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Into Thin Air | [Jon Krakauer]

Into Thin Air

The definitive, personal account of the deadliest season in the history of Everest by the acclaimed journalist and author of Into the Wild. Read by the author. Also, hear a Fresh Air interview with Krakauer conducted shortly after his ordeal.
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Publisher's Summary

Into Thin Air is the definitive, personal account of the deadliest season in the history of Everest by the acclaimed journalist and author of Eiger Dreams and Into the Wild. On assignment for Outside magazine, Krakauer, an accomplished climber, went to the Himalayas to report on the growing commercialization of the planet's highest mountain. Everest has always been a dangerous mountain. From the first British expeditions in the 1920s until 1996, one climber has died for ever 4 who have attained the summit. This shocking death toll has not put a damper on the burgeoning business of guided ascents, however, in which amateur alpinists with alarmingly disparate skills are ushered up the mountain for a $65,000 fee. To ascend into the thin, frigid air above 26,000 feet - the cruising altitude of a commercial jetliner - is an inherently irrational act. The environment is unimaginably harsh, the margin for error miniscule. Krakauer examines what it is about Everest that has compelled so many people - including himself - to throw caution to the wind, ignore the concern of loved ones, and willingly subject themselves to such risk, hardship, and expense. Written with emotional clarity and supported by his unimpeachable reporting, Krakauer's frank eyewitness account of what happened on the roof of the world is a singular achievement.

©1997 Jon Krakauer; (P)1997 Bantam Doubleday Dell Audio Publishing, Bantam Doubleday Dell Audio Publishing, A Division of Random House Inc.

What the Critics Say

  • Publishers Weekly Listen Up Award Winner, Best Audio of 1998, Best of the Best
    Alex Award Winner, 1998

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.4 (2284 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Don Lance Murfreesboro, TN United States 10-14-08
    Don Lance Murfreesboro, TN United States 10-14-08 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    88
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    REVIEWS
    56
    23
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    Overall
    "Thought-provoking insight from personal experience"

    I can't say I "enjoyed" this book, because I don't know how anyone can say they enjoy hearing the story of a tragedy. But I can say this book had me wrapped up in the story from beginning to end, and the author was very effective in communicating his first-hand experiences and the life-and-death challenges the team faced. The author helps us to understand the real dangers that Everest climbers face and that it's not the glamorous image you usually see in the media. As you listen you can't help but ask yourself what you would do if you were in the same situation. I highly recommend this book -- not as "entertainment", but for an engaging first-hand account that has many lessons for everyone.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Roland Wood Dale, IL, United States 06-12-08
    Roland Wood Dale, IL, United States 06-12-08 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    20
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    "Awesome"

    This was a riveting tale.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Valerie tempe, AZ, United States 11-06-07
    Valerie tempe, AZ, United States 11-06-07 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    9
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    "OUTSTANDING"

    Outstanding...it is an amazing story

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Magdalena San Francisoc, CA, USA 07-30-07
    Magdalena San Francisoc, CA, USA 07-30-07
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    14
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    Overall
    "great read"

    easy to listen to, fascinating story

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Milpitas, CA 05-18-07
    Amazon Customer Milpitas, CA 05-18-07 Member Since 2014
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    "fantastic"

    This story kept me awake at night and spending the day thinking about it. What a story. It's a fantastic book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robert Bellingham , WA, USA 09-04-06
    Robert Bellingham , WA, USA 09-04-06
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
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    Overall
    "into thin air"

    very captivating. As a fellow climber I thought it was informative and well done. Good for you John for not being politicaly correct and telling it the way it is

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    charles ryon Utah 03-21-06
    charles ryon Utah 03-21-06 Listener Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
    17
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    "Harrowing Tale of Misadventure"

    Captivating story of a world I believe falsely glorified. Author does an excellent job as reader, too.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Keith Ogden, UT, USA 01-03-05
    Keith Ogden, UT, USA 01-03-05 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
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    "Gripping, You are there on the mountain!"

    The book is excellent! The audio book is perhaps even BETTER! Read by the author (Jon Krakauer) you truly feel the gripping story as it unfolds.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    MICHAEL J NICOLLS Swansea, IL USA 09-18-04
    MICHAEL J NICOLLS Swansea, IL USA 09-18-04 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    15
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    Overall
    "Well done Jon. You've set a standard!"

    Jon's work is captivating and educational. When reaching the last CD I so much did not want it to end that I decided not to listen to it rather, I would start it over, keeping it fresh and alive. The second time around was as compelling as the first. I indeed finished the second go around having felt the Everest adventure and it's participants were a part of me.

    I have listened to it many times since.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Alison Venice, CA, USA 02-26-04
    Alison Venice, CA, USA 02-26-04
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
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    49
    4
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    Overall
    "very raw, very good"

    This is an excellent read/hear. I am not a mountain climber or an Everest nut, yet this book really made me get it. The real emotion is what makes it so universal.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
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