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Blind Descent: The Quest to Discover the Deepest Place on Earth | [James Tabor]

Blind Descent: The Quest to Discover the Deepest Place on Earth

Blind Descent explores both the brightest and darkest aspects of the timeless human urge to discover—to be first. It is also a thrilling epic about a pursuit that makes even extreme mountaineering and ocean exploration pale by comparison.
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Publisher's Summary

The deepest cave on earth was a prize that had remained unclaimed for centuries, long after every other ultimate discovery had been made: both poles by 1912, Everest in 1958, the Challenger Deep in 1961. In 1969 we even walked on the moon. And yet as late as 2000, the earth’s deepest cave—the supercave—remained undiscovered. This is the story of the men and women who risked everything to find it, earning their place in history beside the likes of Peary, Amundsen, Hillary, and Armstrong.

In 2004, two great scientist-explorers are attempting to find the bottom of the world. Bold, heroic American Bill Stone is committed to the vast Cheve Cave, located in southern Mexico and deadly even by supercave standards. On the other side of the globe, legendary Ukrainian explorer Alexander Klimchouk—Stone’s polar opposite in temperament and style, but every bit his equal in scientific expertise, physical bravery, and sheer determination—has targeted Krubera, a freezing nightmare of a supercave in the Republic of Georgia, where underground dangers are compounded by the horrors of separatist war in this former Soviet republic.

Blind Descent explores both the brightest and darkest aspects of the timeless human urge to discover—to be first. It is also a thrilling epic about a pursuit that makes even extreme mountaineering and ocean exploration pale by comparison.

©2010 James Tabor (P)2010 Random House

What the Critics Say

"Holds the reader to his seat, containing dangers aplenty with deadly falls, killer microbes, sudden burial, asphyxiation, claustrophobia, anxiety, and hallucinations far underneath the ground in a lightless world. Using a pulse-pounding narrative, this is tense real-life adventure pitting two master cavers mirroring the cold war with very uncommonly high stakes." (Publishers Weekly)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (212 )
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3.9 (112 )
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3.9 (113 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Jessica middlebury, VT, United States 01-28-13
    Jessica middlebury, VT, United States 01-28-13 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Race to the Bottom of the Earth"
    Any additional comments?

    This story will introduce the reader to the little known world of extreme deep-cave exploration. And you thought mountaineering was tough? At least they could see what they had to climb and rappel! The author and narrator do a good job of transporting the listener/reader into the grueling, dangerous, and often terrifying pitch black darkness of the cave, as well as character studies of some of the modern-day Hillarys and Shackletons who voluntarily, and eagerly, descend. Well written, fascinating, this book made me both search online for videos and websites of extreme caving to learn more, as well as thinkig that this is something I'd never want to do!!! Highly recommend to fans, like myself, of adventure stories like "The Worst Journey In The World" and "Into Thin Air".

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Alexander Jackson Heights, NY, United States 12-09-10
    Alexander Jackson Heights, NY, United States 12-09-10 Member Since 2015
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    "Makes it very clear whether caving is for you"

    I bought this audiobook on a friend's advice - and it made me clearly realize that caving is not for me (I had gone cave diving in Mexico). While the book was pretty clear in its description of competitive caving, I had to deduct two stars from its rating: one for a stolen title (from a book by a different author from 1999) and the other for its reader. Half of the book takes place in Russia, and they got a reader who rapes every Russian word he tries to pronounce.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Constant Reader LA, CA, USA 08-10-10
    Constant Reader LA, CA, USA 08-10-10 Member Since 2013

    M

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    "But Why?"

    About halfway through the book, I realized I couldn't, for the love of me, understand why people would want to crawl through caves. Unlike climbing a mountain, with your spirit soaring, and heaven just out of reach, caves are wet, smelly, dark, and claustrophobic in the extreme. When you get to the bottom of a cave -- well, there you are. At the bottom. In the dark. And the stink. Caving is a creepy activity. And intentionally or not, James Tabor communicates that. After reading Blind Descent, I decided I didn't even want to go into basements. I'd rather seek the sky above -- than the mud below.

    2 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Benjamin San Francisco, CA, USA 07-06-10
    Benjamin San Francisco, CA, USA 07-06-10
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    "Dull Narrator"

    Didn't make it through the first chapter: Bad reading.

    the voice sounded like a mix between a computer & a blockbuster preview voiceover. Sleep-inducing.

    1 of 7 people found this review helpful

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