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

4.1  ·  Rating Details ·  285,514 Ratings  ·  9,686 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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Raghavendra NLV It is very difficult to bring bodies and involves too much risk because of the environment. Descending carrying a weight with almost no air and…moreIt is very difficult to bring bodies and involves too much risk because of the environment. Descending carrying a weight with almost no air and obstructed vision is a big task.(less)
J.H. Moncrieff Novel, definitely. I found it almost impossible to put this book down. While there is quite a bit of technical info, as Karis said, I never found it…moreNovel, definitely. I found it almost impossible to put this book down. While there is quite a bit of technical info, as Karis said, I never found it too much or that it slowed down the story.

And I'm not typically interested in mountaineering at all. Krakauer's story is one of humanity and survival at its heart.(less)
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10th out of 3,963 books — 5,876 voters
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Life got you down? Then join us on a guided expedition led by Capital Stupidity Inc. as we climb to...


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

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
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
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
Kelly (and the Book Boar)
Find all of my reviews at:

“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
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
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.
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
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
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
Oct 19, 2009 Steve rated it liked it
Note to self: take climbing Everest off bucket list.
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
I'm just going to come out and say it: I just don't get it.

Even after reading this book, I just cannot understand why anybody would want to climb Everest. If nobody had ever done it before, I could understand it from the perspective of exploration and new discoveries, but this is a mountain that has now been climbed so often it has a serious garbage problem. From Jon Krakauer's descriptions in this book, it actually sounds like a bit of a shithole (or the opposite of a hole, I suppose).

Mar 09, 2016 Caroline rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Caroline by: Jon

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
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
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
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
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
Alissa Patrick
Mar 28, 2016 Alissa Patrick rated it really liked it
This book was insane. No way in hell. These people are nuts.
David Schaafsma
Jul 07, 2016 David Schaafsma rated it it was amazing
I love this book. I listened to it on a road trip from Chicago to New Orleans on my spring break, 2004. It's funny, because spring break for northerners is often about heading south to warmth, and all I remember about the driving part of this trip south was climbing freezing cold and oxygen-starved Mount Everest as this incredibly gripping tragedy took place there. I was THERE, on that mountain. You know, some nights I get up for whatever reason and I can't see anything, proceeding from my bed t ...more
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
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
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
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
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.
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!!
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.
Aug 28, 2016 Chris rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Chris by: the person who left it on thier front steps
Re-read June 2016

I have a suspicion that Krakauer might be a bit of a jerk in real life, and I will admit I sometimes wonder why many of his books have a strong me bit. Yet, he is an immensely talented writer. He took some heat for this book. I should note that I read the earlier addition, the paperback version of the book that came out in about year after the events, so the later afterword is not present. In this version at least, Krakauer doesn't seem too harsh about the socialite, noting that
Teresa Lukey

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
Minh Nhân Nguyễn
3,5 sao

Đây la môt cuôn sach hay nhưng minh không thich no.

Trươc khi đoc sach, khi noi vê chinh phuc đinh Everest, hinh dung cua minh la nhưng ngươi giau co, vơi nhưng ao âm, non, găng tay to su, nơ nhưng nu cươi vui ve, chup cac tâm hinh ky niêm trên đinh nui thoang đang, nơi đang căm đây cơ cua nhưng ngươi chinh phuc. Nhưng đoc quyên sach nay rôi minh mơi đươc thây nhưng hinh anh thât sư cua qua trinh đo: đây gian khô, va vô cung thach thưc.

Tac gia la môt ngươi viêt tai gioi va chuyên nghiêp. C
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  • Touching the Void: The True Story of One Man's Miraculous Survival
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  • Deep Survival: Who Lives, Who Dies, and Why
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  • Savage Summit: The True Stories of the First Five Women Who Climbed K2, the World's Most Feared Mountain
  • Buried in the Sky: The Extraordinary Story of the Sherpa Climbers on K2's Deadliest Day
  • Ghosts of Everest: The Search for Mallory & Irvine
  • The Other Side of Everest: Climbing the North Face Through the Killer Storm
Jon Krakauer is an American writer and mountaineer, well-known for outdoor and mountain-climbing writing.
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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.” 45 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.” 43 likes
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