I'm interested in reading this book because I really want to believe in Mr. Mortenson's cause. I firmly believe the basic concept makes sense: If you want to reduce tension and conflict between the US and the Muslim communities in the world, we will get a lot further if we build cultural bridges and offer a helping hand, than we will by blowing up bridges and vilifying all of the people who live in those lands. I think that it would be (or will be) very sad if Mr. Mortenson’s work turns out to be not as commendable as it was portrayed, but it is good to know before sending money to the organization.
I’m hesitant to read the book because Mr. Krakauer often seems to be more interested in telling a good tale than in getting the facts straight. And a good tale needs a hero or a villain (or both). In his book “Into Thin Air”, Krakauer made a villain out of Anatoli Boukreev and blamed him for several of the deaths that occurred on Everest in 1996. But, as other accounts pointed out, only one person on Boukreev’s expedition died and that was the lead guide. Four people on Krakauer’s expedition died, including two of the guides, and one was severely frostbitten and almost died after spending the night in the open. Boukreev actually rescued several lost climbers at a time when no-one else, including Krakauer, would venture away from their tents during the blizzard. It seems like Krakauer needed a villain and unjustly chose Boukreev.
That makes me wonder how objective his reporting will be in this book.