No bodies were ever recovered. No cameras, diaries, or films shed light on the climbers' final agonizing days. Yet agenda-driven critics and officials fearing lawsuits pronounced self-serving verdicts. Further obscuring the truth, two prominent expedition members offered conflicting versions of the catastrophe.
Through interviews with those involved, unpublished correspondence and diaries, and sensitive government documents, James M. Tabor uncovered an array of new information: a feud with the expedition leader, Joe Wilcox; a stillborn rescue operation thwarted by the Park Service bureaucracy; and the heroic efforts made by other civilian climbers. To interpret the details, he consulted experts in disciplines as diverse as forensics, meteorology, and psychology.
In the end, Tabor has pieced together for the first time the complete, untold story of this expedition, whose victims and survivors both remain, in many ways, forever on the mountain.
©2007 James Tabor; (P)2007 Books on Tape
"An often gripping, detailed account." (Publishers Weekly)
I hesitated a long time before pulling the trigger on this title. While I am a not a mountain climber I am a fan of classics on the topic such as Krakauer's "Into Thin Air." So I was interested in this book.
What had me worried was the fact that the book was based on second-hand accounts as no personal effects of any of the victims of the tragedy were recovered. More significantly, the tragedy happened over 40 years ago so the recollections and records of those involved can be expected to be further compromised. Finally several books and articles have been written about this event and I wondered what more this book could offer.
I just finished listening to the book and I can say that despite these challenges, the author met the objectives which he spelled out in the introduction. Mainly to objectively examine all the facts related to the incident to better understand excatly what happened and perhaps to better understand why.
I enjoyed the book for several reasons:
1. As always, Scott Brick's narration is excellent.
2. The author is a mountain climber and does a masterful job of filling in gaps in information and in describing what conditions on the mountain would have been like.
3. Reference to scientific and medical information related to leadership, team dynamics and high altitude physiology make what otherwise could have been a dry repetition of times and events enganging.
4. The author did an excellent job of summarizing a large amount of information, making it interesting and in the end helping the listener understand what happened on that fateful July in 1967.
A good listen for fans of mountaineering or real life drama stories.
34. Married. Cats. Lizards. Disney. Ghostbusters. TMNT. Rifftrax. 20,000 Leagues. Nail polish. Fibro sufferer. Likes bees. A lot.
If you want to read a book that will make you want to reach through the pages (or speakers I suppose) and strangle someone, this is the book for you! Listening to the absolutely ridiculous rescue attempt (or lack thereof) frustrated me beyond belief. I just kept thinking that if this guy wasn't such an idiot or that guy would just do his job then they might have survived. So I guess you could say I got fairly immersed in the story.
I was a little hesitant to get this book because although Scott Brick is my favorite narrator ever, a lot of people have criticized his performance saying that he tried too hard to make it interesting or went over the top. I decided to give it a go anyway and the entire time I was waiting for this melodramatic reading to begin and it never did. To me it sounded no different than the way he narrated Helter Skelter, In Cold Blood or The Devil in the White City.
And lastly because I'm not above a bit of childish name calling, Bradford Washburn was such a jerk. Talk about kicking a guy while he's down... and then jumping on him for good measure.
This book falls outside my normal genre, but with Scott Brick narrating and feeling adventurous I decided to give it a try and what a pleasant surprise it turned out to be. My wife and I were completely drawn in by the rich story telling and absolutely enthralled by the adventure itself - we found ourselves listening long into the night. Captivating, hypnotic, inspiring!!
I like reading stories about high adventure, and learning how people have overcome wilderness challenges. So I chose this story as it describes a historical event with this theme, and postulates what may have happened to the men who never came back from Mt McKinley.
The book provides a good background on the people involved and the difficulties of climbing Mt McKinley. The public usually considers places like Everest to be incredibly dangerous. The book helps to educate you that Mt McKinley is just as dangerous to ascend.
I enjoyed the book, and thought the narrator performed wonderfully. However, toward the end the book seemed to "drag" with a lot of guesses of what may have happened. Obviously the author sought to be comprehensive in examining the causes of the disaster. But sometimes this led to an "over-analysis" in my opinion. The fact is that we will never really know unless some additional definitive evidence surfaces.
While I enjoyed the book, its length of "analysis" at the end made it difficult for me to finish.
First off, I got this book primarily because Scott Brick was the narrator (In the Heart of the Sea is probably the best narrated book ever, IMO) but he tries way to hard to make the story more interesting which it already is. His emphasis on some words and phrases is so distracting that I laughed out loud sometimes. Good book though once you get used to his style. I thought maybe it was the author so I went to the bookstore and read some. Not sure what Scott was trying to do with this one...
I really enjoyed this book by James Tabor, and was sorry to have it end. Scott Brick is easy to listen to and never over-dramatizes an already emotional story. I especially love the survivor interview section and the Further Reading suggestions. I know what I will be reading for the next few weeks.
couldn't get past the lame narrator
Have read this book multiple times with great satisfaction. The narration delivery was way overboard. Too much inflection.
Amazingly thorough and as unbiased as the author could make it. Delivered by the always fantastic Scott Brick.
I would have shortened the book by about one third. It was unnecessarily repetitive. The author did a good job at presenting all sides of what was a very controversial tragedy, but it was obvious that his personal background (a non climber) caused him to emphasize aspects that were of little interest in an attempt to be thorough.
The ending went on for what seemed like forever in that it attempted to summarize all that had happened before. We all knew the ending. But little that was presented was new with the possible exception of the incompetence of the National Park Service.
The performance was OK but somewhat flat. He did mispronounce a number of words commonly used in the climbing community.
If you like Into Thin Air, listen to this.
Into thin Air
no favorite, but I could not stop listening
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