©1997 Jon Krakauer; (P)1997 Bantam Doubleday Dell Audio Publishing, Bantam Doubleday Dell Audio Publishing, A Division of Random House Inc.
"No added dramatics are needed for the listener to imagine the high-altitude cold, fear, bravado and sense of total isolation felt by all who were trapped beyond help, as well as by those who survived. Franklin’s emulations of the multinational voices of guides, clients and Sherpas bring one still closer to the action." (AudioFile)
This image that serves as the "cover" for his book says it is read by the author. It is not. I am very familiar with Krakauer's voice from listening to other titles so this caught me off guard. However, Philip Franklin does a fine job with it and is better equipped to handle the accents. The (true) story is very compelling and Krakauer lays it out well. He has been accused in some circles of playing the blame game but it reads like the words of a man who is trying to make sense of what has happened and he shoulders a portion of responsibility. There are competing accounts of the disastrous '96 climbing season on Everest but none are told with such expertise.
Book is just so great. For anyone who love mountaineering it is a must-read. Exciting, thrilling, wise and emotional records from most tragic Everest expedition in history.
Events were not always clearly conveyed. A second listen or a reading may be in order...I think I'll buy the book.
Perhaps Mr. Krakauer was determined to get his story out but seriously wanted to educate the listener/reader as to the various pitfalls of mountain ascents first. A noble task, but the result is terrible organization and delivery. By the time you get to "his" personal story, you have been led round and round, peppered with high altitude facts, equipment and history. It's all over the place.
I hated the choppiness of the story and was anxious to hear the story of Krakauer's ascent. The flow was dismal. I struggled to get to the end.
I usually use audiobooks to help me sleep, and it usually works wonderfully. Not with this one. I would lay and listen for hours at a time, curious who would survive. I figured the story would glorify mountain climbing, but It leaves you happy to be at home safe and warm.
I felt emotionally moved, and learned from this book-I recommend it to others. The narrator starts stiff but warms up to the roll pretty quick! Enjoy!
Every time the book quoted a character, the narrator read it with an accent. He must have had 10 different voices he used to read the quotes. I found this very annoying and it almost ruined it for me. Great story.
He brings a personal accounting of the events. The story would have been somewhat less extreme with an uninvolved person narrating.
Hearing the quotes from Rob Hall as he radioed from near the summit outlined the gravity of the situation.
It is important to hear personal accounts like this, and even Krakauer received blowback about his role and decisions, it is important to understand that he was fighting for his life just as were those who died. I find it difficult to criticize his decision making under those circumstances. Hearing about the disagreements between Krakauer and Boukreev following this book, I though Krakauer's criticism of Boukreev was somewhat overblown, but it is important to understand that while we are reading (hearing) about this situation, those two were living it. This must have been one of the most difficult psychological circumstances imaginable, and human understanding almost requires the assigning of blame. It turns out that the mountain was to blame. Powerful stuff.
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