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Dead Mountain Audiobook

Dead Mountain: The Untold True Story of the Dyatlov Pass Incident

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Audible Editor Reviews

Editors Select, March 2014 - Full disclosure: I've been obsessed with the story of the Dyatlov Pass Incident – the name given to the mysterious unsolved deaths of nine young experienced hikers in the Russian Ural mountains in 1959 - since I first heard the story a few years back. Filmmaker-turned-author Donnie Eichar seems to share my enthusiasm, because after years of researching the case, he emptied his savings and traveled to Russia on a mission to recreate the hikers’ journey and uncover the truth behind their deaths. Although this was a familiar story to me, I was completely absorbed by Eichar’s retelling. He weaves his own journey seamlessly in with a retelling of the hikers’ story (which he recreates through their photos and journal entries), along with a detailed breakdown of the investigation following their disappearance. And as a documentary filmmaker, Eichar makes sure he has his timelines and sources straight throughout the book. Above all, I think was most impressed by how Eichar treated the Dylatlov Pass Incident as so much more than a creepy tale. He manages to bring a deep human quality to the story, along with immense reverence for the fallen hikers (tone that comes through in his careful narration). I came away from this book feeling as if I had known each one of them - and longing for some closure more than ever before. I won't spoil the outcome of his investigation, but I think it's safe to say that anyone who is interested in this story - or real-life mysteries in general - will be left with plenty to ponder. —Sam, Audible Editor

Publisher's Summary

In February 1959, a group of nine experienced hikers in the Russian Ural Mountains died mysteriously on an elevation known as Dead Mountain. Eerie aspects of the incident—unexplained violent injuries, signs that they cut open and fled the tent without proper clothing or shoes, a strange final photograph taken by one of the hikers, and elevated levels of radiation found on some of their clothes—have led to decades of speculation over what really happened. This gripping work of literary nonfiction delves into the mystery through unprecedented access to the hikers' own journals and photographs, rarely seen government records, dozens of interviews, and the author's retracing of the hikers' fateful journey in the Russian winter. A fascinating portrait of the young hikers in the Soviet era, and a skillful interweaving of the hikers narrative, the investigators' efforts, and the author's investigations, here for the first time is the real story of what happened that night on Dead Mountain.

©2013 Donnie Eichar (P)2014 Audible, Inc.

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (1441 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Joseph 04-01-14
    Joseph 04-01-14 Member Since 2008
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    "A dramatic unraveling of a 50 year mystery"

    Donnie Eichar cleverly weaves his personal story into this decades old mystery. His approach is methodical and captivating. I felt as though I was trying to unravel the evidence along with him.

    His narration was steady and nearly monotone, which for me, added to the suspense. This story could have been sensationalised which would have done it a disservice.

    The book kept me engaged throughout. In my mind's eye I still find myself seeing that mountain and those hikers, feeling the cold and hearing that wind.

    8 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Margaret 07-31-16
    Margaret 07-31-16
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    "Good mystery! Do not listen to while camping in winter!"

    Very interesting mystery - plausible and surprising theory on what really happened. I had never heard of it before. Interesting view into that era in Soviet Russia. Only negative is author's rather droning reading voice. A pro may have been a better choice. But still a good way to spend six or so hours!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joshua 07-29-16
    Joshua 07-29-16
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    "Respectable Overview Of The Case"

    Dead Mountain is composed to two narratives: the 1959 story which reconstructs the hikers journey, disappearance, and attempted rescue; and the 2012 story which recounts Eichar's investigation into the case. Interspersed throughout are various tidbits about Donnie's own life, how schooling worked in the USSR, facts about Russian history, and other not-wholly-relevant tidbits that give the story a somewhat padded feel.

    The best audience for this book are those who are new to the Dyatlov Pass case. Donnie Eichar should be given credit for presenting a solid overview of the case, but he doesn't go into the nitty-gritty. He comes up with a theory about the "unknown compelling force" which is rather intriguing.

    The reading was fine, though it had a somewhat recited quality to it. Perhaps it would have been better if a professional had read it, but it's not like books of this sort lend themselves to showcasing vocal talent. This story is about the author as much as the mystery so I think his reading it was a good idea.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Denise Ryan Raleigh, NC 08-08-15
    Denise Ryan Raleigh, NC 08-08-15 Member Since 2008
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    "Amazing Story"

    Whoa. You will never in a million years see this coming. Fascinating true mystery - if you like those things (I do!), you'll love this. Only downside is the author's rotten narration - almost made me give up, he's so monotone. But the story is worth it - hang in there. I still see the hikers in my mind and can't imagine how terrifying their last night must have been.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    brad 07-08-15
    brad 07-08-15 Member Since 2015
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    "A Disturbing & Tragic Story of Young Lives Lost..."
    If you could sum up Dead Mountain in three words, what would they be?

    Fascinating, intriguing & tragic...........


    What did you like best about this story?

    The setting, it's the height of the cold war in north central Russia in the "dead" of winter........


    Which character – as performed by Donnie Eichar – was your favorite?

    I don't have an opinion on a specific character as performed by Donnie Eichar, the narration was all monotone. However, I found the surviving member, Yuri Yudin, to be a very interesting individual who struggled with being the only member of the original 10 to not perish.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    It left me feeling empty for the young lives lost in this incident and then the ridiculous response by the Russian government to refuse to support the surviving families during the terrible grief filled aftermath.


    Any additional comments?

    I loved the characters in this book. The author did a great job of giving us his perspective on what drove them individually so that we could view their actions and participate in the mindset that drove them to come together with Eichar to tear off the scab of this incident and dive head long into resolving it some 50 years later.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    JFCincy 07-03-15
    JFCincy 07-03-15
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    "Oddly Compelling Story"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I chose this book because I wanted to find out what happened to this group of hikers. The incident is a well-known and controversial story in Russia, and how the hikers died has never been satisfactorily, or conclusively, explained. I found this intriguing.

    At first, the narrator's amateurish non-performance bothered me. As the story gathered momentum, I decided his "just the facts" reading highlighted the weirdness of the hikers death in a way a hyped up "performance" by a narrator could not. In addition, I liked the way the author approached the mystery of the hikers death as Sherlock Holmes did-by eliminating all possible scenarios until only one is left. Although the final scenario is not conclusive, I agree with the author it is both plausible (although highly unusual), and the only scenario that fits all of the available evidence.

    I recommend this book to those who like an offbeat and unusual mystery that remains unsolved to this day.


    What other book might you compare Dead Mountain to and why?

    The genre is real, unsolved, events. Highly unusual deaths. Mysteries that have remained unsolved for many years.


    Have you listened to any of Donnie Eichar’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I found it a compelling read. I wanted to know what happened to the hikers and why.


    Any additional comments?

    I recommend pushing through the first few chapters to get used to the narrator. I've been spoiled by the highly professional performances now available in audio books. In the end, I felt the book was worth the listen.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Donald T Joyner 07-01-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Very fascinating!!!"

    Eichar gives a brilliant narrative. By focusing on the lives of the victims, we see that they were normal people. It helps one understand the complete tragedy of the event. He arrives at a very well-researched and plausible hypothesis as to what may have actually happened. It's clear that Eichar has a genuine passion for understanding this baffling mystery.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rick Murrieta, CA, United States 10-12-14
    Rick Murrieta, CA, United States 10-12-14 Member Since 2015

    Rick H.

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    "I was hoping for something more."

    I really thought Dead Mountain was going to turn into something more than it was. I kept waiting, and hoping but the story never really got off the ground. The suspense just wasn't there. And when the explanation for the missing hikers finally comes around, the author had my interest, but only for a moment.

    I think part of how I felt comes about because of the way the story jumps back and forth, back and forth which really hurt the continuity of the story telling. It seemed like the story could've been better told if the hiker's perspective was told in it's entirety in the first few chapters, explaining where they came from, what they did and where they stopped without the repetition of reverting back to 2010. Maybe not.

    And the reader almost put me to sleep with his somber, monotone delivery. Maybe he was the best choice to convey the cold, miserable isolation of Siberia, and to pronounce the Russian names. He was just so vanilla with little inflection and no excitement when the story reaches its climax.

    The final hypothesis by the author and the scientists he recruits is believable. Though the story might've been more exciting if aliens, or the Yeti, or Russian KGB were the culprits I was content with what he came up with and how it's told in the (literally) last 3-5 minutes of the book. I don't regret the purchase since it was only 6-7 hours so it was easily completed. it will keep your attention for at least that long.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brian AUSTIN, MN, United States 03-31-14
    Brian AUSTIN, MN, United States 03-31-14
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    "Mystery solved?"
    What did you like best about Dead Mountain? What did you like least?

    I was fascinated by this story, even before I read the book. I didn't have a great understanding of the facts, and the author does a great job at laying out facts, and keeps the story line intact. To that point, I thought in many instances the author could have delved deeper into narratives, individual bios, etc. I also would have loved to have heard more on the other, more wilder explanations, and he does cover this briefly towards the end of the book. I just honestly think some of those would have been very interesting to hear about in-depth.


    Would you listen to another book narrated by Donnie Eichar?

    He has a pretty dry narrative style, almost a monotone at times.


    Did Dead Mountain inspire you to do anything?

    I looked up the facts quite a bit while I was listening to the book, searching for images, clues, etc.


    7 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jennifer INDIANA, US 03-25-14
    Jennifer INDIANA, US 03-25-14 Member Since 2010

    I like weird stuff...The creepier the better!

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    "An interesting book!"
    What did you love best about Dead Mountain?

    A well researched book about an incident I have always found fascinating. The author does a great job telling the timeline of events.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    His summation at the end gives the most plausible accounting of the incident I have seen.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes....and I listened to the book in one day! I worked late so that I could hear the ending.


    Any additional comments?

    The author does a nice job narrating the book.

    5 of 8 people found this review helpful

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