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

Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer
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Oct 27, 2008

really liked it
Recommended to Andrew by: my mom
Recommended for: Anyone
Read in October, 2008 , read count: 1

I read Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer. Krakauer has also written the bestseller Into the Wild, and sometimes contributes to Outside Magazine. He lives in Seattle with his wife. This is his true story about the harrowing adventure of his summit to the top of the world, Mount Everest. But more horror than adventure awaits Jon as he summits on the deadliest season the mountain has ever experienced. After losing both of his guides, he is on his own trying to keep not only himself alive but the other members of his team too.

I enjoyed Krakauer’s style of writing. He doesn’t use complicated words or ideas but he easily gets his thoughts across. It makes a very good read that is never confusing or nonsensical. I also enjoyed how Krakauer put a quote before each chapter that directly related to the events that happened in the chapter. The quotes really helped to bring deeper meaning to the story and characters. He also often elaborated so much on a character that sometimes a single chapter could be just about that character. It gave me a much better feel of people. Lastly, Krakauer doesn’t just use his own recollection. He interviewed at least a dozen people in writing this book to make sure it is as accurate as possible, and often quotes their words, making it seem like you were there with him.

A couple of things were not done so well by Krakauer though. Although I said he elaborated very much on characters and their story, it often took away from the story itself and left you forgetting where you had previously left off. Even though he elaborated very well on some characters, others I felt were left out, and I had to keep asking myself who this person is and what he was like. It seems as though Krakauer elaborated much on the minor characters, but never gave us a clear picture of what the main characters were like. Krakauer also seemed to be adverse to suspense. I know this is a nonfiction book, but it would be much more fun to read, especially toward the end, if he had included a little more suspense. Not to say the book wasn’t a fun read, it’s just that he seemed to throw all the cards out on the table, creating an anticlimactic feeling when you already know if the person is going to live or die.

Even though Krakauer sometimes gave away the ending, Into Thin Air is an excellent and exciting read. Anyone interested in increasing their general knowledge of the world’s highest point will definitely enjoy reading Krakauer’s detailed descriptions of every slope and crevasse on the mountain. Also, those that enjoy looking a little deeper into a book will definitely enjoy Krakauer’s quote before each chapter. They really give more meaning to the book as a whole. Lastly, anyone just looking for a good read should really take a look at this book for its easy-to-read style and heart wrenching decisions and struggles.
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