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Into Thin Air Audiobook

Into Thin Air

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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

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Performance
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  •  
    Sara Taylor 11-02-15
    Sara Taylor 11-02-15 Member Since 2016
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    "Gripping story, excellent narration."

    Fantastic, gripping book. Took me a little while to get into it, but once I did I couldn't stop listening. Jon Krakauer is an exceptional writer. His narrative here is moving and personal. Highly recommended.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Media J. Aguiar Seattle, WA United States 10-25-15
    Media J. Aguiar Seattle, WA United States 10-25-15 Member Since 2013

    DMB Fan

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    "Riveting"

    I had previously read the book and had also watched the movie, yet this still kept my rapt attention. The narrator was good, I felt like I was listening to Krakauer himself telling the story. Will probably loop around and listen to this one again in the future.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J FewTrayl 10-10-15
    J FewTrayl 10-10-15
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    "Great running book"

    I listened to this while running and it is one of those stories that urges you to take another step. An inspiring and intriguing story that takes you through the struggle to survive and the heartache of everything you can do just not being enough.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    T$ 10-10-15
    T$ 10-10-15 Member Since 2014
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    4
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    "Great story"

    This is a sad, but amazing story. Reading this book did nothing, however, to answer my question, "Why do people do this?" The reader did not do justice to the book by reading in simulated Australian and New Zealander accents (and South African). It was distracting. The story did need to be told, and it was told well.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    James A. Long Fabius, NY 10-09-15
    James A. Long Fabius, NY 10-09-15 Member Since 2014
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    "Intense, and interesting."
    What made the experience of listening to Into Thin Air the most enjoyable?

    Krakauer isn't shy about telling his perspective of what happened. He should know, he was there. It's a story of a tragedy, so "enjoyable" might be a strong word, but the writer really does a great job of bringing you into the allure of climbing Everest (which is not necessary something that everyone understands right off the bat), and then sort of beating everyone back down to daring to dream the dream.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I liked that it was personal, it was reflective. I appreciated how the writer was willing to take some responsibility for what happened. In fact, I kind of felt like he was being a bit hard on himself considering his role. It sounds like everyone did the best they could under the conditions, and the conditions were simply unforgiving.


    What does Philip Franklin bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    The reader was very good. He gave each character an accent appropriate to their homeland, and it came across subtly and gently enough that it wasn't hokey. His accents were pretty amazing actually, he really seemed to get the nuances in each one.


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

    I don't really feel bad for the people who die climbing Everest, it's kind of what they signed up for. I was, however, very much moved for the people who lost loved ones up there. The wives and children most certaintly did not sign up for that.


    Any additional comments?

    Good book. Interesting tone. It's written in an almost angry look in the mirror style. I think it tries to be honest, but really I think the book deserves an updated edition with the benefit of Krakauer having 10 years to think through the disaster. This is a book from the 90's, and I wonder how differently he might feel about it now.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Annette G 10-07-15
    Annette G 10-07-15
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    "Touching, moving, inspirational and honest."

    One of the best non fiction books I have ever read. I couldn't stop thinking about it when I wasn't able to read it (how would I have coped, how the climbers were feeling etc). Highly recommend.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Shayne Fisher Orem, UT 10-07-15
    Shayne Fisher Orem, UT 10-07-15 Member Since 2016

    Finding balance

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    "A fair and brutal account"

    I (having not been there, nor having read others accounts) feel that Krakauer's account is mostly fair. He sticks mostly to fact, or as close as he can get from others accounts of the situation. one can say a writer and reporters job is to be completely impartial and not make judgement, and I think he does a good job of it here considering the harrowing experience.

    I find his method of story telling, the unfolding of events, structure, and history all very well done. This is the second time listening to this book. I wanted to listen again after the event film Everest came out. I think this is the better of the two, but still a heartbreaking story.

    Philip Franklin is an awesome narrator.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Paul ST BONIFACIUS, MN, United States 10-06-15
    Paul ST BONIFACIUS, MN, United States 10-06-15 Member Since 2011
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    "One of my favorites"

    This story has always invoke the adventure side of me, not to climb the actual Everest but to take that next step into thin air of faith and uncertainty. I even quoted part in a resignation letter once. I enjoyed the narrator and it is one my repeat list every 12-15 months.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    emagz90 10-04-15
    emagz90 10-04-15
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    "A must read for all climbers"

    Very well read, each character is brought to life by the narrator and is easy to listen to.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    timtam 10-02-15
    timtam 10-02-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Mezmerizing"
    Have you listened to any of Philip Franklin’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    A brief comment on Philip's reading of this book. I'm not clear the South African accent was spot on, but he is one of the most talented readers I've heard. He had to attempt a number of accents and switch back and forth between them. His reading was not a distraction but a definite enhancement to this story.


    Any additional comments?

    Into Thin Air is easily one of the most compelling audiobooks I've listened to thus far. Krakauer's writing is both detailed, nuanced and full of humanizing details... His inclusion of his multiple interviews with climbers after this tragic event deeply colors and fills out the story line. Descriptions of the scenery on the way to the summit are exquisite and are probably the closest I'll ever get to being there myself. In addition to the story line Krakauer discusses motivations and even archetypes of high altitude mountaineers; their courage, strength, warmth, sometimes lack of warmth, lack of care, single-mindedness, goal-seeking, and ultimately humanity of this group of athletes. Finally, Krakauer shares best he can the history of extreme mountaineers as well as the lives of Nepalese/Sherpa community that co-exist with this avid group of adventurers.In all this story was thrilling, horrifying and deeply touching.

    I appreciate the sensitivity and attempt to present a well-rounded account of events as they occurred on May 10th, 1996. I rarely see an author lay out his own challenges, successes, and deep regrets so clearly.

    Amazing account, amazing writing. I finished this in 3 days.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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