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Into Thin Air Audiobook

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

"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)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.5 (3626 )
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Performance
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  •  
    oleg DALY CITY, CA, United States 02-28-15
    oleg DALY CITY, CA, United States 02-28-15 Member Since 2015
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    "It's a good book"

    It's a great book it is somewhat educational as well.I will do recommend this book to every Mountianeer to read

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Norris Family Seattle, WA United States 02-27-15
    Norris Family Seattle, WA United States 02-27-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Gripping"
    Any additional comments?

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ricardo 02-19-15
    Ricardo 02-19-15
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    6
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    "Great book but not narrated by the author"

    This is a great book. A very intense and thought-provoking story that will appeal to anyone with an interest in mountaineering.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marcin Bagsik Gliwice 02-19-15
    Marcin Bagsik Gliwice 02-19-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Excellent reading"
    Would you listen to Into Thin Air again? Why?

    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.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    William San Rafael, CA, United States 02-03-15
    William San Rafael, CA, United States 02-03-15
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    "A great human experience but the details of the"

    Events were not always clearly conveyed. A second listen or a reading may be in order...I think I'll buy the book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    diane 02-01-15
    diane 02-01-15

    graphic & fine artist

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    "choppy - disorganized -- unlike Krakauer's style"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kenneth 02-01-15
    Kenneth 02-01-15 Member Since 2014
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    "I couldn't sleep!"

    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!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jamie 01-22-15
    Jamie 01-22-15
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    3
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    "Must read for all aspiring to be mountaineers"

    Raw uncensored account of the '96 Everest disaster. Page turner.

    So good I've read it twice now. Highly recommend this one.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Scott B 01-21-15
    Scott B 01-21-15 Member Since 2014
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    5
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    "Good Story, Bad Accents"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Todd Duluth, MN, United States 10-08-14
    Todd Duluth, MN, United States 10-08-14
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    "Pushing the limits of human capabilities"
    What does Jon Krakauer bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    He brings a personal accounting of the events. The story would have been somewhat less extreme with an uninvolved person narrating.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Hearing the quotes from Rob Hall as he radioed from near the summit outlined the gravity of the situation.


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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