I'm afraid to hear what the real Ed Viesturs sounds like for risk of tarnishing the mental image I have after hearing this reader read No Shortcuts to the Top.
It was wonderfully read with a real sense of passion and attention to detail. This is by far one of the most incredible books I've ever read. As an outdoors-man, it's very inspirational and educating but even if you've never hiked more than a few miles, you can still enjoy the Ed's accounts of climbing the world's highest mountains.
One of those books that you never want to end.
out of the many audio books I have listened to, I put this in my top 5. Even knowing very little about climbing mountains this book does not fail to keep you interested throughout the entire tail. I would suggest to any one who thought this a great book to also listen to Robert Kursons, "Shadow Divers" which could help complete your knowledge of altitudes by going from the bottom of the ocean to the top of the world. Both are great books in that you don't have to climb or scuba dive to enjoy them.
I started listening to this book while on a plane traveling to El Paso, TX to climb Guadalupe Peak in Texas. This book is witty, serious, educational, and downright inspiring. This book could not have been written any better. The sad part is that the endeavor is over, I understand the "bittersweet melancholy" of the end of this man's journey. The only difference is his journey has just begun.
Keep Climbing Ed!
This book will appeal to a broad audience; the climber that's interested in FACTUAL material about their sport, the athlete that's looking for motivation, the historian that wants insight into the legacy of mountaineering in the high peaks of the world, and the "average Joe" that wonders why any individual would ever want to put themselves at risk for such a seemingly selfish undertaking.
Ed touches on these topics along with many others in the book. The individuals of the text are introduced with such detail that you will laugh (and sometimes cry) as their lives (and some deaths) are related. As I listened to the final chapter, I was truly sad the "ride" was over. Do note, however, that the book at times seems to turn and twist back on itself (chronologically). That said, the organization makes complete sense as the book closes ... you realize that the book was written exactly as it should have been.
This book is excellent, both in terms of content and reading. The narrator is one of the better I have encounter, while the story its self is engrossing.
Ed Viesturs tells the story of his climbing of all 14 8000m peaks. In doing so, he displays a keen understanding of how to teach the elements of high altitude climbing, combined with a sense of humor and a knack for bring out the human element so often interwoven in his experiences. Hardly a "look at how great I am" sort of autobiography, Ed regularly discusses other great climbers, often with a sense of awe in finding himself in their company, or standing where they stood. In his discussions of his many high altitude expeditions, he bring a strongly human focus to bear, leaving readers not only with a sense of the beauty of climbing, but the painful realities as well.
Perhaps one criticism which could be leveled is one of organization. Because he regularly detours to tell the stories of others he knew and climbed with, there are points in the story where the time lines become slightly blurry. This is, of course, a danger with any book tracking a narrative from more than one character's perspective.
Excellent narrative, excellent narrator.
I'm just this guy, y'know?
It's difficult sometimes to imagine the drive behind undertaking a challenge like climbing high mountains, but this book gives a peek behind the curtain.
What a great book! When reading any true adventure novel, it's important to realize the ego it takes to do the things that are done in the book, and that inevitably comes through in the writing. However, I didn't feel as much of that ego as in other books. Ed has a great philosophy about climbing that translates well into everyday life, and his goal is to communicate that philosophy to his reader. I can see how that can be read as self-praise, but I didn't take it that way. In any event, the stories are more than worth it for those that are annoyed by the occational "self-help" lessons.
The only drawback to this recording is the narration. I didn't feal that the voice went with the story. It was too polished, too much like a TV anchorman. I was able to get past this, however, and thoroughly enjoyed this from start to finish.
First, Ed is a big hero of mine and the book was a good read. Like many other readers I would agree that he does come off as being narcissistic at times. Despite this short coming I would recommend it to anyone interested in the adventure genre.
This is an exceptional look at what it takes to make such extreme accomplishments. Several reviews suggest Ed Viesturs is somewhat arrogant but this is a biography of him and it takes supreme self confidence to accomplish what he has done. The narrator does an excellent job with intonation and pace. I found myself gripped at points waiting to find out how the next section played out. I am certain I will listen to this one again in the future.