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Classic Krakauer: Essays on Wilderness and Risk
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Classic Krakauer: Essays on Wilderness and Risk

4.12  ·  Rating details ·  2,749 ratings  ·  274 reviews
From the bestselling author of Missoula and Into the Wild a selection of the masterful investigative reporting that made Krakauer famous, covering topics from avalanches on Mount Everest to a volcano in Washington State; from a wilderness therapy program for teens to an extraordinary cave in New Mexico so unearthly that is used by NASA to better understand Mars.

The grippin
Paperback, 160 pages
Published October 29th 2019 by Anchor Books (first published February 27th 2018)
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 ·  2,749 ratings  ·  274 reviews

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Janette Mcmahon
The articles were interesting and I enjoy Krakauer's writing. What would have made the collection more relevant would have been to provide an update to what he had reported on. ...more
Jenn "JR"
Another enjoyable read from NetGalley -- a collection of Jon Krakauer articles from the 1990s from a variety of publications. The topics vary widely - mostly outdoors, mostly men and seem to focus on the risk of death from the power of nature. "Mark Foo's Last Ride" is about the death of a legendary and accomplished surfer at Mavericks; followed by a tale of the risks of living near active volcanos from debris flows (forget about lava eruptions; the inequality and risk on Mt Everest; stories of ...more
Heino Colyn
Jan 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own-in-print
This is my first time reading Krakauer and WOW - what a writer. The articles in this collection were written between the mid 80s and 2014, and the consistency of the quality of his writing is amazing. I found every single one of the articles to be incredibly engaging - from the last days of a legendary big wave surfer to problematic wilderness therapy programs for troubled youths. There was also a fair share of nature just killing people, sometimes with some... guidance (?) from other people. Fa ...more
Lori L (She Treads Softly)
Classic Krakauer by Jon Krakauer is a very highly recommended collection of nine pieces written for various publications, including The New Yorker, Outside, and Smithsonian. As Krakauer notes "Most of the short pieces I wrote during the years between Eiger Dreams and Into Thin Air vanished into the crevices of time and have been forgotten. But Anchor Books has retrieved seven articles from this period, plus two more recent essays, and rescued them from oblivion with this new collection.." Person ...more
Brendan Monroe
Jon Krakauer is one of my favorite writers of non-fiction. He's right up there for me with other names you've likely heard of such as Erik Larson and John Berendt. I don't think there's anyone who writes about wilderness and the outdoors as well as Krakauer does, and even if you've never read him you're likely familiar with Into the Wild and Into Thin Air: A Personal Account of the Mount Everest Disaster because both have been turned into films (though "Everest" — a film largely inspired by "Int ...more
Bookphenomena (Micky)
4.5 stars.

Please amuse me for a moment as I thrust a non-fiction read under your nose. I have been and still am to some extent, an avid reader of climbing, mountaineering and expedition non-fiction. With a love of the mountains myself and some amateur climbing in my back pocket, I do love to read about the big, adrenaline-edge climbs. Jon Kraukauer has journaled and recorded his way through some amazing experiences, and his INTO THIN AIR is one of my favourite books.

This collection of his articl
Aug 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
You can just tell that these pieces were written by a talented writer. Personally I have no interest in surfing or volcanoes or mountain climbing but when I was reading Krakauer's articles on these subjects I found myself fascinated. My favorite articles were definitely After the Fall and Loving Them to Death. After the fall had some interesting commentary on,frankly,people's stupidity and willingness to blame anyone (sue them in court) but themselves. Loving them to death was hard to read at ti ...more
Dec 26, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
ARC for review - to be published March 2018.
Simon Arneberg
This is a good book to read if you're ever on a 45-hour Amtrak to Washington, about to start a really big adventure. It's strange how many connections there were between the content of this book and the things we experienced / people we talked to on our bike trip.

Favorite quote: "The fact that admission to this Eden requires a toll paid in sweat, pain, and fear makes its beauty all the more intoxicating." (p. 100)
A collection of essays on many topics from magazine writing over the years, so not as compelling as his longer works. But still, always, entertaining to read. Krakauer likes his edges and margins, his extreme environments and his bro-dudes. And he’s also a very accomplished man of Uncomfortable Pursuits. He climbs, he spelunks, he talks to Christopher Alexander. A fair read.
Sep 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This work shows the range of Krakauer’s writing. He knows how to tell a story. I’ve only read his books so was surprised to find this gem filed with some of his articles from the 80s and 90s. If you enjoy his books and his storytelling, you will enjoy this read.
Nov 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Krakauer excels at writing about the great outdoors and the people who embrace its challenges. Every time I pick up one of his books I know I will get lost for hours at a time getting to know the people featured in his texts. He not only makes his real-life characters come to life in the page, but also describes them in such a way that the reader is emotionally invested in their plights.
Dec 22, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
So I love Krakauer. Therefore it should come as no surprise that I love this collection of essays. The most meaningful for me were "Mark Foo's Last Ride", "Death and Anger on Everest", and "Love Them to Death." The first of these is about a freak accident involving legendary big wave surfer Mark Foo, which led him to drown while surfing Mavericks on the California coast. The second is about an accident on Everest where an overhanging area of ice collapsed onto the Khumbu Icefall and killed 16 cl ...more
Aug 14, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have previously read several books by the author, Jon Krakauer, Into Thin Air and Into the Wild being my favorites. Although I have quite a few of his books still on my bookshelves that need to be read. This book, Classic Krakauer, is a collection of articles written by the author that span a wide variety of people and places, from Mount Everest to a cave in New Mexico. One of the many things I enjoy about the author's writing is that he can and does write about such a wide variety of topics. ...more
Jerry Smith
Feb 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
There are a few modern day authors whose work I will pick up regardless of the subject because I greatly value their prose and string style. Krakauer is one of those (Erik Larson and Bill Bryson are too) and it is fortunate for me that I also find the subjects JK tackles tend to align with my interests also.

This book is actually a collection of his essays/articles written for publications in the 80s and 90s primarily. As such, they cover ground that is rapidly receding into the mists of time wi
Brent Woo
Jan 16, 2022 rated it really liked it
Been on a survival stories kick lately, don't know how I haven't picked up any Krakauer before. All stories are never actually just about "the survival" or anything trite like 'man vs nature'. (Nor are they intended to be poetic/lit like Jack London.) The one set on Everest is about fair working practices for the sherpas. The one about caving is, ironically, debating about funding space travel. The one set in Alaska is about an unexpected clash between honoring both indigenous rights and conserv ...more
Peter Knox
I really enjoyed this short collection of Krakauer’s earlier feature article writing, since I certainly missed it all the first time around.

He’s a very talented and passionate writer, as he is a researcher, and his early skill at investigative reporting is on display here as he covers a diverse range of outdoors related stories, accidents, profiles, and more.

For anyone that’s a fan, including me, you won’t find as much personal perspective in these pieces (read Eiger Dreams for that) but you’l
Oct 21, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good stuff — a number of collected essays on a wide array of subjects including Mavericks (the wave), Mount Rainier, lawsuits and the demise of Chouinard Equipment (Patagonia's sister company), and cave spelunking. Krakauer does a nice job of opening his pieces with an interesting personal story (whether one of his own or told from another's person's point of view) to get you hooked, and then zooming out to a broader view of the topic at hand and getting into detail. Keep in mind that the collec ...more
Aug 09, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018-nonfiction
I wasn't blown away by Jon Krakauer's Into the Wild, which contains as many slow, padded stretches as it does chilling ones. On the other hand, each of the stories in this collection, released last year as an ebook and coming this October in paperback, are lean as can be, whether Krakauer is mourning surfing great Mark Foo, profiling the legendary mountaineer Fred Beckey, or recounting in grim detail the last days of teenager Aaron Bacon, who died as a result of torturous wilderness therapy. In ...more
Nov 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
Krakauer is a great author, and I will read anything he writes.

These essays are definitely worth a read but they do feel a bit dated. I don't believe I've read any of them before, so it's nice to have them gathered into a collection.

I wish every essay had an update. I had to Google Aaron Bacon, a teen who died at a wilderness school due to abuse and neglect as detailed in the essay Loving Them to Death, to find out what happened at the trial.

I am anxiously awaiting Krakauer's next book though.
Jun 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have been a Jon Krakauer fan for many years and have read many of his books. This collection of essays continues his tradition of combining solid reporting with insightful and excellent writing. Thoroughly enjoyable and highly recommended.
My thanks to NetGalley for providing me with an arc in exchange for my honest review.
This delightful mishmash of diverse longform essays Krakauer has written throughout his career reinforces what a great journalist he is. His curiosity and wide ranging interests provides you with stories on topics you might not seek out on your own. His skillful research, attention to detail, and descriptive writing pulls you into his world and immerses you into the experience he is sharing.
Mark Arbanasin
Jan 05, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Was my first time reading anything from Krakauer and I have to say that this collection of short stories really belw me away. Each one was fascinating both in the focus of the story being covered but also in the way in which Krakauer uses his language, research, love of nature and his deep wealth of first person experience in climbing (particularly) to add a ton of color to each topic he covered. And each article is generally between 10-30 pages which makes them great for a quick read if you're ...more
Eliza Doll
Mar 29, 2022 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This compilation of Krakauer articles from 1990-1996 (with two, more recent essays) were all written between the publications of Eiger Dreams, a compilation of Krakauer's short article from early on, and Into Thin Air, a Krakauer classic and his most famous book, which also happens to be the one that got me hooked to his writing. I have read both of those and recently read Into the Wild, so when I had a few few hours the night before the NYC half marathon and didn't have a book to read while put ...more
Floyd Williams
Feb 05, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. it is a collection of previously published Krakauer articles covering mountain climbing, surfing, caving, exploring the wilderness, etc. There are many harrowing moments but there is also thoughtful commentary about nature and our environment.
Mar 10, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There are a handful of writers who make anything and everything interesting. Jon Krakauer is one of them. Each of these pieces held my interest. I learned and was entertained. That’s exactly what good writing does.
Steve Bera
May 15, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A collection of short stories, some old and some new but none that I recall reading before. All very polished. Good short read. I have now read all of his books, and this one ranks in there with the others. Have not read 3 cups of deceit, oops.
M.J. Groves
Jan 20, 2022 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Always enjoy Krakauer. This is a collection of old essays which are nonetheless new to me and interesting. From surfing to caving to vocanoes to, of course, mountain climbing, a great bedside book for short reads when you know you don’t have a lot of time.
Terri Schneider
Aug 25, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As a huge fan of anthologies as well as this authors writing, thanks to Jon Krakauer for putting this collection together. Dove into each story with rapt attention. Keep up the amazing work!
John Machata
Jun 21, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.25 stars. Of course, these are no more than re-published pieces written by Krakauer before he hit the big time. That said, it is obvious to any reader why he hit the big time!
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Jon Krakauer is an American writer and mountaineer, well-known for outdoor and mountain-climbing writing.


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