Yune's Reviews > Alive: The Story of the Andes Survivors

Alive by Piers Paul Read
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Apr 19, 2011

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bookshelves: nonfiction

The tale of the survivors of an Uruguayan plane after it crashed in the Andes mountains. It's difficult to make this story uninteresting, but most of the appeal does end up coming from amazement rather than compelling writing.

As always, extreme situations will bring out better things in some people than others, and Read delicately walked the line between describing some people's failings without being harshly condemning (since, y'know, many of us would not be paragons in a similar situation). However, I ended up feeling a bit too distant from the people. Sure, their personalities were described, but no single person drew focus for long, and I didn't come away from this tale feeling as though I actually knew them, only what they had gone through.

I appreciated that the cannibalism wasn't dealt with in a sensationalist manner; the survivors' moral dilemma was addressed, but the details tended toward the practical rather than the needlessly grotesque.

Worth checking out of the library if you're interested in the subject, whether the specific event or ones of this sort.
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