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Classic Krakauer: Essays on Wilderness and Risk

4.10  ·  Rating details ·  978 ratings  ·  114 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.

Paperback, 160 pages
Published October 29th 2019 by Anchor Books (first published February 27th 2018)
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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.
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
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.." ...more
Heino Colyn
Jan 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Heino by: Sarah
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. ...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
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 ...more
Dec 26, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
ARC for review - to be published March 2018.
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 ...more
Shannon (Mrsreadsbooks)
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
Peter Knox
I really enjoyed this short collection of Krakauers earlier feature article writing, since I certainly missed it all the first time around.

Hes 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 thats a fan, including me, you wont find as much personal perspective in these pieces (read Eiger Dreams for that) but youll
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 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.
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.
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.
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. Thats exactly what good writing does. ...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.
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 Lamb
This is like a deep-cut of old Karkauer songs that have been discovered and released in album thirty years after the original: good for the fans.
Oct 29, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very insightful!

A remarkable collection of Krakauers essays over the years! I laughed, I cried; it was quite a collection! Well done
Valerie J K
Sep 05, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019
Before Jon Krakauer was an author of books, he was an outdoorsman and journalist. This is a classic collection of his writings from prior years. I've previously read two of Krakauer's books, Where Men Win Glory, and Into Thin Air. Both were well researched and well written, but the author writes about very controversial topics and presents his opinion as fact. These articles were refreshing in that the stories are presented with less of Krakauer's biased opinion, allowing readers to form their ...more
Apr 14, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
I read this after doing a reread of Krakauer's "Into Thin Air." It showed up in the "People Also Read" recommendations, and I'd never read this one. (I've read all of Krakauer's books.) So I dutifully bought it and read it. It isn't bad, but you need to know what it is -- a collection of various article that Krakauer wrote for various magazines.

The topics are varied (problems with outdoor wilderness schools, liability in rock climbing, big wave surfing) and the writing is fantastic (as usual),
Mar 27, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Krakauer was one of those authors who helped shape my life as a young adult living in the woods nearly 20 years ago. This book brought back all that nostalgia and I loved it for that! What would have made this 5 stars is if Krakauer had given an update to what has happened in the 20-odd years since each of these articles was originally published. It seemed a very obvious omission to have not had a quick note as an update on the shirpas struggle in Nepal, or if Fred Beckey finally retired. ...more
Margaret Sankey
Collection of pieces written for outdoor magazines before Into Thin Air, with the usual Krakauer theme of the dangerous and destructive things people get up to in nature--the death of an iconic surfer, the potential eruption of Mt. Rainier, the exploitation of sherpas by Everest climbers and abusive wilderness therapy for rebellious teens.
Dec 17, 2019 rated it liked it
Jon Krakauer, author of Into the Wild, Into Thin Air, and Under the Banner of Heaven, is one of my favorite nonfiction authors. His latest release, Classic Krakauer is a collection of articles and essays he's written over his illustrious career.

Unfortunately, Classic Krakauer isn't as strong as his previous collection, Eiger Dreams. A lot of the articles included in Classic Krakauer were written way before he became famous after Into Thin Air, his blistering, first-person account of the 1996
Jason Muckley
"Classic Krakauer" by Jon Krakauer is a series of essays and long form articles he wrote for magazines like Outside, Smithsonian, and other publications some as late as the 1980s, years before classics such as "Into the Wild" and "Under the Banner of Heaven."

Krakauer writes stories that are both intriguing and thrilling at the same time. These stories keep you reading and reading and reading. As you lay in bed hoping to get to the end of the page to turn out the light and sleep, you find
Karen Green
Oct 01, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle, 2019, net-galley
This collection of classic essays is so much of what is amazing about Jon Krakauer's writing: totally engaging, slightly macabre, and so well researched. My own personal interests meant that I found some of the essays, like After the Fall, Mark Foo's Last Ride, and Loving Them to Death, more exciting than others, but they were all fascinating.

And like so much of Krakauer's writing, each essay was planted squarely at the point where the will of nature meets the will (and foley) of man--which
Brice Karickhoff
An incredible collection of essays and articles written by Krakaur over the last several decades. I couldnt put this book down as it offered so much! Krakaurs descriptions of wilderness and nature are just beautiful and really put you there. His story telling is gripping and unique. He doesnt tell stories linearly, and you can see why he is such a successful columnist - just 2 or 3 paragraphs into each chapter I was roped in. And perhaps most surprisingly, this book was extremely educational. I ...more
Nov 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
collection of magazine articles from before he got rich with Into Thin Air and no longer had to crank out articles on the regular. All have something to do with the outdoors and adventure/risk -- going into caves to learn more about what life on Mars might be like, post mortem on death of a big wave surfer, profile of a lifelong daredevil mountain climber, etc. etc. Excellent writer IMO and does a great job of efficiently painting a picture of what the protagonists are like, why you should care ...more
Shauna Roth
Jul 02, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The essays are, classic Krakauer. Nonfiction in nature, they still tell a story and are very readable. They are like little yummy snacks. You grab your snack and you enjoy it in one sitting as you read one essay and you think to yourself both are most delicious.....should I have another?

As some of these essays were originally published well over 20 years ago, its important to keep that in mind. For example, climbing Everest has become even more dangerous as was noted in the media this year.
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Jon Krakauer is an American writer and mountaineer, well-known for outdoor and mountain-climbing writing.

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