Joe Simpson, with just his partner, Simon Yates, tackled the unclimbed West Face of the remote 21,000-foot Siula Grande in the Peruvian Andes in June of 1995. But before they reached the summit, disaster struck.
A few days later, Simon staggered into Base Camp, exhausted and frostbitten, to tell their non-climbing companion that Joe was dead. For three days he wrestled with guilt as they prepared to return home. Then a cry in the night took them out with torches, where they found Joe, badly injured, crawling through the snowstorm in a delirium.
Far from causing Joe's death, Simon had paradoxically saved his friend's life. What happened, and how they dealt with the psychological traumas that resulted when Simon was forced into the appalling decision to cut the rope, makes not only an epic of survival but a compelling testament of friendship.
©1988 Joe Simpson (P)2012 Random House Audiobooks
Too often, books written based on a true story include too much hyperbole in turning the main character into a hero that did nothing wrong. This story is raw, and honest, and believable, and really well told.
The best part about this story is that it's true. No really, it's true. As you join Simpson in this tale, you'll find yourself saying "no way," but wow, it really happened.
The end of this story wrapped it up so well for me. I won't spoil anything in case you don't already know what happens, but I'll say, that any questions I had were answered by the end.
Whether you are a skier, a hiker, a mountaineer, or just love a great story about human strength and endurance, you'll love this story.
Newly retired, I am a reading fiend! I like many types of books, both fiction and non-fiction, with the exception of romance and fantasy
I saw the movie and have never been able to get the story out of my mind. Touching the Void is a true story, a miracle of sorts--a mountaineer left for dead by his climbing partner and his incredible struggle to live. I have always wondered how this could have happened and more particularly, how Joe and Simon felt about what happened. Specifically, how did Joe Simpson feel about his climbing partner after the ordeal? How did Simon Yates react when he learned Joe was still alive when he abandoned him. You can't rely on a movie to tell the real story but you can rely on this book's narrative. It includes segments also by Joe's climbing partner, Simon Yates.
This is an incredible story, beautifully written and very moving. The narration was excellent and I highly recommend this book.
For the non climbers, unfamiliar Mountaineering terminology can leave comprehension gaps in the audio version ( whereas easy to look up if reading ) but still a great story
Given to me by a climber friend. Awesome insight into that extreme sport.
Captivating story told in alternating first person. I want to see the documentary next.
I have a pretty big fear of falling off of things. So why I thought a book about mountain climbing would be a good idea is beyond me. I was on the edge of my seat throughout this entire book. I felt all the anxiety, fear, sadness, and all the other emotions that Joe and Simon felt. I can't wait to go watch the movie and see how close the visuals in my head were to what was happening. I would recommend this to anyone!
This true story is as motivating and inspiring as it is powerful. An unforgettable tale that will stay with you and motivate you to find solutions for life's more "ordinary" challenges.
His pain and torment could have been conveyed differently. It just didn't pop out to me that he was in any sort of real danger the entire read. Yes I cringed at some of the details but after it all it didn't seem so bad. Still an excellent book
This is the quintessential survival story, and it is true!
In 1985 Joe Simpson and Simon Yates decide to climb the west face of Siula Grande in the Peruvian Andes. I am no mountaineer, but even I could spot some of their errors. The book focuses on moral issues too.
A prime one being that Simon cuts the rope between him and Joe, remember Joe is the author, causing Joe to fall into a deep crevasse. Simon takes Joe for dead and returns to base camp, where Richard has remained to watch over their possessions. Simon didn't look down that crevasse to check and see if Joe really was dead. Was it right to cut that rope? Do you sacrifice one person's life to save another, or must both die? I can understand cutting that rope....given the conditions. What I find inexcusable is that when Simon returned to camp he did not immediately get help and search parties in to look for Joe. THAT is beyond my comprehension.********spoiler over******
Most of the time I could picture the glacial landscape. There are crevasses and ice bridges and morasses and fissures and glacial expanses, sparkling light and snow storms and it is cold and wet, freezing. I could NOT exactly picture what it was like in the crevasse as the author described it. So maybe the movie is better than the book? The author took part in the filming later in 2002.
Joe's fear, his physical pain and exhaustion, his terror, THAT I definitely felt. His hallucinations became my hallucinations. Simon corroborated with Joe in the writing of this book. Nevertheless, I did NOT feel that his words rang as true as Joe's. Simon's voice in the audiobook is narrated by Andrew Wincott. It was too slick, too quiet. No, he didn't even sound like a mountaineer. Joe's narration by Daniel Weyman was spot-on.
My gut reaction to the audiobook was that I liked it. I certainly was not going to stop in the middle, although I had to take breathers. I am a coward and couldn't sit still, it gripped me so! I liked that not many lines were spent on the medical treatments required after this escapade. I liked that there is a short epilogue covering Joe's philosophical approach to his experiences. Yes, he continued to climb mountains.
"Don't listen whilst driving!"
Touching the Void had me hooked from chapter one. I often listened in my car which thinking about it was not so clever as there would be periods of excitement that knocked my concentration from driving!
It's a brilliant story that had me on the edge, made me squirm with thought and almost feel Joe Simpsons desperation.
A must read for anyone who likes real story's told truthfully by the person who experienced them.
This book is one of the most inspiring books i have listened to and the naration is first class cant recomend it highly enough
"A harrowing listen that will keep you gripped"
A truly amazing account of survival that will keep you listening to the end and stay with you long after.
"Much for all of us to learn!"
An excellent read and amazing journey of strength. The way the author survived, setting small goals, going step by step, despite the disabilities he suffered, is amazing, and a lesson for us all. Truly gives illustration of the saying "A million mile journey begins with the first step". There are many issues missed in the the film, that have been covered by the book. Including insights during the incident, what happened after the characters were reunited, and the participants reflection over what went wrong. Much of the lessons learnt can be applied to our own lives. A great listen!
"Simply Brilliant story"
simply brilliant book of a story thats both harrowing and inspiring. It must have taken some courage to cut your friend away . The tenacissity to get youself down the mountain against all odds, should make us all tbink twice when we thi k thi gs are just to much, just keep fighting .Thank you.
One of the best audiobooks I have listened to, it was very difficult to hear Joe's struggle to remain alive at times, but ultimately it was truly inspiring.
I feel for Simon and wonder at how people think they have a right to judge his actions.
"Fascinating story brilliantly told"
Loved this book and although I'd already seen the film the book was more in depth and took me closer to the action.
"awesome story and great audio book"
the story is absolutely amazing and the narration really holds you to suspense! worth every penny
"wonderful story, grippingly read"
Joe Simpson's classic survival story given the audio book outing it deserves.
beautifully read. made me gasp and cry again, even though I've read the book a few times. well done all involved.
impressive bravery. such moral. dilemmas. it is hard to withhold judgement. in the same league as Scott and Amundsen. post script and epilogue very interesting especially for anyone who read the book before the film. well done and highly recommended .
Report Inappropriate Content
If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.