An Eye at the Top of the World: The Terrifying Legacy of the Cold War's Most Daring C.I.A. Operation
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An Eye at the Top of the World: The Terrifying Legacy of the Cold War's Most Daring C.I.A. Operation

3.11 of 5 stars 3.11  ·  rating details  ·  19 ratings  ·  5 reviews
At some point during the inhumanly cold Himalayan winter straddling 1965 and 1966, a peculiar collection of box-shaped objects — one sprouting a six-foot, insect-like antenna — plummets nine thousand feet down the sheer flanks of a remote peak. Ripped from its moorings by an avalanche, the jumbled apparatus slides down a funnel-shaped hourglass of hard snow and shoots over...more
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published September 28th 2006 by Basic Books
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This book seems to get lower reviews because it is often not what the reader is expecting. It was exactly what I was expecting. The story takes place in the Himalayas, so of course there will be mountaineering tales. I personally enjoyed Takeda's writing style, and the twist of the C.I.A. operation. It is no doubt an intersting story, but be prepared to pay attention. It's not a lazy summer read.
Dec 02, 2007 Kim added it
First, a disclaimer: I am only halfway through this book. I was defintely wooed by the story--Cold War spy story set in the Himalayas? Does it get any finer? So far, I think the books subtitle is completely misleading, as it has very little to do with the CIA operation.

So far, maybe 25 of 170 pages (and I think that is generous) have been dedicated to that story line. The rest has been the author beginning to climb Nanda Devi (the mountain where the radioactive spy device was lost) and talking a...more
Ultimately very disappointing. The writing is not great which makes it hard to read at times, but the biggest problem is that the book is not about what it says it's about. Mostly it's the author telling about his climning experience. I didn't really learn any new insights about this CIA mission after reading the book. He spends more time writing about taking a dump on a climbing trip than discussing the CIA operation (seriously- at least 3 times).

The authors story is interesting, just not what...more
The book did not live up to the review that led me to buy it. A fairly small part of it was devoted to the CIA operation; the rest was the author's recounting of their trip and climb. Think of it as a less dramatic Into Thin Air with a happy ending.
good book. needs to be a movie!
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