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Into Thin Air: A Personal Account of the Mount Everest Disaster

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4.17  ·  Rating details ·  371,726 ratings  ·  13,010 reviews
A bank of clouds was assembling on the not-so-distant horizon, but journalist-mountaineer Jon Krakauer, standing on the summit of Mt. Everest, saw nothing that "suggested that a murderous storm was bearing down." He was wrong. The storm, which claimed five lives and left countless more--including Krakauer's--in guilt-ridden disarray, would also provide the impetus for Into ...more
Paperback, 368 pages
Published October 19th 1999 by Anchor Books (first published May 1st 1997)
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J.H. Moncrieff Novel, definitely. I found it almost impossible to put this book down. While there is quite a bit of technical info, as Karis said, I never found it…moreNovel, definitely. I found it almost impossible to put this book down. While there is quite a bit of technical info, as Karis said, I never found it too much or that it slowed down the story.

And I'm not typically interested in mountaineering at all. Krakauer's story is one of humanity and survival at its heart.(less)
Raghavendra Nandyala It is very difficult to bring bodies and involves too much risk because of the environment. Descending carrying a weight with almost no air and…moreIt is very difficult to bring bodies and involves too much risk because of the environment. Descending carrying a weight with almost no air and obstructed vision is a big task.(less)

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Start your review of Into Thin Air: A Personal Account of the Mount Everest Disaster
Cassy
Life got you down? Then join us on a guided expedition led by Capital Idiocy Inc. as we climb to...

The Summit of MOUNT EVEREST

For the bargain price of $65,000,[1] we will take you on the adventure of a lifetime full of scenic views,[2] camaraderie,[3] and athleticism.[4]

Worried that you lack the necessary climbing experience?
Dont be discouraged![5] While Mount Everest is the tallest mountain in the world, it is not the most technically challenging climb. And in addition to our expertise and
...more
karen
RELEASE THE KRAKAUER!!!!


seriously, it is time to just raze everest and be done with it already. i mean, it's big and impressive but it is just taking up all this room and killing people so why do we even need it anymore?? can't we just get over it? really, i think it has reached its peak and is all downhill from here.

shameless punning aside.

so this started out as an article that KRAKAUER was asked to write for outside magazine about the commercialization of everest. it should embarrass us that
...more
Brigette
Jun 21, 2007 rated it it was amazing
I recently attended the Banff mountain film festival in Canada. One of the key speakers was Simone Moro, the close friend of Anatoli Boukreev, the climber who was killed in an avalanche several years ago on Annapurna and whom Krakauer pretty much vilifies in this book as not having done enough to save the lives of those caught in the blizzard on Mount Everest in May of 1996. Needless to say, the vibe in the room was chilly whenever the subject of Krakauer's version of events came up; he was ...more
jessica
Nov 28, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
i feel beyond guilty for finding so much fascination with what was the most horrific moment in krakauers life. i am a terrible human, but i honestly couldnt put this down.

there is just something about krakauers writing that makes me think his grocery lists are equally alluring. and knowing how personal this was for him made this book that much more captivating for me. i loved how this is formatted, the way the facts are presented, and how coherent the timeline and his commentary is. just
...more
Steve
Oct 19, 2009 rated it liked it
Note to self: take climbing Everest off bucket list.
Matt
[T]he sort of individual who is programmed to ignore personal distress and keep pushing for the top is frequently programmed to disregard signs of grave and imminent danger as well. This forms the nub of a dilemma that every Everest climber eventually comes up against: in order to succeed you must be exceedingly driven, but if youre too driven youre likely to die. Above 26,000 feet, moreover, the line between appropriate zeal and reckless summit fever becomes grievously thin. Thus the slopes of ...more
Michelle
Nov 30, 2007 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: mountaineers, adventure lovers, crazy people
Shelves: non-fiction
This is not a review. I dont feel like writing a review for this book, but I feel like I should at least say something about it because I did enjoy it. I mean, it did make me utter Jesus Christ out loud more than one time, and I dont often talk to myself while I am reading a book.

(I almost want to post a picture of a LOLcat with a caption that says This buk wuz gud, but I dont have one.)

SoThese are a few things I learned from reading this book:

1. If a person decides to climb Everest, they are
...more
Kelly (and the Book Boar)
Find all of my reviews at: http://52bookminimum.blogspot.com/

Everest has always been a magnet for kooks, publicity seekers, hopeless romantics, and others with a shaky hold on reality.

Chicago commercial photographers

Welcome to one of Kellys creepy obsessions! (Advance apologies - this might get rambly.) Okay, so Im totally obsessed with all things Everest and CAN. NOT. WAIT. to see the movie that details the same tragic events which are covered in this book (even though just watching the preview in IMAX 3-D made me have
...more
Petra-X
Nov 02, 2010 rated it really liked it
Into Thin Air or Injustice (of many kinds) on the Mountain.

Until almost the end this book was exactly as I expected it to be with just one exception. It was the story of a journalist climbing Mount Everest both as a journalist and as a mountaineer. Ideal getting paid to do your hobby! It was interesting because Krakauer is a damn good writer and because its fascinating to see the details of how the mountain is climbed. Its also disappointing because few individuals do it by themselves, without a
...more
Paul Bryant
Nov 18, 2017 rated it liked it
This book suddenly became very relevant - no less than TEN climbers have died this week (18-25 May 2019) on Everest. The reason for this horrible turn of events is given as inexperienced guides leading inexperienced climbers combined with the usual weather restrictions leading to these ghastly insane queueing situations :



Yes, that's the top of the highest mountain in the world.

Anyway, original review follows :

*********************************************************

TEENAGE HAIR-KISSING BOOK
...more
Michael
Jan 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Utterly harrowing and propulsive. I could not put this book down. This is another book that details people's misguided quests to conquer nature--to see nature as something to be conquered. It's also another great cold-weather read, to make you realize that, really, it's not so cold out after all.
Maxwell
Apr 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
I'll be the first to admit that I'm not the biggest fan of non-fiction. I prefer to listen to podcasts or interviews, rather than read straight-up non-fiction about a certain topic. And as someone who isn't particularly interested in climbing or sports in general, this wouldn't be a book that I'd normally read. But I'm so glad that I did.

It definitely reads more like a memoir, since the author was present for the events of the story. That made it a much more palatable read for me, rather than a
...more
David Schaafsma
Sep 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I call attention to Paul Bryant's entertaining review of this book:

https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...

Which itself calls attention to the several people who have died on Everest in the past WEEK, not dissuaded by this story, obviously, which every climber knows well in multiple versions. This is the thing about risk-takers, death-defiers, mountain climbers, they must do what they must do.

I love this book. I listened to it on a road trip from Chicago to New Orleans on my spring break, 2004.
...more
Katie
Jan 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
What a read to start 2018! I enjoyed the majority of this, and I'll admit I fell down a bit of a black hole when it came to the controversy behind Krakauer's perspective. Review will be up tomorrow! :)
Madeline
Jan 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is a story that sounds too unlikely, too cinematic, to make up. In 1996, journalist and mountain climber Jon Kraukauer was assigned to cover an Everest ascent expedition, and chronicle the experiences of people some experienced climbers, some not - who paid a small fortune for the chance at a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Kraukauer was a member of one of three American-led climbing teams that would attempt to climb to the summit of Mt. Everest. By the time the teams made their way back ...more
Arah-Lynda
Apr 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Arah-Lynda by: Arah-Leah Hay
Shelves: top, i-said, lets-get-real
Several authors and editors I respect counseled me not to write the book as quickly as I did; they urged me to wait two or three years and put some distance between me and the expedition in order to gain some crucial perspective. Their advice was sound, but in the end I ignored it- mostly because what happened on the mountain was gnawing my guts out. I thought that writing the book might purge Everest from my life. It hasnt of course.

But it is the way this reads, as Jon Krakauer, a client of
...more
Elyse  Walters
I can't even imagine how Jon Krakauer was able to write this story which came out
in 2007, just one year after the deadly expedition in May 1996....where nine climbers
were killed on Mount Everest.

Krakauer is an astonishing journalist, and writer. His telling 'this' story was particularly
compelling being an experienced climber himself. He was physically there when the tragedy took place.

"Descending from Camp Four after the storm, at 25,000 feet, Krakauer turned to look back
at the upper
...more
Ginger
May 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018, audio
I absolutely loved this!! I had a feeling that I would due to my personal experience hiking and climbing in the Pacific Northwest region.

"Why did you want to climb Mount Everest?"
This question was asked of George Leigh Mallory, a Himalayan mountain climber in 1921.
And his answer was,
"Because its there."

This might not make sense to someone whos not into this sport or adventure, but to me, I get it.
Why do I test myself on grueling 4500 elevation hikes or scrambles?

Well, to get to the top!
To
...more
Natalie Vellacott
Apr 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: biography
This is probably the best climbing book I have read despite the controversy surrounding some aspects. It was as enthralling as books like Endurance and as readable. I was with the author on the mountain and felt the terrible pain of the losses they endured, the guilt of the survivors and the many "what ifs" after the event.

The author relays his personal experiences climbing Everest in 1996 with a number of groups. This was the tragic year when many of the participants didn't make it off the
...more
Caroline
Nov 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Caroline by: Jon
***NO SPOILERS***

May 10, 1996 was a very, very bad day to be climbing to the roof of the world. On that day, journalist and avid mountain climber Jon Krakauer reached the summit of Mt. Everest with a group as part of a guided expedition. He was on assignment for Outside magazine and was one of the few in his group to survive this expedition after a ferocious storm hit out of the blue. Into Thin Air is as much a meticulous detailing of this tragedy as it is a personal catharsis: . . . what
...more
Ahmad Sharabiani
Into Thin Air, Jon Krakauer
Into Thin Air: A Personal Account of the Mt. Everest Disaster is a 1997 bestselling non-fiction book written by Jon Krakauer. It details Krakauer's experience in the 1996 Mount Everest disaster, in which eight climbers were killed and several others were stranded by a storm. Krakauer's expedition was led by guide Rob Hall. Other groups were trying to summit on the same day, including one led by Scott Fischer, whose guiding agency, Mountain Madness, was perceived as a
...more
Meike
Nov 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: usa, 2019-read
Until 2014, one of the trail markers for mountaineers climbing the Everest on the main Northeast ridge route was "Green Boots", the corpse of a man wearing, well, green climbing boots - yes, a dead man was an Everest landmark, and people passed him by and photographed him (I will certainly not provide links). Most likely, it was the body of Head Constable Tsewang Paljor of the Indo-Tibetan Border Police who was part of an expedition that happened in the background of the 1996 Mount Everest ...more
Jonathan Ashleigh
Dec 11, 2014 rated it really liked it
This book was well told. At times I felt oxygen deprived and often this made me unaware of tragedy. I am not a huge fan of non-fiction but this is worth a read.
Scott
Jun 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: memoir, non-fic
Does your dream holiday involve spending north of fifty grand to risk a fatal aneurysm, walk past the dead bodies of weaker adventurers whove come before you and possibly lose your fingers, toes and nose, if not your life? If so, then step right up to climb Mount Everest!

Seriously though, If youve ever thought you might like to climb Everest, read this book. If you still want to attempt the highest mountain in the world after finishing Into Thin Air, you are a braver person than I.

This is a
...more
Kim
May 09, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: for-realz
Read within the span of 10 hours. This is not a hard read, well, if you take out the subject matter.
I picked this up because 'Into the Wild' has been out or on hold for months at the library so I thought I'd at least get a feel for Jon Krakauer's writing style.
I also have to admit that it wasn't the writing style that sold me, not that it isn't well done, but usually I'm not drawn to 'personal accounts' or non-fiction, in general, unless it is a subject that really fascinates me. I'm an
...more
Duane
Jon Krakauer standing on the summit of Mt. Everest.

"Straddling the top of the world, one foot in China and the other in Nepal, I cleared the ice out of my oxygen mask, hunched a shoulder against the wind, and stared down into the vastness of Tibet".

You have heard the saying, "truth is stranger than fiction". In this case truth is more frightening, more compelling than fiction. This is the first hand account of the 1996 tragedy on Mt. Everest that claimed the lives of 12 mountaineers, many of
...more
Whitney Atkinson
Aug 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
When I picked up this book, I thought it was going to be Jon merely researching and giving account of what happened on a Mount Everest hike as a journalist, not as someone who climbed the mountain. Lo and behold, he did!! Reason number #93824 why I could never be a journalist--it requires such menial tasks as, oh i don't know, CLIMBING MOUNT EVEREST??!?!?!?!

That aside, this book captured me. I know very little about hiking Everest other than the documentary on Netflix, so this gave a good
...more
Chelsea (chelseadolling reads)
I honestly feel weird rating this because it is a personal account of a very tragic event, but this really didn't do much for me. It wasn't a bad book, but it definitely wasn't for me.
Tatiana
Sep 28, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Tatiana by: Heather
If Krakauer's intention was to kill all of our romantic ideas about mountain climbing with this book, he undoubtedly succeeded. Whatever idealistic notions of bravery, athleticism, adventure, and brotherhood I had about this "sport", are now gone forever.

What Krakauer delivers instead is a very tough picture of people who are ready to risk their lives and lives of those around them (guides, Sherpas, rescue workers) for the purpose of satisfying some masochistic macho aspirations of theirs or,
...more
Jill Hutchinson
Dec 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
I started this year with one fantastic book. Let me say that you do not have to be interested in mountain climbing to enjoy this true story of the 1996 tragedy on Mount Everest, written by one who was there. It is an amazing story and will have you still asking the question "why does man climb mountains". Someone once said "because they are there" but that really isn't the answer. I have put a quote by a famous mountaineer at the end of this review which partially explains that enigma

The
...more
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9,940 followers
Jon Krakauer is an American writer and mountaineer, well-known for outdoor and mountain-climbing writing.

https://www.facebook.com/jonkrakauer

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