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Kissing Kilimanjaro: Leaving It All on Top of Africa
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Kissing Kilimanjaro: Leaving It All on Top of Africa

3.48  ·  Rating details ·  228 ratings  ·  32 reviews

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* Entertaining climbing narrative about a destination many dream of visiting
* Perfect gift for adventure travelers and climbers alike
* Dorr's story was featured on the Outdoor Life Network's "Countdown to the 25 Most Dangerous Places"
Mo
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Paperback, 256 pages
Published September 15th 2010 by Mountaineers Books (first published September 1st 2010)
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3.48  · 
Rating details
 ·  228 ratings  ·  32 reviews


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Patricia Murphy
Jan 05, 2012 rated it did not like it
Shelves: travel
I hope climbing Kilimanjaro is less painful than reading this book.
Christy Keeler
May 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
I've read many trail reports, mostly about the John Muir Trail, but this is only the second I've seen about Kili (the other was "Gorge" by Kara Whitely). Like with Whitely's book and Aspen Matis' "Girl in the Woods: A Memoir," Dorr combines his personal life experiences and insights with his struggle to reach an extreme goal. His story emphasizes the physical and mental challenges faced when climbing Africa's tallest mountain.

My takeaways from the book:
—Be persistent.
—Fill your physical and me
...more
Grace
Jan 04, 2019 rated it did not like it
The author had an accurate one-dimensional description of the hike, very comparable to my actual Kilimanjaro experience. However, the author lacked depth in making sense of his emotions when faced with failure and inconvenient realities ( poverty). The protagonist appeared to be shallow in dealing with his failure to summit. I would not recommend people to read this book unless you are on the hike itself.
Marilyn
Feb 11, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: adventure, africa
An entertaining read about climbing Kilimanjaro. I have great respect for those that manage to do it but prefer my hikes to be an enjoyable experience.
Shubham Jain
Aug 20, 2019 rated it it was ok
I climbed Kilimanjaro, and while it's certainly not easy, the author makes it sound very painful. The writing is very discouraging and is only a one-dimensional portrayal of the climbing experience.
Cara
Jan 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Loved it! I want to climb Kilimanjaro one day so I found it fascinating.
Emily
Jun 25, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Kissing Kilimanjaro: Leaving It All on Top of Africa by Daniel Dorr was thoroughly entertaining and informative. I bought it based on something I rarely ever do: I read the first two paragraphs only. You can read a larger excerpt if you click on the book title a few sentences ago. Here is what hooked me:

"I used to wonder what would ever possess someone to trudge up a mountainside on the far sides of the planet, into harsh, frigid winds and thin air, thousands of feet above sea level. For decades
...more
Miranda
Jan 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I read this a few months after making it to Uhuru Peak myself, and it is really a great comparison to my own experience with Kilimanjaro. It brought me back to the paths of Machame, and made me realize that I wasn't alone in my experience. From the scenery to the internal struggle of summit night, it truly struck home! I really enjoyed when he spoke of how special Tanzania is, and how easy it is to fall in love with the lifestyle, the people, and their culture. Some of the simple things he exper ...more
Happyreader
Aug 01, 2011 rated it it was ok
Props for being brutally honest about how difficult the altitude was to bear above 15,000 ft and for so lovingly portraying his soon-to-be wife. The climb portions of the book were interesting – but it’s only about 1/3 of the book. The rest of the book is kind of a tough slog. Perhaps this is intentional to mirror how tedious and dull (according to him) the summit climb is? Too many petty details and recalled inane conversations. He’s not particularly kind about his climbing companions, especial ...more
Jessica
Feb 19, 2014 rated it liked it
I think book is more enjoyable to those familiar with the Kilimanjaro hike and not those who are about to embark on the trip. I read this on the plane home and could relate to a lot of what was in it, and as such, I enjoyed the author's stories of his climb. On the other hand, it became laborious to read once it became clear that he was going to go on to describe a SECOND attempt to reach the summit. By the time it got to that point, I was ready for the story to be over. (Side note: I think it's ...more
April
Aug 15, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: won-on-goodreads
I won this book through Goodreads First Reads. Thanks to Mountaineers for listing this giveaway.

A really good inspirational read. Very detailed. It is very obvious the love the author feels not only for the mountain and the adventure but also for his wife. There were moments when it seemed too detailed, and I felt like I was going away from the compassionate part of the story. Overall though it was a book that made me feel inspired to travel and inspired to do things I never thought I could do.
Caroline
Oct 23, 2012 rated it did not like it
Shelves: abandoned-awful
Worst book I've attempted to read in a long time. Poorly written, douchey guy, blah.

Samples of the writing:
"All the victims had been underdressed for the harsh and constantly changing weather. This was a serious reminder to us that we were climbing a mountain"

"I was slowly realizing a little secret the mountaineer-writer Jon Krakauer never mentions: mountain climbing is actually pretty boring. At its core it's just hours and days of walking uphill"

"This was his job, his office. He could find h
...more
Kelly
Oct 03, 2010 rated it liked it
I now know, for sure, I will not be attempting a summit of Kilimanjaro. Dorr does a great job of illustrating the truth of mountaineering: hours and hours of chucking one foot in front of the other in the dark to arrive at a summit one is too exhausted to enjoy.

It did reinforce my fascination with Africa. And the description of the culture of these corner of Africa was vivid and interesting.

Dedicated mountain climbers would probably give these 4-5 stars.
Jeimy
Feb 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
This was an eye-opening experience. This fit man couldn't make his first summit and went back to try again. His descriptions of the physical discomfort and pain and cold have been most useful in visualizing what I need to purchase for my climb and to make me realize that this hike will be physically and mentally exhaustive. Thankfully, I still have time to prepare.
Kristin
Mar 20, 2012 rated it it was ok
Weird cover for a book on Kilimanjaro--didn't see a single giraffe up there. Anyway, what a lunatic. His descriptions are good, but writing is spotty...plus I can't imagine his wife putting up with this lunatic trying for Kilimanjaro not once but TWICE! hello, dude, have some Diamox. Okay, yeah, skip it.
John
Jul 09, 2012 rated it liked it


Preparing to climb Kilimanjaro, so picked this up for additional insights. Reads mostly like a blog, However some good tidbits on equipment, Swahili language, and what to expect. While I tend toward the expert's perspective, interesting to hear that of a novice and how tough it can be for some. Hoping my experience is more enjoyable !
Rachel
Aug 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
This book was a play-by-play of the author's struggle to summit Mount Kilimanjaro. He was overly detailed in some parts, but I thought it was an interesting read of a first time climber who really struggled. If you can't get past the average writing style, it's probably not for you, but if you are reading for the story it's not too bad.
Erin
Feb 05, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: memoir, adult
As someone who is hoping/planning to climb Kilimanjaro this summer, I found this memoir enjoyable, entertaining, and informative. I definitely dog-eared a few pages, that I will be returning to as I train this spring...some passages for inspiration, some for grounding in reality...
Heather
Jan 02, 2011 rated it it was ok
It was a little misleading...it wasn't really about impressing a girl. I wont give it all away, but I did a better job of climbing that mountain. The author also went on quite a few tangents that took the book a bit off track.
Barbara
Mar 05, 2011 rated it it was ok
Basically just a recitation of the facts. He attempted to climb Kili once with his fiance and failed. He went back a couple years later and summited. He includes some discussion of the Tanzanians he met and the local travel conditions, but it's very much on the surface.
Darlene
Aug 15, 2011 rated it liked it
I won this book through Goodreads First Reads. I enjoyed learning a bit about Africa but this wasn't my most favorite book.
Lisa Kim
Jun 16, 2013 rated it liked it
hoping for a more successful climb than Dorr's for my first go around. an informative and sobering account of the actual climb, but i was less enthralled about the rest of the book.
Crystal Scruggs
This book was amazing!!! It is a great inspiration. If I move closer to Africa I wonder if Jason would want to climb Kili again but, with me :)
Robert Taylor
Jul 19, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fun
Fun read. Good self analysis of accomplishing a task that take stamina and commitment. Light reading.
Jeannie
Feb 01, 2011 rated it really liked it
If this isn't a Jeannie book, I don't know what is - adventure/travel and some humor. It fell a little flat (the plot, not the climber) at times, but an enjoyable quick read.
Susan
Feb 03, 2011 rated it really liked it
This book is great! I love how it describes the travels in Eastern Africa, as well as many other things. It was just a fun, good read for me.
Jane
Mar 20, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Eh... entertaining everyman's tale of climbing Kilimanjaro. Some funny bits and some detail-overload, but overall a quick read that anyone who likes hiking or the outdoors will get a kick out of.
Celia
Sep 10, 2012 rated it it was ok
Unfair depiction of Tanzania. Poorly written. Cheesy.
Natalie
Feb 22, 2012 rated it liked it
I read this to get ready to climb the mountain myself. It was informative and gave me a good idea of what I'm in for.
David
May 29, 2014 rated it really liked it
Yes, I would like to climb Kilimanjaro. And yes, after reading this book, I still want to climb Kili. Sounds like traveling in Tanzania is an amazing experience as well!
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