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Left for Dead: My Journey Home from Everest

3.62  ·  Rating details ·  5,821 ratings  ·  453 reviews
As featured in the upcoming motion picture Everest, starring Jason Clarke, Josh Brolin, John Hawkes, Robin Wright, Emily Watson, Keira Knightley, Sam Worthington, and Jake Gyllenhaal
“I can tell you that some force within me rejected death at the last moment and then guided me, blind and stumbling—quite literally a dead man walking—into camp and the shaky start of my r
Paperback, 352 pages
Published November 6th 2001 by Dell (first published 2000)
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Eric Mann This book is about how women manipulate men by pressurising marriage, getting ‘accidentally’ pregnant by not taking the birth control pill (without te…moreThis book is about how women manipulate men by pressurising marriage, getting ‘accidentally’ pregnant by not taking the birth control pill (without telling him) and then moan and groan when he goes off climbing mountains (and who can blame him) to escape his boring wife. It’s also about, if you do climb mountains and lose both your hands, you’re likely to stay in this loveless marriage because hey! Someone has to look after you... A depressing read, for all the wrong reasons.(less)

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Jul 10, 2013 rated it it was ok
I was hoodwinked. I feel like the author conned me with a catchy title about a survival story then delivered his-and-hers complaints about a marriage where neither partner ever confided in the other, did whatever they wanted (he's off climbing mountains, she's "playing Russian roulette" with her birth control pills) and resented each other for it. The first 20% of the book is about him actually surviving Everest, and its not that great a story. Certainly a miraculous event, but I'm surprised at ...more
Nov 05, 2008 rated it really liked it
Although I didn't really plan it that way, I read Beck Weather's book Left for Dead right after I read Lincoln Hall's book, Dead Lucky. The two books have some obvious and uncanny similarities. Both Beck Weathers and Lincoln Hall were left for dead just below the summit of Mount Everest, thought to be beyond all hope of rescue. Both were believed to have died on the mountain, and both of their families were told that. Both were apparent victims of particularly lethal years on Mount Everest, whic ...more
I can't get enough of climbing memoirs, but Beck Weathers' book "Left for Dead" is not really that kind of book. It is, in part at least, the story of his remarkable survival in the deadly 1996 season on Mount Everest, where he was left for dead but survived.

In his opening chapter, he describes himself as an "amateur climber," in my opinion someone who had not business being on Everest, and his book reads that way. It annoyed me the first time he described his crampons (essentially cleats that y
May 13, 2010 rated it liked it
I was disappointed in this book. Don't get me wrong, I love to read books and watch TV program about Everest and the amazing people that decide to challenge the mountain, but this book just wasn't what I was expecting. If you are looking for a book that talks a lot about mountain climbing or his experience on Everest, this isn't the book for you. While he does talk about these things briefly, most of the book details Beck Weathers' life all the way from a child up to present day. It is narrated ...more
Zoya Bozhko
Nov 16, 2010 rated it really liked it
Admittedly, I am a bit bias in my appreciation of this book. Meg, Beck's youngest child, was a classmate of mine and, at various points throughout my 8 years at Hockaday, a friend. When Beck came to speak to us at a school assembly, I remember crying and being in awe of his courage.

Surprisingly, this book has only strengthened those initial responses. This is not the story of a hero. This is not the story of a family man. This is a story of each of us when we feel alone and misunderstood and the
Jan 04, 2011 rated it it was ok
This book is a hot mess. Is it his journey home from Everest or his autobiography? I sincerely do not care about his growing-up years in Japan. I thought maybe by starting off with the Everest tragedy it would play out the book in a more unusual, enticing way, but not true. And the excerpts of conversations with his wife "Peach" about their dating years had to do with Everest how? I mean I understand people may have wanted to learn more about the person behind this obsessive desire of mountainee ...more
Alyssa Lamers
Jan 09, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2014
Things I liked about this book:

-That it didn't try to be Into Thin Air. Many mountain climbing books spend a lot of time on the preparation, the carries between camps, etc., which I very much enjoy reading. However, in this instance, all those logistics from the May 1996 disaster have already been covered in multiple books, most notably Into This Air. We know the outline of what happened. Lets be honest, the only reason I read this book was to hear Beck Weathers talk about what happened between
Beck Weathers reached instant celebrity status during his descent of Mt Everest in 1996, during a storm which took the lives of 8 mountaineers. Having been truly left for dead in a hypothermic coma on the South Col, Beck woke up almost a full day later and walked himself back to the safety of the tents at High Camp. Beck's recounting of this sphincter-clenching ordeal is told in the first 66 pages - a terrifying account that resulted in the loss of both his hands and his nose.
The remaining 220 p
Nov 01, 2008 rated it it was amazing
I always enjoy reading Everest books, especially while under the warmth of my covers in bed :-) I really enjoyed how the author, Beck Weathers, injected his humor throughout the book, I found myself snickering which I rarely do while reading a book......I enjoyed reading the perspective from his wife Peach as's amazing that she stayed with him. I also enjoyed the layout of the book.....starting with the 1996 account, then going back in time to how he got to that point, then wrappin ...more
Aug 17, 2007 rated it liked it
If you already collect 1996 Everest stories, you may read the whole thing. But if you don't, you'll probably want just Part One, which satisfies. The rest of the book becomes too much detail too late, and reads like filler.

PS to the audio reader: we don't need you to do voices for the same reason we don't need dialogue printed in different fonts and colors. It's annoying, and we get it that different people are talking.
Mar 24, 2020 rated it really liked it
This book is not about Everest.
It's about the power of accepting who you are, what you're really seeking for, what happiness trully means.
I think a better title for this book would be something like "The Pursuit of Happiness" .

"For the first time in my life, I'm comfortable inside my own skin. I searched all over the world for that which would fulfill me, and all along it was in my own backyard."
May 20, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
To be honest, I skipped a large part of the book (part 3) - his getting into mountain climbing to escape his life. As others have said, after seeing the movie I was more interested in a first hand account (thus, my next book will be "Into Thin Air" ;) but this book spends way too much time on personal matters that I was not interested in. Also, even if you are interested in resolving marital problems, very little insight is given - just that they somehow, magically, managed. I think his wife mus ...more
Michael Twist
Jul 23, 2014 rated it liked it
With the exception of one or two genuinely interesting chapters detailing the events that we all found so gripping from the spring of '96, Weathers dedicates the rest of the book in an attempt at contrition to his family, which stuck with him through the obsession that nearly killed him. ...more
Heather K
Jan 21, 2016 rated it did not like it
DNF. No. Just awful I can't finish it. ...more
Victor *True Unagi Master*
Mount Everest has teased and haunted me since my early 20s. For some unknown reason I was filled with a desire to climb that mountain after watching a documentary on PBS(?), approximately 3 decades ago. I wanted so badly to climb that mountain but the one obstacle that I couldn't overcome was crossing the gaping crevasses by walking across the aluminum ladders. The high altitude, thinning air and possibility of frostbite weren't a concern but putting one foot in front of the other on a ladder pa ...more
Lillian Angelovic
Apr 16, 2009 rated it liked it
I found Beck Weathers' Everest story fascinating and enjoyed his stories of mountaineering and how he found his way through depression to mountain-climbing. The "aside" comments from family and friends were pleasant additions and offered insight and depth. I think the whole life-story could have been edited down considerably, and I kept looking for some additional summarized statements at the end of "what we learned from this", but all-in-all it was interesting and gave a great perspective on wh ...more
Nov 08, 2009 rated it liked it
i really wish there was an option for half-star reviews, because this is more of a two-&-a-half star book for me. i am being charitable because the book wasn't quite what i expected, & although i was disappointed at first, i found the change in tone strangely refreshing. plus you can read the entire book in like two hours. or, i did, anyway.

so this is another account of the may 19996 everest expedition that jon krakauer describes in into thin air. if you are looking for a really exhaustive, deta
Andrew (M)
Oct 30, 2008 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Anyone
It's pretty rare that my opinion of a book changes dramatically over the course of reading it. Sure, a book that starts off well can turn out to be less interesting as time goes on, or a bad beginning can be saved by an increasingly good plot. But it's far less common to be considering putting the book down permanently after 100 pages, then end up enjoying it immensely by the end. Such was the case with “Left for Dead”. After the first third, I thought it was poorly written and expected the rest ...more
J.H. Moncrieff
Sep 13, 2016 rated it liked it
3.5 stars

As an editor, this book made my fingers itch. So much potential!

When I read Jon Krakauer's account of the same disaster--"Into Thin Air"--I was touched by the story of Beck Weathers, the mountaineer people kept leaving for dead who stubbornly survived anyway. As soon I discovered he'd written his own story, I knew I had to read it, no matter how negative a lot of the reviews were.

Beck's brief account of his struggle to survive on Everest and his recovery afterwards are riveting. As othe
Jan 13, 2015 rated it liked it
Left for Dead is Beck Weathers account of his Mount Everest climb where he was (surprise) left for dead. He and a few fellow climbers got disoriented in a blizzard, but Beck managed to wake himself from a cold-induced coma and make his way back to camp. This is after he had been without food for several days and had ice in a thick layer covering his entire face because he was literally freezing to death. Even after he made it back to camp everyone assumed he was bound to die and he was left with ...more
Dec 02, 2014 added it
I had been debating with myself whether or not I should read ‘Left for Dead’ before undertaking my very first mountain climb (my trek will be much less substantial than the colossal 9,000 metre Mount Everest). However, after reading the enticing quote: “I can tell you that some force within me rejected death at the last moment and then guided me, blind and stumbling — quite literally a dead man walking — into camp and the shaky start of my return to life....” on the novels equally captivating fr ...more
Apr 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I am extremely surprised at how much I enjoyed this book. I've heard the story told many times in church and I kept saying I wanted to read the book, but in all honesty, this is not my type of book. This book goes beyond what Beck Weathers went through on Mount Everest. This book is about his coming to terms with himself and his family. I love the little experts from friends and other family members in the book. Would definitely recommend this. ...more
AJ Guziak
Aug 31, 2016 rated it it was ok

This book is about a mountain climber who was climbing MT Everest at the wrong time. He was climbing it when there was a blizzard hit while he was in sub-freezing weather. He was left by the other mountain climbers thinking he was dead, but he survived.

When I first saw this book, I thought I would like it. I thought it was going to talk about how he miraculously survived a bad blizzard 25,000+ feet in the air the WHOLE book. Turns out it only explained the event in less than half of the book. Us
Marlene French
Jul 17, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: biographical
Like many others, when I began reading this book I thought it was going to be all about his experience in the Everest disaster but when I discovered it wasn't just that but also followed his personal shortcomings with depression and his failure to commit to his family fully I was a little taken aback. However, having heard of him and his miraculous escape from both death and Everest in "Into Thin Air" by Jon Krakaur I became intrigued about his journey back not only from the climb but into a hea ...more
Tara Davis
Jun 29, 2018 rated it it was ok
This book felt like a bait and switch. I went into it thinking I would hear primarily of his experience with what he went through on Everest, like the title implies...”My Journey Home From Everest.” While the first part tells of that story, the book as a whole was mostly a hodgepodge of his whole back story, as well as peppering in his other mountain climbing experiences. Along with a counseling session with his wife. Don’t get me wrong, I expected there to be a bit of a back story told leading ...more
♥ Marlene♥
Did not really get my attention but that was because I was most curious about what happened on the mountains but he did not really tell in detail. Most of the book was about his life and how it changed him. Definitely not bad. I think I have been spoiled by Jon Krakauer's book Into Thin Air about the same accidents. ...more
This was the book that I had been looking forward to reading since I first read Into Thin Air: A Personal Account of the Mount Everest Disaster many years ago. The amazing survival of a man left out in the snow to die for more than a day, who got up and staggered back into camp on his own, is quite a story. The problem with this book is that I expected most of it to be devoted to that story, when in fact only 89 pages related to the 1996 Everest disaster.

Beck Weathers is a selfish man. I'm not s
Alec Rigdon
The first 100 pages of this memoir are a detailed account of Weathers' journey up and down Everest and prove quite engaging. From there on, we jump back to his childhood and learn more about his marriage and family. While there are more accounts of mountain climbing later on, the pacing and focus of this book doesn't seem well honed. I do enjoy the narrative style as written and did not have a hard time speeding through this book. ...more
Sep 16, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The narration of this book is only further confusing due to lack of explanation for mountain climbing locations and terms. Very intriguing story however.
Apr 23, 2019 rated it it was ok
Have read numerous books on Everest, this is not the one to choose...
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