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Into Thin Air
By Jon Kraukauer
As you can see I haven’t written a book review in quite a while. I’m running a little behind on my goal! I’m still whittling away and making progress though! I’ve had a lot of great magazines given to me and I’ve been enjoying a different pace of reading, but need to get back on my book track! I also have 2 or 3 other books on my list started, but not making a lot of progress. As I said before… I’ll get there. And I feel like it’s better to take my time and enjoy the process of reading instead of just reading for the sake of finishing my list and getting to add the check mark!
So on to the book! It was a great read. Easy, well written and suspenseful. It is the story of Jon’s assent up Mount Everest and the dangerous storm they encountered that took their head guide and many of the other climbers in their group and in other groups as well. It is a very sad account, but also true.
It occurred in May of 1996. Jon was a writer for Outside magazine and was climbing it as an experienced climber (not high altitude climber though) and as a journalist. His assignment was to write about how commercialized it had become and how just about anyone with enough money and time could pay a guide to get them to the top.
As I read this and saw what they went though and the dangers, discomforts and misery they had to put their bodies through completely turned me off from even trying something like that. The cold was so intense and the winds so strong that it could blow a man off the mountain. The dangerous ice climbing and the ways in which they pushed their bodies to the limit was frightening. I can’t imagine why anyone would even want to give this a try!
It is sad because in the end a lot of people die, Jon survives (I’m not giving anything away.. he wrote the book!!!!), and the guilt he suffers since he made it down while others ended up with life changing disabilities as a result or didn’t even make it at all. I found it very interesting and an enjoyable although slightly depressing read!
Read it for yourself and let me know what you think!