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Dark Shadows Falling

3.75 of 5 stars 3.75  ·  rating details  ·  370 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

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Paperback, 207 pages
Published November 1st 1999 by Mountaineers Books (first published 1997)
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Community Reviews

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Audra
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
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Yorkshiresoul
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
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Amerynth
"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
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Matthew
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.
Patrick
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
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Wilte
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.
Heidi
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".
Fareeha
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.
Sandy
Joe simpson wrote about over mountaineering adventures too. this book is some of them. Pretty intense and pretty impressive!
Emily
The stories were interesting, the conversations were too doctored, it didn't really flow together. meh
Jennifer
This was one that I couldn't put down, I started it before work, had to hurry home and finish it.
Joanne
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.
Young
A great mountain climbing story.
Rachel
Feb 18, 2013 Rachel added it
I LOVE MOUNTAINS.
Nicole Fraser
I Love Joe Simpson.
Peggy Shafer
Peggy Shafer marked it as to-read
Mar 20, 2015
Mistie
Mistie marked it as to-read
Mar 05, 2015
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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...
Touching the Void: The True Story of One Man's Miraculous Survival The Beckoning Silence This Game of Ghosts Storms of Silence The Sound of Gravity

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