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Alive: the story of the Andes survivors
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Alive: the story of the Andes survivors

4.04 of 5 stars 4.04  ·  rating details  ·  34,871 ratings  ·  677 reviews
On October 12, 1972, an Uruguayan Air Force plany carrying a team of rugby players crashed in the remote snowy peaks of the Andes. Ten weeks later, only sixteen of the forty-five passengers were found alive. This is the story of those ten weeks spent in the shelter of the plane's fuselage without food and with scarcely any hope of a rescue. The survivors protected and help ...more
318 pages
Published 1975 by Pan Books (first published 1974)
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EXHIBIT A
i read this when i was 14. totally scandalized.

description

three months later i still couldn't sit in a chair without wondering what my own asscheeks would taste like if i ate them sashimi-style.
Eve
"[The survivors] had neither sensationalized nor sentimentalized their own experience and it seemed important for me to tell the reader what they had told me in the same 'matter-of-fact' manner." –Piers Paul Read

I remember watching the film adaptation of this book when I was quite young, and being so impressed with the resilience of the human spirit, and the desire to live. This book surpassed the film, because Read did such a great job of involving the reader in the whole ordeal, including the
...more
Hannah
In October of 1972, a chartered plane carrying 45 passengers and crew left Uruguay to travel to Chile. A majority of the passengers were made up of young men who were part of an amateur rugby team going to Chile for a game. Others included family and friends. Over the rugged Andes, the pilot made a fatal error, and the plane crashed into the side of a mountain, flinging parts of the tail section, fuselage, wing, rudder and even some passengers out over the desolate landscape. The survivors were, ...more
Jim
I read this when it first came out in PB, so many years ago, mid-70's. I'd give it 5 stars because I still remember it so clearly, but I never wanted to re-read it. It was well done, but pretty gruesome. Stranded for 10 weeks with not much else to eat but dead passengers (some of them team mates) injured, & cold. They tried a number of things, but finally 2 of them managed to walk out & get help. It's one of the most incredible stories of survival I've ever read.

I wondered what happened
...more
Lobstergirl
Dec 13, 2010 Lobstergirl rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Jon Bon Jovi
The story itself is rather astounding - after a plane crash high in the Andes, which killed most on board (and a subsequent avalanche which killed more), the remaining survivors lived for ten weeks on melted snow, human flesh and organs of the deceased (and bone marrow and even intestinal contents, squeezed out) and almost certainly would have died had not two of them climbed out of the Andes and found a neighboring valley and other humans, a trip which itself took ten days. Read competed with o ...more
Brenda
On Friday, Oct. 13, 1972 a Fairchild F-227 chartered from the Uruguayan Air Force, carrying a young amateur rugby team and their families and friends from Uruguay slammed into the middle of the Andes Mountains east of Chile.

They had left home with much excitement on Oct 12th, but reports of bad weather in the Andes had put them down for an overnight stay in Mendoza. Most of the young men, with an average age of just 19, had never flown before, never been away from home, so they were extemely ex
...more
Corinne
When you know from the beginning of a book that a plane full of young Rugby players crash lands in the snowy Andes mountains, and yet somehow some of those boys survive for weeks and weeks - you know it's not going to be a pretty story. And it's not. It's survival at its grittiest core, what do we humans really need to stay alive? Their story is told in an incredibly straightforward, almost newspaper-story type narrative. There's no real emotion. There's no flowery speech. It's just as true of a ...more
Catharine
One of the survivors in this book is quoted as saying that his experience of surviving following a plane crash in the Andes Mountains was the greatest experience of his life. All of the survivors suffered from severe cold, lack of food, and some had injuries,or infections, The test was severe, and yet, this young man could say that it was his greatest exprience. I think whenever we prove to ourselves how much we can handle, we grow and we can look back and say that the hardship, whatever it was, ...more
Jennifer Jacobs
If you could read just 10 books in rest of your life,this book is worthy of being one of them!
This is a book based on reality that shook the conscience of the world in 1970s and even after almost 40 years past the incident,the book makes such a compelling reading!
A football team hires a chartered Plane to play a friendly match across the Andes,due to co-piolt's mistake the plane crashes and our story begins,
how they managed to survive is one of the all time great stories of them all!
They don't h
...more
Brendon Schrodinger
I purchased this book looking for the facts and an account of the Fairchild Andes crash. What I got was an account, religiously biased, lacking certain facts when needed.

Most of the passengers on the plane were related by being part of or supporting the football team of a religious institution. So of course prayer and the talk of miracles would turn up. But when selecting a writing to tell the story they selected a fellow catholic.

I do not believe the author intentionally hid any facts, however
...more
Patti
Not gonna lie--I read this book because I wanted to read about how they ate the people. That is what hooked everyone to this story, isn't it? I saw the movie to see how they ate the people. It's what everyone remembers and why we remember the Donner party all these years later. Dude, they ATE THE PEOPLE!!!!!!!

In the book, they had already eaten the first people by about page 70; the book is hundreds of pages longer. Huh, I thought. What are they going to talk about for the rest of the book?

What
...more
Missy
Wow, what an incredible story. I had seen the movie a while back and thought I knew what happened, but the movie doesn't depict half of what went on up there in the Andes. And the characters and their thoughts and struggles during their 70+ days out there is very intense. Along with what really happened from the parent's point of view with trying to get the gov't to send search and rescue people out, because nobody believed there could be anyone still alive, much less 16 of them. And what the pa ...more
Judy
Jun 24, 2014 Judy rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Around the World-ers
This book has to be one of the best examples of an author able to relate an account containing culturally taboo subject matter without judgment or sensationalism. Alive: The Story of the Andes Survivors recounts the survival story of a rugby team whose plane crashes in the Andes Mountains. Those who live find themselves confronted with awful choices that no human would want to make. Given up for dead by most of the world and even some of their families, they exist despite little shelter from the ...more
Mike (the Paladin)
I read this back when it was fairly new... I would have thought that I'd retain more of the feeling I had at the time.

What will anyone do when faced with death? How will humanity in general deal with starvation? I'd say "it remains to be seen" might be the lesson to be learned here.
Lisa (Harmonybites)
Apr 25, 2013 Lisa (Harmonybites) rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
Recommended to Lisa (Harmonybites) by: Assigned High School Reading
In October of 1972 a plane carrying 45 passengers and crew crashed into a glacier in the Andes. Within a week there were only 27 left alive and the food was running out and soon hope of rescue was lost. To stay alive, those remaining had to resort to eating the bodies of the dead. Eventually two of their number climbed a mountain to reach civilization and rescue those left behind.

That describes gruesome suffering, but somehow this account managed to be life-affirming. Maybe because, after all,
...more
Austin
This book is one of those novels that you will never forget. It is a phenomenal writing piece based on a rugby team whose plane crashed when flying over the Andes Mountains. They were stuck in these mountains for over ten weeks. Forty five passengers and the crew were on the plane before it crashed, and only sixteen of the passengers left the mountain alive. This book will go down as one of my all-time favorite novels in the entire world. Since it is a survival story, at any point in time someth ...more
Andrea
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Steve
I remember well the news reports when the survivors were found. Of course, the way they survived was emphasized in the news, but the day to day story of survival is much more than that. This book was written shortly after the events occurred, and filled with details. It's written well, and is hard to put down. One of the survivors, Nando Parrado, wrote his own story a few years ago called "Miracle in the Andes". His story matches the story here well, and is a good companion book.
Carlie
I was given a first edition copy of this book for Christmas one year with original newspaper articles of the event hidden inside. The only thing I knew about this story prior to reading it was what most know; the cannibalism. This was not the the focus of the book and was dealt with as a matter of last resort, survival. These young rugby players were inspiring and handled their situation truly as a team when faced with the universal, absoluteness of death.
Kristen
The story of the true events and people involved in this books are incredible and amazing. Perhaps even inspiring.

The writing of the book is awful,long winded, and boring. How he made cannibalism boring, I don't know, but it was boring. Best of luck enduring to the end of it.
Patty
Whenever I can't drag myself to the gym or finish some project, I think of these men crawling out of the Andes fueled by "matchstick pieces of flesh"
Susan
Wow. I read this book on the recommendation of my daughter, who read it for a college psychology class. I had some trepidation about reading it due to the cannibalism, but while it left me squeamish reading some of those passages, I am glad I was ultimately not deterred from reading this incredible account of survival. The story is absolutely gripping and one of truly finding salvation. I tore through the first 100 pages or so and it slowed slightly in the middle. My favorite part of the book is ...more
Amy
This is a book I return to again and again for the incredible inspiration it gives me during times of fear or stress. Truly what could be more terrifying than being stranded, after a horrifying plane wreck in the middle of the Andes Mountains in the dead of winter. Not only must they remove their dead friends from the wreck, but they must watch many others die slowly due to various reasons.

The survivors, with the help of those that did not make it, managed to work and pray together to formulate
...more
Andy
One of my two favorite books. (The other is To Kill a Mockingbird.) I read this three summers in a row as a teenager, and probably another three times as an adult. And if I live long enough I will read it as many times again. It's simply the greatest survival story ever. I would read this book on camping trips with my family, in 90+ degree temperatures, yet felt like I was in the Andes. Here are my only two complaints.... First, I always skip the first chapter, which concerns the history of Urug ...more
Zach Hogan
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Linds
This is one the most intense survival story I've ever read. It takes turns being horrific and inspirational. I have seen the 1993 Ethan Hawke movie 'Alive' and while it captured a lot of details, the book is so good. It was written directly after the incident so all the memories were fresh and the detailed conversations were remembered.

In 1972 a private Catholic college rugby team from Uruguay went on a trip to play a match in Chile and enjoy a mini vacation. Their plane crashed in the Andes mou
...more
Cody Neal
The book Alive was a very good and interesting book. I liked this book for many reasons. One reason that i liked this book was because throughout the whole book, there were a lot of cliffhangers that were left by the author. THis made me want to never want to put down the book because I wanted to know what was going to happen next. This book was about a rugby team that was traveling to what i think was the Philippines, but i am not sure. So what they did is they chartered a plane that would hold ...more
Mark R.
"Alive" provides a detailed account of the trials a group of rugby players and their flight companions underwent after their plane crashed in the Andes in 1972.

The book isn't written as a "nonfiction novel", and has a tone halfway between fictional prose and an in-depth magazine article. I believe the author's intent was to describe the situation as accurately as possible without fabricating anything, aside from small pieces of dialogue present here and there throughout the book.

Piers Paul Reid
...more
Becca
This tells the story of how some people survived a plane crash in the Andes, with little to no food, shelter, or means of knowing where they were and how to get out. I always find these tales of survival, and of people being pushed to the limit, interesting.

The story is well told, comprehensive, sensitive to most issues, and searching as far as the motivations and suffering of the survivors. I particularly liked the heroism of the few who managed to hike out to contact civilization. I admired th
...more
Joseph Igoni
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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Alive Book Review 1 18 Mar 12, 2014 04:49PM  
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40 years 12 73 Jul 28, 2013 02:08PM  
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British novelist and non-fiction writer. Educated at the Benedictines' Ampleforth College, and subsequently entered St John's College, University of Cambridge where he received his BA and MA (history). Artist-in-Residence at the Ford Foundation in Berlin (1963-4), Harkness Fellow, Commonwealth Fund, New York (1967-8), member of the Council of the Institute of Contemporary Arts (1971-5), member of ...more
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