Bridget's Reviews > Three Cups of Deceit: How Greg Mortenson, Humanitarian Hero, Lost His Way

Three Cups of Deceit by Jon Krakauer
Rate this book
Clear rating

's review
Apr 20, 11

bookshelves: 2011
Read in April, 2011

This is probably the saddest book I've ever read. Even knowing that Jon Krakauer loves a good dispute he can really sink his teeth into - as long as he comes out in the right at the end of it; even knowing Krakauer himself has skimmed or doctored or ignored facts in his own writings; even knowing that a lot of this comes down to he said/she said: I can no longer believe anything Greg Mortenson says. Krakauer raises serious, pervasive doubts about the work Mortenson has done and the manner in which he has done it.

This is a fine specimen of writing, a brutal, methodical takedown of a revered figure. I wish it didn't have a reason to exist.

(I'm refraining from giving a star rating because how can you even rate something like this?)
4 likes · flag

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read Three Cups of Deceit.
Sign In »

Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Brad (new)

Brad We watched the 60 Minutes episode about the whole debacle last Sunday. Quite a story:

message 2: by Suzanne (new)

Suzanne Stroh Hi Bridget, I am perusing the reviews here and I'm not going to post this on a hundred reviews, but yours is savvy enough that I feel confident you will have an interesting take on my own take here, should you decide to comment.

After the publication of the article in Outside magazine which was teh basis of the book Into Thin Air, I had a lengthy, two-hour dicussion with Jon Krakauer about inaccuracies in that article, which he doggedly refused to accept. I had been asked by a man maligned in Krakauer's article, who was incapacitated at the time, to go over facts and details with Krakauer in an attempt to understand why Krakauer persisted, against facts and logic, in blaming this man and basically trashing his reputation.

As I continue to read the collected works of Jon Krakauer, I notice that he chooses subjects to criticise who cannot or will not defend themselves.

And as I say, I have "caught" Krakauer in factual errors which he refused to admit to. In my opinion, with second hand knowledge of events told to me by climbers who were there on Everest, Jon Krakauer published untrue facts in Into Thin Air and got away with it--becuase nobody wanted to defend the guy he decided to blame the tragedy on. Jon Krakauer appears to like to hide behind his facts and take an agressive posture when anybody challenges his facts. Notice how greg Mortensen has not challenged Krakauer's key facts publicly. Rather he has clarified them, pointing out that Krakauer's interpretation of his book and understanding of his work is plausible but not comprehensive.

I have met Greg Mortensen and have spoken with several donors to CAI. It would not surprise me for a moment if the organizatinon's books are a shampbles. Whose aren't? I challenge anybody doing similar work in a similar type of place on earth (particularly in Africa or Indonesia, for instance) to produce spotless books and records. And anybody who expected this, as a donor, was living a fantasy themselves.

All I can say is, whatever comes of this expose of Greg Mortensen, I have a feeling Jon Krakauer is himself on a slippery slope during his ascendancy as a writer. I can feel it coming, not sure if will be this book or some other book that "sets the record straight."

And so I will also take this next book with a grain of salt.

message 3: by Suzanne (new)

Suzanne Stroh And Bridget, after spending a few hours reading up and looking at the 60 Minutes piece etc., perhaps you would like to know that Forbes reported just recently that Jon Krakauer based one whole pillar of his argument on a conversation with Mortensen's K2 climbing partner which that man, the climbing partner, says Krakauer got completely wrong. So already there's evidence of problems once again with Krakauer's facts. I love your passion for this book and for good writing, and so i hope you will forgive me for really butting in to say that Krakauer has serious issues. But go read about them for yourself and then tell us if you still feel the same way about Krakauer's book. Cheers,

back to top