Jan C's Reviews > Left for Dead: My Journey Home from Everest

Left for Dead by Beck Weathers
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's review
Sep 12, 09

liked it
bookshelves: place, disaster, exploration
Recommended to Jan C by: Cathie
Recommended for: People interested in Everest and mountain climbing
Read in September, 2009

In John Krakuaer's book "Into Thin Air" Beck was left for dead, hence the title. However, he turned up and his wife Peach didn't want to leave him dead. She mobilized their friends and one of them knew someone who knew someone (six degrees of separation) who was able to find someone who was willing to put a helicopter in the air and attempt to airlift him off of Everest.

What wasn't known in the other books about that tragic trip up the mountain in 1996 and he reveals here, is that he had blind on other trips up or down mountains - Danali and Antarctica. Then he had eye surgery but wouldn't wait for the laser surgery that wasn't far off, and he knew, as a doctor, just about how far off it was.

His description of how he came back physically and surgically is quite moving and possibly a little on the clinical side.

After ignoring his wife and family for this mountaineering bug he had he came very close to losing them. It is a wonder she didn't divorce him. But it's amazing what almost dying will do for a relationship. I think she gave him a year to straighten out and she stayed while he was going through his surgical problems.

And, in the midst of this, her brother who had watched over her all her life got cancer. And this book also details the fight they had with his health care company. He couldn't get the operation that might have save his life because he was dying. He was dying because he couldn't get the operation. It kind of health care fight today back to a human face - not that we actually see Howard's face for there are no pictures in this book, which I consider a drawback.

For much of the book he is talking about other mountains. The book is mainly him talking but there are also comments from his wife and kids and other relations and friends. Some of these people talk about how withdrawn he normally was until he started talking about climbing mountains and then he could go on and on.

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01/10/2009 page 153

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