Shaina's Reviews > Into Thin Air: A Personal Account of the Mount Everest Disaster

Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer
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's review
Jun 08, 2007

really liked it
bookshelves: nonfiction, outdoors

** spoiler alert ** In 1996 Jon Krakauer joined a guided Everest summit expedition on assignment from Outside Magazine. As the subtitle indicates, this is Krakauer's account of the climb and disaster that killed eight people in one day.

This book was riveting, and, sadly, unfinished by me. I got to where everyone started dying and had to stop reading. In my defense, I was very close to traveling to Africa to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro, and in retrospect I probably would have been better served with different reading material prior to my first attempt at high altitude climbing. However, Krakauer writes beautifully and clearly both about the confusing interplay of the personal, political, and environmental factors that all combined together on that day in 1996. Mountaineering disasters all inevitably follow the same track (personal ambition or inexperience lead to overextension; natural disasters follow), but Krakauer's gift is to let the reader inhabit his skin when the disaster strikes, and the result is fascinating.

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