that you read before you started blogging!
This book is a first-person account of the author’s May 1996 ascent 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 Krakauer’s expedition was caught in a storm that ended tragically for numerous members of his and other expeditions. The book gives you an idea of what it feels like to climb a mountain like Everest. And the stories of those who survived and those who didn’t will haunt you. Whether you like mountaineering or not, this is a riveting book written by one the most accomplished “journalist writers” around today.
Even knowing what happens once they make the ascent, I was captivated by the stories of survival and death. Krakauer’s account of guide Rob Hall’s final phone call to his pregnant wife is heartbreaking. The story of Beck Weathers—who manages to survive a night exposed on the face of Everest—boggled my mind.
There was some controversy surrounding the book after it was released as Krakauer was critical of some decisions made by people who were on the mountain that day. I think whenever there is a highly charged situation with life and death consequences, this is to be expected. Overall, I felt that Krakauer does a masterful job of presenting his own feelings and experiences while still maintaining the keen observational skills of a journalist. You won’t soon forget this book, and I suspect it is the closest many of us will come to experiencing the thrills and chills of high-altitude mountaineering. I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that this book was a favorite of my Dad as well.
If you are looking for an “armchair adventure,” you can’t go wrong with this book. It will stay with you for years afterwards.