Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Dark Shadows Falling” as Want to Read:
Dark Shadows Falling
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Dark Shadows Falling

3.79 of 5 stars 3.79  ·  rating details  ·  420 ratings  ·  21 reviews
First time in paperback!

On the heels of a swirl of controversy surrounding mountaineering, Joe Simpson wonders if the essence of the sport has been completely lost. From a gripping introduction detailing one climber's dying moments, witnessed by other climbers who offered no help, Simpson moves on to question the May 10, 1996, events on Everest, offering an objective, wel

Paperback, 207 pages
Published November 1st 1999 by Mountaineers Books (first published 1997)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Dark Shadows Falling, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Dark Shadows Falling

Into Thin Air by Jon KrakauerKilimanjaro and Beyond by Barry FinlayThe Climb by Anatoli BoukreevK2 by Ed ViestursNo Shortcuts to the Top by Ed Viesturs
Climbing and Mountaineering
33rd out of 115 books — 78 voters
Trek by Paul StewartAnything Worth Doing by Jo DeurbrouckThe Sleeper Awakes by H.G. WellsGone with the Wind by Margaret MitchellInto Thin Air by Jon Krakauer
Epic Survival Stories
7th out of 14 books — 4 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 670)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Aug 18, 2008 Audra rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone who loves mountains
Shelves: mountaineering
I think I'm in love.

Joe Simpson tackles the really big questions in this book: what are our obligations to our fellow humans? To the mountains? To the people who inhabit those mountains?

He includes in this book a full colour two page spread of the 1989? photo of the camp on Everest, complete with dead body and oxygen canisters and trash strewn about. He examines some of the recent mountaineering and trekking tragedies and compares them to earlier expeditions.

I feel the same way about a lot of
Simpson provides an expert insider's account of the state of top level mountaineering in the late 1990's. He is scathing in his criticism of methods, groups and individuals whom he believes have departed from the true spirit of high altitude mountaineering into a win at all costs and profit mentality.

Simpson discusses the disastrous 1996 Everest expeditions, also well covered in John Krakauer's excellent book 'Into Thin Air', railing against what he sees as an unforgivable lapse of basic human e
"Dark Shadows Falling" is yet another example of a climber decrying the media for its coverage of mountaineering accidents, then writing a book and making money by offering opinions about the accident themselves. I always find this odd.

However, Joe Simpson certainly has something to say that's worth hearing. His own near-death experience, well documented in the excellent book "Touching the Void," gives him an interesting perspective. This book, which is part memoir and part essay on concerns abo
Bit of a 50/50 book this one, it's a little uneven and veers all over the place as Simpson clunkily tries to jam together a story of the '96 Everest disaster, his own thoughts on Mountaineering ethics and a (slightly pointless) coverage of his own Everest attempt. There are some really interesting and brilliant insights in here though so you still come away wanting to read more of his books but is all a bit of a muddle this one. A shame because he has some really important things to say here.
For Simpson, the new fad of "I summited Everest last May" is the latest high society cocktail name-dropping, but is stripping the very soul of mountaineering. Both blunt and reflective - deeply troubled by the changing face of climbing, and haunted by his own losses in the high peaks.
Alexandru Popa
The book has a lot of interesting information but the form is lacking a flow to follow.

There are two ideas that Simpson seems keen to reveal, the growing indifference among the climbers on Everest with regard to fellow climbers in need for help and the trekkers indifference with regard to their porters, especially in difficult, life threatening situations.

Unfortunately, these two ideas are not well structured, Simpson's thoughts and feelings about them being randomly mixed with statistical and
The moral high ground
Alison Jardine
Joe admits to being opinionated and even unlikeable, but he is not afraid to give his honest point of view. Like a lot of mountaineers his age, he is of a time when mountaineers did it for the love of the challenge and the wilderness, not because they had money and wanted a status, as so many people do now. I agree with him, right or wrong, and admire him for his crude honesty. He has earned his day in the sun.

I enjoyed this book enormously.
Jo Deurbrouck
This is not a pure adventure story. Joe has a point to make and some table banging and gesticulating to do. But his topic is interesting and, as usual, the writing is ultracompetent. I loved it for way he clarified ideas that had bothered me -- vaguely -- for a long time about how we writers tend to approach adventure stories, especially adventures gone wrong.
I decided by the end of this book that I didn't like Joe Simpson! He doesn't like others being on mountains unless they are fully competent and are also pure climbers in what they are doing BUT how do you get competent unless you climb mountains!! Basically wants the mountains all to himself!
Matt Baker
As a climber I'm inclined to give this 4 stars - non climbers may enjoy it less. It is more of an ethical treatise on climbing than one of personal climbing endeavor (like Touching the Void and The Beckoning Silence". Similar in themes to the classic "Into Thin Air".
As an eye-opener to the 'darker' side of mountaineering, its not bad but as an account of his ascent/travelogue it was so so. I couldn't relate to his 'climbing details' i.e. his words didn't take me along on his journey.
Joe simpson wrote about over mountaineering adventures too. this book is some of them. Pretty intense and pretty impressive!
The stories were interesting, the conversations were too doctored, it didn't really flow together. meh
This was one that I couldn't put down, I started it before work, had to hurry home and finish it.
I just love how Simpson describes the mountains, he brings them alive in his books.
Huw Thomas
As ever Joe make you think about mountaineering, the dangers and the ethics
Sean Pentony
Tremendously dark account of what the bitter side of climbing can be like.
A great mountain climbing story.
Feb 18, 2013 Rachel added it
Nicole Fraser
I Love Joe Simpson.
Jonathan Freed
Jonathan Freed marked it as to-read
Nov 22, 2015
J.A. Pryse
J.A. Pryse marked it as to-read
Nov 20, 2015
Mrs. D
Mrs. D added it
Nov 16, 2015
Em marked it as to-read
Nov 11, 2015
Jo Hannah
Jo Hannah marked it as to-read
Nov 09, 2015
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 22 23 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Will to Climb: Obsession and Commitment and the Quest to Climb Annapurna--the World's Deadliest Peak
  • Mountain Madness
  • Where the Mountain Casts Its Shadow: The Dark Side of Extreme Adventure
  • Death Zone
  • On the Ridge Between Life and Death: A Climbing Life Reexamined
  • Forever on the Mountain: The Truth Behind One of Mountaineering's Most Controversial and Mysterious Disasters
  • The White Spider
  • A Life on the Edge: Memoirs of Everest and Beyond
  • The Boys of Everest: Chris Bonington and the Tragedy of Climbing's Greatest Generation
  • The Naked Mountain
  • Above the Clouds: The Diaries of a High-Altitude Mountaineer
  • Everest: Mountain without Mercy
  • Addicted to Danger A Memoir
  • Dead Lucky: Life After Death on Mount Everest
  • Beyond the Mountain
  • The Mountains of My Life (Modern Library Exploration)
  • In the Shadow of Denali: Life and Death on Alaska's Mt. McKinley
  • Starlight and Storm
Joe Simpson is the author of the bestselling Touching the Void, as well as four subsequent non-fiction books published by The Mountaineers Books: This Game of Ghosts, Storms of Silence, Dark Shadows Falling, and The Beckoning Silence. The Beckoning Silence won the 2003 National Outdoor Book Award. The other three published by The Mountaineers Books were all shortlisted for the Boardman Tasker Awa ...more
More about Joe Simpson...

Share This Book