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Eiger Dreams: Ventures Among Men and Mountains

4.01  ·  Rating details ·  18,832 ratings  ·  651 reviews
No one writes about mountaineering and its attendant victories and hardships more brilliantly than Jon Krakauer. In this collection of his finest essays and reporting, Krakauer writes of mountains from the memorable perspective of one who has himself struggled with solo madness to scale Alaska's notorious Devils Thumb.

In Pakistan, the fearsome K2 kills thirteen of the wor
Paperback, 186 pages
Published May 19th 1997 by Anchor (first published 1990)
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Dipti 'Eiger dreams'(first published in 1990) was written before 'Into thin air'(1997).

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Will Byrnes
Aug 11, 2010 rated it really liked it
Before the recognition he received for Into the Wild and Into Thin Air, Jon Krakauer was a serious outdoors type, writing about other serious outdoors types. In this collection of essays, Krakauer relates several stories of his personal adventures, one about a youthful, and maybe foolish venture to a particularly difficult climb in Alaska, another about his attempt at Eiger. And these are quite good. But I most enjoy Krakauer when he writes about the Damon-Runyon-esque characters who inhabit the ...more
Mar 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: travel, nonfiction, essays
This is a wonderful collection of essays about mountain climbing. I greatly enjoyed Krakauer's book, Into Thin Air: A Personal Account of the Mount Everest Disaster, and Eiger Dreams is just as good. Each chapter is an essay on some facet of mountain climbing. The first chapter is about climbing the Eiger. Other chapters are about climbing Mount Blanc and K2. Another chapter is about bouldering, and another is about the experiences of a bush pilot in Alaska, transporting mountain climbers to a g ...more
Dec 08, 2012 rated it really liked it
I came to each of Krakauer's works independently- I read "Into the Wild" first on a recommendation, and years later I read "Into Thin Air" because someone told me it would be a good insight into the effects of altitude (as I prepared to climb Kilimanjaro, a mild but high peak). Finally, I found this collection of essays and realized that somehow I'd read the final essay somewhere before, once.

I can understand why some people think that Krakauer is a selfish bastard at times, because the very ac
Maria V. Snyder
Feb 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Despite having been to Mt. Everest base camp on the Tibetan side, I'm an armchair mountain climber. I enjoyed seeing the mountain and taking pictures, but was quite happy to get back to the hotel and climb into my warm bed. However, I love stories about mountain climbing and what people will do to get to the top. I admire their perseverance and courage - I watched the movie Free Solo two times! And I marvel over the dangers they face and sometimes the sheer stupidity - like going on a climb with ...more
Matthew Mckinney
Apr 03, 2014 rated it really liked it
Love Krakauer. These essays are somewhat dated, but still interesting and delivered in his inimitable style. The was the last book fo his I had not already read, and while it ranks near the bottom as far as favorites because of the datedness and form, I'm glad I read it and I hope he is working on his next.
Jun 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2018
This is a collection of essays written at different times and publshed in various magazines.
I didn't know a lot about climbing and climbers before reading this but I have to say I was fascinated by these stories from the beginning, and this fascination continued right through to the end.
I also started down the proverbial rabbit hole and eagerly found out more mountaineering and the people who choose to do this highly dangerous obsessive activity.
I've read Jon Krakauer before and want to read mor
Jul 30, 2009 rated it really liked it
In a previous book I had read by Krakauer "Into Thin Air"---about mountain climbing-- there was a quote that has stuck with me. One of the Everest mountaineers who chose not to try and help a climber (who subsequently died from being left behind) said this to justify his actions:
"There is no morality above 26,000 feet".

I had one foray into mountain climbing. It was 1998 and myself and two friends, Kevin and Lacey, were going to attempt the '14er' called Longs Peak. Out of all of the 14,000 foot
Mar 26, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2009
Although I enjoyed this collection immensely, the writing wasn't Krakauer's strongest -- in fact, I'd label it his weakest effort to date when compared with Into the Wild and Into Thin Air. With the exception of the last piece, "Devil's Thumb," the book was composed entirely of clipped magazine articles. And it showed.

Complaints aside, however, the book was wonderful and showed a humanity that I haven't often found in other climbing/mountaineering/alpinist books. Reading it reminded me how much
Julie Ehlers
Apr 21, 2015 rated it liked it
After Jon Krakauer's Into Thin Air made him writer-famous, his publisher started pushing this essay collection, originally published in 1990, for readers who couldn't get enough of Krakauer's tales of mountains and the people who (attempt to) climb them. However, a lot of those readers, like me, were probably somewhat let down by this early effort, which consists largely of pieces Krakauer wrote for Outside magazine. The articles describing various mountains and mountain towns were educational, ...more
Sundeep Supertramp
Jul 02, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: pikachu
Indeed, Jon Krakauer is the master of the literature of Adventure...

I always hated literature. They are always boring. But Jon has his way in literature. It is completely impossible for me to write so many worlds about a mountain. A mountain is a mountain for me. But for Jon, it is more like a book of worlds. I am damn sure that make him walk a tiny hill, in the outskirts of your town and he could write a book about it. That too, very interesting one. Hats off to him.

About this book:-

The descrip
Peter Tillman
Mar 09, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Krakauer fans & armchair mountaineers
A collection of magazine essays from 1982 to 1989, plus one original, all new to me and all worth reading. Even if a couple are pretty grim. They hold up well, 30+ years on. Highly recommended: 4+ stars.

Krakauer is an amazingly good storyteller. I hadn’t realized that he caught the mountaineering bug after college, scaling back after he had some scary near-misses, saw some friends die, and got married. An insanely risky sport! But fun (mostly) to read about.

Highlights & quotes:
Here's legendary m
Apr 15, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction
I read Eiger Dreams many years after Into Thin Air, which detailed the tragedy on Everest in 1996. Eiger Dreams is a compendium of magazine articles Krakauer wrote in the 80s. I always wondered how Krakauer could be such a selfish, cowardly, and ultimately detestable human being, as he admits being near the summit of Everest, as he cowers safely in his tent after his own successful summiting, while others freeze to death in a blizzard on the mountaintop.

Well, now I know. Krakauer has always been
What a page turner! And also the perfect book to drag along rock climbing or on a hike, which is what I did. I sat on a boulder and devoured this book until it was my turn to climb or belay.

Krakauer’s narrative style is simple and straight forward but still evocative in its description of nature because he doesn’t add anything superfluous, and that’s as it should be- K2, Eiger, Chamoix, etc., do not favor the superfluous, and they certainly don’t need anyone to dress up their reputations. He dr
Oct 28, 2013 rated it really liked it
Krakauer knows mountains and he knows climbing, personally. What he gives us in this collection of articles, memoirs, and musings helps a non-climber, like me, come closer to figuring out why these guys and gals are willing to risk their lives on a rock face.

Those who have read his later works, including Into the Wild and Into Thin Air, will find some of this territory familiar. I, too, came to Eiger Dreams well after having other Krakauer works under my belt. Yet, his early storytelling techniq
Oct 26, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I first read this book Oct 26, 2013. Following is my review.
This book has exciting stories of mountain/rock climbers all over the world. The first few had me on the edge of my seat. After that, however, the stories got old.

The second time was Oct.20, 2017. Following is my review.
The men and women in these short stories are ADDICTED to mountain climbing. Each story is about somebody’s insane desire to climb a mountain and the lengths they are willing to go to in order to achieve that dream. Eac
Nov 01, 2013 rated it liked it
Jon Krakauer is one of my very favorite nonfiction writers. If you haven't read any of his books, then you must read either Into the Wild or Into Thin Air (don't start with this one). This book is somewhat similar to the latter, in that it deals with mountain climbing, but this is a collection of shorter pieces he published in magazines, whereas Into Thin Air tells the story of a particularly deadly season on Mount Everest. I am one of those people who cannot imagine wanting to summit Everest, w ...more
Alexander Patino
Dec 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing
So I approached this book thinking - I climb, I'm obsessed with mountains and Jon Krakauer is great, this should be fun. In the end I was like WHY AREN'T ALL OF THESE STORIES MOVIES!?!?!?! Seriously - every single story in here is just really fantastic. The most satisfying collection of essays I've read in quite a while.
Jun 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
Jon Krakauer’s writing was very good. I think the best stories were around the author’s firsthand experiences climbing - the first and last chapters of the book especially. I really liked the last story, where Krakauer not only describes his experience summiting the Devil’s Thumb but also the aftermath. His descriptions of what was going through his head at different points as the situation became more dire were fascinating. The weakest stories for me were the ones that just centered around othe ...more
Apr 23, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2012-books
An interesting set of mountaineering tales

Eiger Dreams is a collated set of articles and tales written by the author. The stories explore a wide-range of mountaineering-related disciplines from climbs in the Himalayan high-mountains to complex low-height bouldering.

This is an enjoyable book that has some real standout tales that most non-climbers would never hear about; just a few of the stories I'd recommend are 'Gill', The Flyboys, Club Denali, Chamonix and The Devil's Thumb.

Krakauer's writing
Terry Tyler
Mar 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Eiger Dreams is a terrific collection of (mostly) previously published articles by mountaineering maestro, outdoorsman and internationally acclaimed writer Jon Krakauer.

I loved every one of these, there's not one single weak one. He writes about the summer when thirteen experienced climbers were killed on K2, about the glacier pilots of Talkeetna in Alaska who fly the climbers out to base camps under (a very risky business to be in!), and about the snobbery amongst the European mountaineering c
Aug 22, 2012 rated it liked it
As always, love Jon Krakauer. Krakauer at his worst is better than 95S% of journalists and writers out there. I read this book while traveling in Switzerland and viewing the majestic Eiger myself, so that certainly helped me to understand the kind of dreamy romance Krakauer has toward climbing the largest mountains. It was clear that this was an early book of his and that he has honed his writing significantly since then--his groupie, fan-girl attitude toward climbers in this book is something t ...more
Robert Stribley
Mar 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I've read most of what Krakaeur has written and he never disappoints. In this case, his early writing (mostly from the 80s, magazines like Outside, where he made his name and Smithsonian) focuses primarily on mountain climbing, as well as rock climbing and canyoneering. The first book I ever read of his was Into Thin Air, where his writing of real life events read almost like horror, not due to any sensationalism on his part, but due to his crisp, searingly honest portrayal of what went down the ...more
A.S. Bond
Feb 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I received this book for Xmas from my husband as I really enjoy Krakauer's work. This one didn't disappoint. It is a collection of previously published articles for American magazines such as 'Outside', but as I hadn't read those, that wasn't an issue. Most do date from the 1990's, but apart from 'recent developments in climbing' type comments this didn't detract from the book at all. As ever, his work is vivd, engaging and thoroughly readable and this collection contains several stories that we ...more
Ashish Dasnurkar
May 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Fantastic stories of mountain climbing. armchair climber in me enjoyed this book a lot.
Alex Black
Dec 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction, essays
This is one of those books that is exactly its description and I feel like you know going in if this will be for you or not. It's a collection of 12 articles Krakauer wrote about mountain climbing (or related topics) in the 80s. I like journalism and I like Krakauer's writing style, so I quite enjoyed this book.

I will admit that mountain climbing is not a particular interest of mine, but I have already read Into Thin Air which piqued my curiosity in the topic. If you're a bit hesitant because of
Oct 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
Eiger Dreams is one of Krakauer's earlier books. It's a slim volume that includes essays about climbing: rock climbing, ice climbing, boulder climbing. Why do people do this madness? Because they can. Granted, there are some who really shouldn't. They are reckless and ill-prepared and they put their lives and others at risk. Those who have everything squared away and are in shape to do this very physical activity, usually come away with an extraordinary experience. However, weather at these craz ...more
Aug 01, 2014 rated it liked it
Jon Krakauer’s Eiger Dreams is a love story. It may not look or sound like a love story at first blush. But it is. It’s a love story between humans and “high altitude adventures” – some of which may be best reserved for the seriously unhinged.

No book on "high altitude adventures" would be complete without a chapter on Mount Everest. Krakauer delivers, carefully chronicling the perils of trying to conquer “one of the largest landforms on the planet,” with a summit standing more than 17,000 vertic
Lauren Hopkins
Nov 22, 2016 rated it really liked it
Jon Krakauer's pre-"I'm a big fabulous author" essay collection and it's amazing. As a huge fan of "Into Thin Air," I loved hearing him write about mountain climbing in general, whether it was his own experiences or talking about others who are huge in the sport. Some of his work in here is super funny, just the way he describes things...very enjoyable. I think all essays were written in the 80s at some point, and there's one about a disastrous year on the mountain K2 from 1986 where he goes int ...more
Jul 28, 2012 rated it really liked it
More adventures on the mountain from Mr. Krakauer. This book was a series of short stories about various climbs. I think the Snow Country review on the back cover sums it up pretty well, "Krakauer's rarest and most enviable skill is his ability to make himself unseen, so the stories unwind as though the reader were front-pointing up a Himalayan serac or hanging by a nubbin in an Arizona canyon."

There were a couple of quotes I liked as people tried to explain the allure of mountain climbing. I th
Jul 18, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Climbers
Eventually gave up on this book. I was really only interested in reading this as I have pretty much read all of Krakauer's work and I have immensely enjoyed them. Unfortunately for me, I just felt no connection between these pieces and myself. Like other says, you really have to know climbing to get why some of these pieces matter. He offers an interesting insight into the climbing world, however without being able to provide the depth that he can in his traditional books something is always lac ...more
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Jon Krakauer is an American writer and mountaineer, well-known for outdoor and mountain-climbing writing.

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