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.
I've purchased over 100 audio-books since joining Audible.com back in 2005 and this book ranks in the 80%. I recommend this book.
Most of the books I listen to entertain me while I'm driving so I take the audio-books in doses just as I do the podcasts I download and listen to. Rarely am I afforded the opportunity to listen to a book from beginning to end while driving.
This is a well written book and a good story told well. I enjoyed the book and recommend it. I don't agree with the authors conclusions but that does not take away from the quality of the writing or the quality of the story telling.
I'm Audible's first Editor-at-Large, the host of In Bed with Susie Bright -- and a longtime author, editor, journo, and bookworm. I listen to audio when I'm cooking, playing cards, knitting, going to bed, waking up, driving, and putting other people's kids to bed! My favorite audiobooks, ever, are: "True Grit" and "The Dog of the South."
Before coming across this audiobook, I’d never heard of the disappearance of Soviet students in the Ural Mountains known as Dyatlov Pass Incident, but the mystery reeled me in. It might as well be an idea for a Twilight Zone, or X-files script.
Nine young, healthy, experienced hikers set out on a trek through the Urals, set up camp, and then flee their tent without proper gear, or even their shoes. Their bodies are later found frozen and injured. Why did they leave?
Donnie Eichar, who narrates himself, wanted to know too, so he set out in their footprints to solve the riddle. His book offers an investigation that gives a heartbreaking portrait of these doomed hikers, the search for them afterwards, and his own inquiry.
His conclusions may not have settled all the questions surrounding the Dead Mountain incident, but the story getting there is as engrossing as any unsolved mystery.
Dead Mountain is on my top 5 best books to listen to. This is a book that I could listen to again. I really enjoyed it!
The ending was the most memorable moment, it was so strange.
My favorite scenes were the ones where the author describes the hikers the night before they leave.
If you like mystery and the outdoors then I would highly recommend this book.
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.
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!
Fascinating, intriguing & tragic...........
The setting, it's the height of the cold war in north central Russia in the "dead" of winter........
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.
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.
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.
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.
The genre is real, unsolved, events. Highly unusual deaths. Mysteries that have remained unsolved for many years.
I found it a compelling read. I wanted to know what happened to the hikers and why.
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.
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.
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.
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.
He has a pretty dry narrative style, almost a monotone at times.
I looked up the facts quite a bit while I was listening to the book, searching for images, clues, etc.
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