Enjoy gripping ing accounts of survival–but without any of the dangers! I really enjoy books along these lines…I find myself gripped with the terror, fear, joys, relief, pain, and sadness experienced by the people who survived (or, in some cases, didn’t survive) these extreme situations. In these three books, you’ll travel to the top of Mt. Everest, experience a wild storm at sea, and crash in an airplane in the Andes Mountains. Hold onto your armchair!
- Into Thin Air: A Personal Account of the Mt. Everest Disaster by Jon Krakauer
- Alive by Piers Paul Read
- The Perfect Storm: A True Story of Men Against The Sea by Sebastian Junger
A little bit more information on each book…
This is a riveting first-person account of the author’s trip to the summit of Mt. Everest. Originally conceived as a journalistic account of how professional guides were taking relatively inexperienced clients to Everest’s summit, the book took a radically different turn when the expedition Krakauer was on became caught in a storm that ended tragically for numerous members of his and other expeditions. The books is gripping and really gives you a feel for what it feels like to make a climb like Everest. And the stories of those who survived and those who didn’t will haunt you forever. Whether you like mountaineering or not, this is a riveting book written by one the most accomplished “journalist writers” around today.
This book tells the story of a Uruguayan rugby team whose plane crashes in the Andes Mountains. They are faced with a critical situation that results in them taking drastic steps to survive — eating the bodies of their dead teammates. This is an agonizing account of what they went through and what people will do to survive. Although it might sound gruesome, you follow the survivors through their initial repulsion, denial and finally to acceptance that this is what is needed to survive. I read this book years ago but never forgot about it. It was also made into a movie starring Ethan Hawke. I liked the movie too but the book (as is almost always the case) was superior.
This book documents the fates of several people who had the misfortune to be at sea during the “perfect storm” — a storm that became unexpectedly big and powerful due to the alignment of several weather systems. The primary story is the fate of the Andrea Gail, a fishing vessel that gets lost in the storm. Other stories of those who encountered the storm — including a thrilling Coast Guard rescue — are also chronicled. Junger does a good job of telling a true story in a novelistic way, and his description of what probably happened to the crew of the Andrea Gail is haunting. Like Alive described above, this book was made into a movie (this one starring George Clooney — swoon)!