“Into Thin Air” Book Review


Now that the 2015 movie “Everest” is out, I thought I’d post the review of the book the movie is based on.

4737596733_ff5798aef1_z“Into Thin Air” is a truthful account of the 1996 Mt. Everest disaster, where many people lost their lives during one major storm that brewed overtop Everest. Told by Jon Krakauer, a journalist and mountaineer, he not only was on the expedition, and so experienced the majority of these events first hand, but he also spent countless hours interviewing those on his team and on other teams to bring this account to the page.

Into Thin Air shows how unforgiving nature can be, how easily human life can be extinguished, how human error can turn to tragedy, and how one misstep means death. It shows what the cost of accomplishing your dream means, what it takes to survive, and what it means to be a survivor, knowing teammates and friends lost their lives, and wondering if there was anything more you could have done to prevent that.

Exploring who and if anyone is to blame for this tragedy, Jon shows what a deadly place Mt. Everest is, especially after having entered the dead zone, where the air is so thin you can hardly eat or think without supplemental oxygen, where your brain cells are rapidly dying, and where wind and cold are relentless.

This story is more than about suffering and death. It’s about determination and will to survive. It’s about sacrifice, bravery, and endurance.624711184_91907356a1_z

This story will show you the truth behind what it takes to reach the summit of Everest, 29,028 feet above sea level. It’s not a pretty picture. It’s not glorious and gleaming. There’s no brilliant epiphany, no spiritual awakening or deep insight into the meaning of life. In climbing Everest, you face death head on, but it’s not until Everest whips up a massive storm, where you can’t see your hand in front of your face or where if you stand up straight you get blown off into the night, that you realize the weight of facing death and the fragile nature of human life.

(Photos courtesy of Philip MilneJody McIntyre, and Didrik Johnck.)

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