Tim Byron'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
Apr 08, 2012

it was amazing
bookshelves: fact, wilderness, sport
Read from March 31 to April 08, 2012

Gripping, Thrilling and Tragic. A factual account of a 1996 Everest Expedition which ends in a disaster and multiple deaths. The author, a journalist and survivor of the expedition writes superbly. Recording the events clearly whilst keeping you enthralled. explaining technical information about mountain climbing without making the reader feel stupid. Excellent descriptive writing skills.

what fascinates me about this genre of books are essentially they are morality stories. When people are thrown together on an expedition and but under the enormous stress of surviving when disaster strikes, you see their real characters. There are heroes & villains but you never feel as though Krakauer is moralising at all. Also by supplying well researched background information to all the characters involved it makes an absolutely fascinating character study.

Ultimately what comes across is a certain narcissism and folly of these commercial expeditions. The money involved is huge, and the risks that some of these egoists are prepared to put others through for selfish reasons is mind blowing. But also there is something beautiful about the human spirit and its resilience. The heroism and occasional acts of selfishness, although far outweighed by the negative (in my opinion, can still inspire us and leave you feeling breathless. A talented writer and a gifted climber - well worth reading.

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Reading Progress

04/07/2012 page 260

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