Nancy Schober's Reviews > Touching the Void: The True Story of One Man's Miraculous Survival

Touching the Void by Joe Simpson
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May 13, 11

bookshelves: autobiography, adventure, mountaineering

I could not put this book down. I seemed to have a vague memory of seeing (some) of the movie. But for some reason reading something almost always evokes a much stronger emotional reaction in me.[return][return]When I was done I wanted to drop to my knees and thank God that I am not called to climb mountains. I love to read about it but mountain climbing books are never just about climbing. They are usually rich with metaphor.[return][return]There were no dark forces acting against me. A voice in my head told me that this was true, cutting through the jumble in my mind with its cold rational sound.[return][return]Ultimately, we all have to look after ourselves, whether on mountains or in day to day life. In my view that is not a license to be selfish, for only by taking good care of ourselves as we able to help others. Away from the mountains, in the complexity of every life, the price of neglecting this responsibility might be a marriage breaking down, a disruptive child, a business failing or a house repossessed.[return][return]It made me wonder at the person I had been all those years ago. I must have been bold, ambitious or even a little crazy to have considered such an undertaking. I traced the line of our ascent and watched the snow pluming off the north ridge in the strong high-altitude winds. It scared me. Where had all that drive and passion gone? How had I lost that sense of invincibility, the confidence born of youth,
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