of the book.....starting with the 1996 account, then going back in time to how he got to that point, then wrappin ...more
Aug 22, 2007 Robin rated it liked it
If you already collect 1996 Everest stories, you may read the whole thing. But if you don't, you'll probably want just Part One, which satisfies. The rest of the book becomes too much detail too late, and reads like filler.

PS to the audio reader: we don't need you to do voices for the same reason we don't need dialogue printed in different fonts and colors. It's annoying, and we get it that different people are talking.
Michael Twist
Jul 24, 2014 Michael Twist rated it liked it
With the exception of one or two genuinely interesting chapters detailing the events that we all found so gripping from the spring of '96, Weathers dedicates the rest of the book in an attempt at contrition to his family, which stuck with him through the obsession that nearly killed him.
Jan 10, 2015 Lauren added it
I had been debating with myself whether or not I should read ‘Left for Dead’ before undertaking my very first mountain climb (my trek will be much less substantial than the colossal 9,000 metre Mount Everest). However, after reading the enticing quote: “I can tell you that some force within me rejected death at the last moment and then guided me, blind and stumbling — quite literally a dead man walking — into camp and the shaky start of my return to life....” on the novels equally captivating fr ...more
Alyssa Lamers
Jul 08, 2014 Alyssa Lamers rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2014
Things I liked about this book:

-That it didn't try to be Into Thin Air. Many mountain climbing books spend a lot of time on the preparation, the carries between camps, etc., which I very much enjoy reading. However, in this instance, all those logistics from the May 1996 disaster have already been covered in multiple books, most notably Into This Air. We know the outline of what happened. Lets be honest, the only reason I read this book was to hear Beck Weathers talk about what happened between
Jun 04, 2016 David rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
To be honest, I skipped a large part of the book (part 3) - his getting into mountain climbing to escape his life. As others have said, after seeing the movie I was more interested in a first hand account (thus, my next book will be "Into Thin Air" ;) but this book spends way too much time on personal matters that I was not interested in. Also, even if you are interested in resolving marital problems, very little insight is given - just that they somehow, magically, managed. I think his wife mus ...more
AJ Guziak
Aug 31, 2016 AJ Guziak rated it it was ok

This book is about a mountain climber who was climbing MT Everest at the wrong time. He was climbing it when there was a blizzard hit while he was in sub-freezing weather. He was left by the other mountain climbers thinking he was dead, but he survived.

When I first saw this book, I thought I would like it. I thought it was going to talk about how he miraculously survived a bad blizzard 25,000+ feet in the air the WHOLE book. Turns out it only explained the event in less than half of the book. Us
Heather K
Jan 21, 2016 Heather K rated it did not like it
DNF. No. Just awful I can't finish it.
Jan 13, 2015 Bay rated it liked it
Left for Dead is Beck Weathers account of his Mount Everest climb where he was (surprise) left for dead. He and a few fellow climbers got disoriented in a blizzard, but Beck managed to wake himself from a cold-induced coma and make his way back to camp. This is after he had been without food for several days and had ice in a thick layer covering his entire face because he was literally freezing to death. Even after he made it back to camp everyone assumed he was bound to die and he was left with ...more
Marlene French
May 09, 2015 Marlene French rated it really liked it
Shelves: biographical
Like many others, when I began reading this book I thought it was going to be all about his experience in the Everest disaster but when I discovered it wasn't just that but also followed his personal shortcomings with depression and his failure to commit to his family fully I was a little taken aback. However, having heard of him and his miraculous escape from both death and Everest in "Into Thin Air" by Jon Krakaur I became intrigued about his journey back not only from the climb but into a hea ...more
Lillian Angelovic
Apr 29, 2009 Lillian Angelovic rated it liked it
I found Beck Weathers' Everest story fascinating and enjoyed his stories of mountaineering and how he found his way through depression to mountain-climbing. The "aside" comments from family and friends were pleasant additions and offered insight and depth. I think the whole life-story could have been edited down considerably, and I kept looking for some additional summarized statements at the end of "what we learned from this", but all-in-all it was interesting and gave a great perspective on wh ...more
J.H. Moncrieff
Sep 13, 2016 J.H. Moncrieff rated it liked it
3.5 stars

As an editor, this book made my fingers itch. So much potential!

When I read Jon Krakauer's account of the same disaster--"Into Thin Air"--I was touched by the story of Beck Weathers, the mountaineer people kept leaving for dead who stubbornly survived anyway. As soon I discovered he'd written his own story, I knew I had to read it, no matter how negative a lot of the reviews were.

Beck's brief account of his struggle to survive on Everest and his recovery afterwards are riveting. As othe
Victor *we were on a break!*
Mount Everest has teased and haunted me since my early 20s. For some unknown reason I was filled with a desire to climb that mountain after watching a documentary on PBS(?), approximately 3 decades ago. I wanted so badly to climb that mountain but the one obstacle that I couldn't overcome was crossing the gaping crevasses by walking across the aluminum ladders. The high altitude, thinning air and possibility of frostbite weren't a concern but putting one foot in front of the other on a ladder pa ...more
May 13, 2015 Cath rated it liked it
The harsh rating is because of a couple reasons. ( In the end I changed it to 3 instead of 2 stars because the good outweighted the bad).
First, the account of the Everest disaster was covered in less than half the book and was extremely confusing. It was like Weathers would follow his train of thought wherever it took him. That was extremely evident if you - like I did- had read Jon Krakauer's book first. Of course Krakauer is a writer and Weathers isn't but I found myself so confused with Weath
Christina Mootz
May 31, 2016 Christina Mootz rated it really liked it
I decided to read this book after watching the movie Everest. I knew that when movies are based on situations, not everything is depicted. In this book, Weathers does a good job of explaining how he got there. 'There' being the mountain, the mindset, the guts to attempt Everest. I enjoyed reading his story and I really enjoyed reading the thoughts from his friends and family. It did a good job of making me think of more that just the ascent of the mountain and what happened. But why he did it, h ...more
Lenny Husen
May 25, 2014 Lenny Husen rated it it was amazing
This is a 4 and a half star book. I loved it, and had a hard time putting it down. It was one I looked forward to reading every night, and it didn't put me to sleep within 5 minutes like many books.
This is the story of Beck Weathers, one of the survivors of the deadliest day in Mt. Everest history, May 10, 1996. Jon Krakauer is the survivor of that day who wrote, "Into Thin Air", which I have heard is a great book.

This book may read like a magazine article and relates the story of why Beck was c
Nov 08, 2009 Ciara rated it liked it
i really wish there was an option for half-star reviews, because this is more of a two-&-a-half star book for me. i am being charitable because the book wasn't quite what i expected, & although i was disappointed at first, i found the change in tone strangely refreshing. plus you can read the entire book in like two hours. or, i did, anyway.

so this is another account of the may 19996 everest expedition that jon krakauer describes in into thin air. if you are looking for a really exhausti
Dec 08, 2008 Andrew rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Anyone
It's pretty rare that my opinion of a book changes dramatically over the course of reading it. Sure, a book that starts off well can turn out to be less interesting as time goes on, or a bad beginning can be saved by an increasingly good plot. But it's far less common to be considering putting the book down permanently after 100 pages, then end up enjoying it immensely by the end. Such was the case with “Left for Dead”. After the first third, I thought it was poorly written and expected the rest ...more
Oct 08, 2015 Lois rated it it was ok
Shelves: nonfiction
I read Krakauer's account of this same climb of Everest in 1996, but it's been a long time. We were going to go see the current film "Everest," so I found this account interesting. I liked Beck's writing style (he seems to have worked with a co-author, Stephen G. Michaud ). Even some funny parts. Great details. I appreciated the organization of the story: it starts with the Everest expedition, then there are several more sections that deal with his family & personal growth, which was also ki ...more
Jun 10, 2016 Leslie rated it did not like it
The first chapter, which was a well-written report about his adventure on Everest, tricked me. The rest of the book was about his wife's and his family history, and what a terrible husband and father he was. I had to skim for the interesting parts.
Sep 04, 2016 Benny1974 rated it liked it
Unlike some other reviewers, I have not read any other Everest adventure/miracle rescue type stories so have nothing to compare to. I was originally going to give this book 2 stars because the way the story is told disappointed me, however since it is a true story I think the author really gets to tell it whichever damn way he wants and still deserves kudos for doing so.

Whether it makes for a really good read will really depend on the audience. It goes in depth into Becks marital dramas which I
Terrie Isaacks
Aug 07, 2016 Terrie Isaacks rated it it was ok
A he-said she-said soap opera! A terrible one. Beck's part was good only when he's talking about the climbing. The rest of the time he's defending himself against Peach's accusations. Peach's part was terrible. It made her out to be the nagging wife that runs off with the kids to New York while her husband is climbing as an "I'll show you! We have places to be also that don't involve sitting around waiting for you to realize we are here " Through the whole thing, she gives Beck maybe two complem ...more
May 24, 2016 Joshua rated it really liked it
Book Review
The book Left For Dead was a great book. The reading experience was absolute. It told the journey of a mountaineer who climbed Everest to reach the summit. With wild winds and crazy weather patterns Everest was unpredictable. A crazy storm came in and hit the hikers head on. Beck Weathers and few of others caught in the storm fighting for their life's. Beck Weathers told a marvelous story with a lot of detail into what happened on the mountain that day. The powerful st
4Phillips R
Apr 05, 2016 4Phillips R rated it liked it
The Novel "Left For Dead" by Beck Weathers was a very interesting book that made me question everything stupid or crazy i have done. I say this because in this book are Author Mr. Weathers decides he wants to summit Mt. Everest, which seems crazy but possible. If he would have know what was coming up for him and his other mountaineers, this goal of his would have seemed like a complete suicide mission. What happens on the "Ice Trap" or mountain sabot half way up the "traverse" started to go blin ...more
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