Leslie's Reviews > Dead Lucky: Life After Death on Mount Everest

Dead Lucky by Lincoln Hall
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Sep 08, 08

Read in September, 2008

Lincoln Hall's story is amazingly compelling: falling ill with cerebal edema after beginning his descent from Everest's summit, his team cannot move him and is forced to leave him for dead. The next morning, other climbers find him alive and a rescue is underway. The story is full of drama and great heroes and villains, and Hall's feat defies all common sense and history.

I loved "Into Thin Air" when I read it many years ago, so after purchasing this book for my mom I gave it a read. I liked it far less than Krakaeuer's work, primarily because Hall comes off as highly narcissistic and a know it all. Yes, he's been an expert climber for decades, but so have many of the other members of his team (incluing his rescuers), yet he constantly elevates his own expertise and skills above theirs. I suppose to be an Everest climber you have to have at least some streak of narcissism toput yourself and your family through that experience, but Hall's is especially large and remains irritating throughout the book. I don't mean to belittle what he went through, but his attitude about why he survived and others doesn't exactly add to the reader's sympathy.

All in all, an intriguing read. If you liked "Into Thin Air," you'll enjoy this.
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Comments (showing 1-7 of 7) (7 new)

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Denise Thank you, Leslie! I am only ten pages into this book (only 10!) and I have thought several times that this guy is extremely narcissistic. I agree wholeheartedly that his story is amazing and that he is a very experienced and expert climber, so I was feeling a little bad about having those thoughts. Then I came across your review and realize I'm not alone! I had to put the book down and get on here to see if I was just being overly critical, but it appears this opinion is shared by several people. I have also been a huge fan of "Into Thin Air" as well as other Everest books and personal stories, so I was super excited to read this. I will not be reading it now. Life's too short, to which I'm sure Lincoln Hall would attest.


Leslie Thanks for your comment, Denise! I am reading Krakauer's new book about Pat Tillman right now and really enjoying it--may be a good one for you given you liked "Into Thin Air" so much.



Denise I've got the Pat Tillman book in my queue at the library, but I've got a bit of wait before it's available. I'm very excited to read it as well!

There were several things in the first few pages of Lincoln Hall's book that irritated me. But what pushed me over the edge so quickly was his patronizing tone that he seemed to have with the Sherpa people. He said something like (in reference to one of his Sherpa friend's wife): "With better English, had come an understanding of our Western mores and values". That may not have bothered other people, but one of my pet peeves is people that think speaking English equals higher intelligence. That was it for me. Game over. I think westerners have so much more to learn from the Sherpas (whether they speak English or not!).


Kris I am so glad to see others who thought this author came off as arrogant! I am not finished with the book yet, but as amazing a story as it is, I can't help but feel this guy is a little bit of a jerk. I had just finished Dark Summit (which was a pretty good read about the events on Everest this same year) & thought this would be a good addendum. It's been okay, but would have been much better if the author had been a bit more humble.


Denise Kris - I read Dark Summit right before I started to read Dead Lucky and felt the exact same way (as you can see from my comments above)! The bits of the book the Dark Summit author had quoted seemed interesting, which is what drew me to attempt to read it in the first place. I am reading Touching My Father's Soul right now, which is a great book from a Sherpa perspective. Such a very different tone from Hall's book.


Kris I'll have to flag that one as 'to-read'... I just finished the Lincoln Hall book last night & it has to be one of my least favorite mountaineering books to date. It's such a shame, since it truly is an incredible story. And I just have to say, even he (or maybe especially he) doesn't seem to know what really happened up there, and I guess never will.


Leslie I will check out "Dark Summit"--hadn't heard of that one, so thanks for the recs!


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