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Into Thin Air: A Personal Account of the Mount Everest Disaster

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4.09  ·  Rating Details  ·  277,434 Ratings  ·  9,141 Reviews
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 ...more
Paperback, 337 pages
Published October 19th 1999 by Anchor (first published 1997)
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Laura Ginn That's when you enter into the death zone. Without bottled oxygen, your brain starts to die. The amount of oxygen above 8000 meters is about 1/3 of…moreThat's when you enter into the death zone. Without bottled oxygen, your brain starts to die. The amount of oxygen above 8000 meters is about 1/3 of that at sea level, and when the pressure decreases it makes it harder for air to get into your lungs. This is what causes most cases of HACE and HAPE, and is why proper acclimatisation is so important.(less)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Cassy
Life got you down? Then join us on a guided expedition led by Capital Stupidity Inc. as we climb to...

The Summit of MOUNT EVEREST

For the bargain price of $65,000,*[1] we will take you on the adventure of a lifetime full of scenic views,*[2] camaraderie,*[3] and athleticism.*[4]

Worried that you lack the necessary climbing experience?
Don’t be discouraged!*[5] While Mount Everest is the tallest mountain in the world, it is not the most technically challenging climb. And in addition to our expert
...more
karen
RELEASE THE KRAKAUER!!!!


seriously, it is time to just raze everest and be done with it already. i mean, it's big and impressive but it is just taking up all this room and killing people so why do we even need it anymore?? can't we just get over it? really, i think it has reached its peak and is all downhill from here.

shameless punning aside.

so this started out as an article that KRAKAUER was asked to write for outside magazine about the commercialization of everest. it should embarrass us that s
...more
Brigette
Jul 01, 2007 Brigette rated it it was amazing
I recently attended the Banff mountain film festival in Canada. One of the key speakers was Simone Moro, the close friend of Anatoli Boukreev, the climber who was killed in an avalanche several years ago on Annapurna and whom Krakauer pretty much vilifies in this book as not having done enough to save the lives of those caught in the blizzard on Mount Everest in May of 1996. Needless to say, the vibe in the room was chilly whenever the subject of Krakauer's version of events came up; he was accu ...more
Michelle
Mar 17, 2009 Michelle rated it liked it
Recommends it for: mountaineers, adventure lovers, crazy people
Shelves: non-fiction
This is not a review. I don’t feel like writing a review for this book, but I feel like I should at least say something about it because I did enjoy it. I mean, it did make me utter “Jesus Christ” out loud more than one time, and I don’t often talk to myself while I am reading a book.

(I almost want to post a picture of a LOLcat with a caption that says “This buk wuz gud,” but I don’t have one.)

So…These are a few things I learned from reading this book:

1. If a person decides to climb Everest, the
...more
Kelly (and the Book Boar)
Find all of my reviews at: http://52bookminimum.blogspot.com/

“Everest has always been a magnet for kooks, publicity seekers, hopeless romantics, and others with a shaky hold on reality.”

Chicago commercial photographers

Welcome to one of Kelly’s creepy obsessions! (Advance apologies - this might get rambly.) Okay, so I’m totally obsessed with all things Everest and CAN. NOT. WAIT. to see the movie that details the same tragic events which are covered in this book (even though just watching the preview in IMAX 3-D made me have
...more
Petra X
May 05, 2015 Petra X rated it really liked it
Into Thin Air or Injustice (of many kinds) on the Mountain.

Until almost the end this book was exactly as I expected it to be with just one exception. It was the story of a journalist climbing Mount Everest both as a journalist and as a mountaineer. Ideal getting paid to do your hobby! It was interesting because Krakauer is a damn good writer and because its fascinating to see the details of how the mountain is climbed. Its also disappointing because few individuals do it by themselves, without a
...more
Jonathan Ashleigh
Jan 16, 2016 Jonathan Ashleigh rated it really liked it
This book was well told. At times I felt oxygen deprived and often this made me unaware of tragedy. I am not a huge fan of non-fiction but this is worth a read.
Elyse
Oct 04, 2015 Elyse added it
I can't even imagine how Jon Krakauer was able to write this story which came out
in 2007, just one year after the deadly expedition in May 1996....where nine climbers
were killed on Mount Everest.

Krakauer is an astonishing journalist, and writer. His telling 'this' story was particularly
compelling being an experienced climber himself. He was physically there when the tragedy took place.

"Descending from Camp Four after the storm, at 25,000 feet, Krakauer turned to look back
at the upper reach
...more
Kim
May 26, 2008 Kim rated it really liked it
Shelves: for-realz
Read within the span of 10 hours. This is not a hard read, well, if you take out the subject matter.
I picked this up because 'Into the Wild' has been out or on hold for months at the library so I thought I'd at least get a feel for Jon Krakauer's writing style.
I also have to admit that it wasn't the writing style that sold me, not that it isn't well done, but usually I'm not drawn to 'personal accounts' or non-fiction, in general, unless it is a subject that really fascinates me. I'm an escapi
...more
Arah-Lynda
Apr 23, 2013 Arah-Lynda rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Arah-Lynda by: Arah-Leah Hay
Shelves: top, i-said, lets-get-real
Several authors and editors I respect counseled me not to write the book as quickly as I did; they urged me to wait two or three years and put some distance between me and the expedition in order to gain some crucial perspective. Their advice was sound, but in the end I ignored it- mostly because what happened on the mountain was gnawing my guts out. I thought that writing the book might purge Everest from my life. It hasn’t of course.

But it is the way this reads, as Jon Krakauer, a client of R
...more
Steve
Oct 19, 2009 Steve rated it liked it
Note to self: take climbing Everest off bucket list.
Tatiana
Feb 18, 2010 Tatiana rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Tatiana by: Heather
If Krakauer's intention was to kill all of our romantic ideas about mountain climbing with this book, he undoubtedly succeeded. Whatever idealistic notions of bravery, athleticism, adventure, and brotherhood I had about this "sport", are now gone forever.

What Krakauer delivers instead is a very tough picture of people who are ready to risk their lives and lives of those around them (guides, Sherpas, rescue workers) for the purpose of satisfying some masochistic macho aspirations of theirs or, ev
...more
Caroline
Mar 09, 2016 Caroline rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Caroline by: Jon
***NO SPOILERS***

May 10, 1996 was a very, very bad day to be climbing to “the roof of the world.” On that day, journalist and avid mountain climber Jon Krakauer reached the summit of Mt. Everest with a group as part of a guided expedition. He was on assignment for “Outside” magazine and was one of the few in his group to survive this expedition after a ferocious storm hit out of the blue. Into Thin Air is as much a meticulous detailing of this tragedy as it is a personal catharsis, and he says
...more
Randy
Jun 30, 2008 Randy rated it it was amazing
Jon Krakauer is a student of extreme behaviors and those who engage in them, and he happened to be on Mt. Everest during the notorious May 10-11, 1996, disaster. A series of seemingly minor mishaps, oversights, and questionable decisions kept climbers moving up the mountain hours later than any reasonable turnaround time. At 29,000 feet, that would have been bad enough given cold, hypoxia, and a finite supply of supplemental oxygen, but an unexpected storm that moved in from the south turned a p ...more
Greg
Apr 25, 2009 Greg rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I had no idea what shelf to put this on. So I made up a new one, lacking the number of characters needed, this shelf should be called, true stories about things I would never do or try to do. But maybe that is a lie. Like Krakauer I too have had a near death experience while engaged in 'climbing', like the doomed people in this book, my own life was possibly endangered by faulty decisions made by those who are being paid to know better. My own experience is pretty undramatic, and was rectified i ...more
Algernon
May 28, 2012 Algernon rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2012

My 5 star rating reflects both the quality of the book and a lifetime passion for mountains. I've devoured in the past all books and magazine articles I could find, following climbers from Cerro Torres to Eiger or Matterhorn, Trango Towers, Kilimanjaro or McKinley. The Jewels in the Crown have always been the Himalayan peaks, with their musical names promising adventure and fame to the bold and determined climber: Nanga Parbat, Makalu, Annapurna, Kangchenjunga, Chomolungma, Lhotse, Dhaulagiri, G
...more
Ash
Mar 30, 2016 Ash rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: People who like travelling
I have never read a non-fiction which was literally unputdownable, the way this book was. I just couldnt keep it aside for a minute and finished reading it in 2 days! I dont remember finishing a non-fiction that fast. Now it is one of my all-time favourites.

I love to travel and I am adventurous at heart (even though I have never done anything adventurous in my life). As a result, I reallyyyyy liked this book.



"In order to succeed you must be exceedingly driven, but if you're too driven you're lik
...more
Brandon
Apr 29, 2012 Brandon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
About a year ago, I read a book called Blind Descent: The Quest to Discover the Deepest Place on Earth which was basically all about finding the basement of the earth. A group of cave divers descended into a seemingly bottomless cave full of all sorts of unknown danger. For some reason after finishing it, I didn’t return to any exploration books even though this tale fascinated me. It wasn’t until recently when I listened to an episode of Kevin Smith and Scott Mosier’s SModcast in which Mosier r ...more
Jon
Jan 17, 2016 Jon rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites
The book is a chronicle of the events that occurred on May 10 -11, 1996, when a blizzard struck Mount Everest on the day when numerous individuals and groups were attempting to ascend the mountain. Eight people died that day, making it, at the time, the deadliest day in the mountain’s history.

A non-fiction book written by a journalist, one of the strengths of the book is actually it’s lack of journalistic detachment. The author, Jon Krakauer was there that day, on assignment from Outside magazin
...more
Alissa Patrick
Mar 28, 2016 Alissa Patrick rated it really liked it
This book was insane. No way in hell. These people are nuts.
Arah-Leah Hay
Apr 03, 2014 Arah-Leah Hay rated it it was amazing
I think it is impossible to read this and not be moved. I couldn't put it down, and I can't stop thinking about it. This is a book that I will never forget the experience of reading. It so compelled and fascinated me that by its completion I would forever be changed into an Everest addict. Countless articles read, endless pictures poured over, maps, facts, statistics, you name it, I've read it.

There are so many compelling parts to this story that I was caught off guard with and before reading h
...more
Hippo dari Hongkong
Aug 10, 2008 Hippo dari Hongkong rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Hippo dari Hongkong by: Enjum
You can always tell you are reading a good book when you find yourself holding your breath during the intense moments. Well, this is definitely one of that book.

Meski gw samasekali buta tentang hal-hal yang berkaitan dengan mendaki gunung, tapi gw sempat punya impian dan hasrat gila untuk mendaki gunung Everest. Setelah membaca buku ini impian dan hasrat tersebut (kalaupun masih ada) kini dipastikan lenyap tanpa bekas. Thanks a lot Mr. Krakauer for make my dream coming to an abrupt end, heuheu.
...more
Chrissie
I am just one of many readers. When I give this book two stars it most accurately answers the question how did I react to the book. This is how I rate all my books. This book was OK! That is what 2 stars is said to mean on GR! That does not mean it was bad. I will explain why I have reacted as I did so hopefully you can more easily determine how you may react to the book. Why all this explanation? Because I am thinking that if I only give this book two stars that will give an unfavorable impress ...more
Carol
May 05, 2015 Carol rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, disaster
Enjoyed the book. Very enlightening of how the human body reacts to high altitudes, and how important even the smallest decision is to survival. Was surprised of the extremely unsanitary conditions upon arrival at the Lobuje village climbers had to endure, and the cost for permits to climb, YIKES!!
Teresa Lukey
ADDITION TO REVIEW: SEE LINK AT BOTTOM REGARDING OVERCROWDING AT EVEREST CLIMBS

Basically, this is a true account of completely crazy people going to the top of Mt. Everest. I am afraid of heights, so I don't get the desire these people have, but this is an excellent account of a group that heads to the top and suffers losses.

I sobbed a few times and think most people will have the same reaction, no matter how stupid or selfish you believe these people to be. I did not know that Krakauer himself
...more
Jonetta
Oct 06, 2015 Jonetta rated it liked it
This is a riveting account of the Mt. Everest disaster back in the '80s. It provides a wealth of information about climbs of this type as well as the physical tolls on the climbers.

The only reason I've rated it a 3 is because I question the motive of the author in writing the story. The fact that I'm uncertain is his doing. Was he trying to convince me he did all he could do on that climb? I wish he had faced this question dead on.
Matt
Feb 20, 2009 Matt rated it it was amazing
Fascinating book. Krakauer has a style of prose that captivates and brings the story and the people very much to life. He's an exceptional journalist, and documents every moment from multiple perspectives and with an exactness of time.

This story is tragic and horrible. Strangely, it makes Mt. Everest more appealing to me, but in terms of staggering danger that comes with it. It really speaks to humanity, to morality, the pursuit of dreams and danger and adventure. There are heroes and not-so-her
...more
Connie (Ava Catherine)
Into Thin Air is Jon Krakauer’s personal account of the 1996 Mt. Everest climbing disaster that resulted in the deaths of five of his fellow climbers and a near death experience for another teammate. During this mountain climbing journey, as in the greater journey of life, each of us follows a guide toward a goal, recognizes the importance of carrying his or her own burden, and remains resolute in his or her convictions. The mountain forces Krakauer to incorporate these life lessons into his rep ...more
Philip
Oct 01, 2011 Philip rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: pretty much anyone
Recommended to Philip by: doug
I promised myself that when I wrote a synopsis of Into Thin Air it would not contain the words perilous, arduous, or ill-fated because those words have a limiting effect on a book of this calibre.
Yes, it recounts an ill-fated Everest expedition. Yes the climb is fraught with peril. It is an adventure story, but in its honesty it is quite a bit more.

Although it is a non-fictional work, many of the literary conflicts that make for good narrative are present. The most apparent are man vs. himself
...more
Chris Heaney
Sep 24, 2007 Chris Heaney rated it liked it
I don't know how I feel about this book, an account of an expedition to Everest that killed several people. It made me angry when I suspected it would just end up being disaster porn, but Krakauer manages to pull through in the final pages and evoke the wrenching guilt of the survivors, the loss and unanswered questions. That hit me pretty hard.

So why three stars? I wanted more about the people who died, more in other people's voices, and less straight narration of events. (Or perhaps just a mix
...more
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Mentor Texts: Mentor Texts 1 10 Dec 11, 2015 07:34AM  
  • The Climb: Tragic Ambitions on Everest
  • K2: Life and Death on the World's Most Dangerous Mountain
  • Dark Summit: The True Story of Everest's Most Controversial Season
  • High Crimes: the Fate of Everest in an Age of Greed
  • Savage Summit: The True Stories of the First Five Women Who Climbed K2, the World's Most Feared Mountain
  • Annapurna: A Woman's Place
  • Annapurna
  • Ghosts of Everest: The Search for Mallory & Irvine
  • High Exposure: An Enduring Passion for Everest and Unforgiving Places
  • High Adventure: The True Story of the First Ascent of Everest
  • Where the Mountain Casts Its Shadow: The Dark Side of Extreme Adventure
  • K2: Triumph and Tragedy
  • Epic: Stories of Survival from the World's Highest Peaks
  • Seven Summits
  • No Way Down: Life and Death on K2
  • One Mountain Thousand Summits: The Untold Story Tragedy and True Heroism on K2
  • The Beckoning Silence
  • Skeletons on the Zahara: A True Story of Survival
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Jon Krakauer is an American writer and mountaineer, well-known for outdoor and mountain-climbing writing.

https://www.facebook.com/jonkrakauer
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“There is a dark side to religious devotion that is too often ignored or denied. As a means of motivating people to be cruel or inhumane, there may be no more potent force than religion. When the subject of religiously inspired bloodshed comes up, many Americans immediately think of Islamic fundamentalism, which is to be expected in the wake of 911. But men have been committing heinous acts in the name of God ever since mankind began believing in deities, and extremists exist within all religions. Muhammad is not the only prophet whose words have been used to sanction barbarism; history has not lacked for Christians, Jews, Hindus, Sikhs, and even Buddhists who have been motivated by scripture to butcher innocents. Plenty of these religious extremist have been homegrown, corn-fed Americans.” 42 likes
“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.” 38 likes
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