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Into Thin Air Audiobook
Into Thin Air
Written by: 
Jon Krakauer
Narrated by: 
Philip Franklin
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

4.5 (4441 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Marnie F. Biando Denver, CO 09-20-05
    Marnie F. Biando Denver, CO 09-20-05 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Riveting"

    The fact that the author is reading his own book was definitely a bonus. Despite not having access to the map of Everest, I was sucked into this book and enjoyed every minute of it.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Indygreg Indianapolis, IN 11-01-04
    Indygreg Indianapolis, IN 11-01-04 Member Since 2016

    IndyGreg

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A must listen if there is one"

    In my years of audible.com use (back to 98) I have to say this is the book I recommend to friends the most. It is just a must read/listen. It grips you and holds you and sticks with you for years. This is the only audio book I re-listen to - almost on a yearly basis. It is a story of triumph and loss. It turned me into an Everest buff.
    Get this book. You will love it. You will learn from it.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Richard 07-01-04
    Richard 07-01-04

    Biomedical entrepreneur. Lifelong Libertarian. Yoga enthusiast.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    104
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    "Wow!"

    For us couch potatoes who drive to the corner grocery store, this book shows you how far some people will take themselves "just because it's there". Excellent all around: prose, plot, narrative, reader.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Donald Milford, CA, USA 09-13-03
    Donald Milford, CA, USA 09-13-03
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Clear, Honest, Gripping, Fair"

    This is the first Everest Saga that I have read. It has left me wanting to find more to read and listen to. When I had finished I was sure that I had heard an honest description of what had happened. It is interesting to follow the stories of others who were mentioned, try to change what happened to releive themselves of any feelings of responsibility.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Christopher San Anselmo, CA, USA 08-20-03
    Christopher San Anselmo, CA, USA 08-20-03
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "best"

    Many of the books I have listened to so far have kept my interest, but none so far match the intensity of this book. At times, I sat in my driveway with the car running waiting for the chapter to finish... You will not be disappointed.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Laura 01-09-10
    Laura 01-09-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great adventure--poor narration"

    I loved Krakauer's account of his Everest climb, however his choice to narrate his own book falls flat, the performance is boring and delivered in a monotone. It spoiled the audio version for me.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Elizabeth Houston, TX, USA 07-08-05
    Elizabeth Houston, TX, USA 07-08-05
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Drive around the block"

    This was the first book I ever listened to on tape, that didn't have a ding to tell me to turn the pages. It took some time to get into the rythym of the author reading the book, but we found ourselves driving around the block to get to the end of chapters. It is a compelling story.

    6 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jeffrey E. 02-06-16
    Jeffrey E. 02-06-16
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    "Audio version RUINED with new narrator!"

    This is easily one of my favorite books of all time - especially the audio version. Originally, Mr. Krakauer narrated the book which made it even better because he was emotionally attached to the story since he lived it. His narration was masterful, to say the least. I had purchased this book a couple of years ago and had listened to it twice, but after seeing the movie Everest recently, I decided to listen to it again. Since I had recently purchased a new phone, I had to re-download the book and to my horror - there is a new narrator! While he does a fine job, it is no where near the caliber of Mr Krakauer's work. I was told this was the decision of the publisher. Thanks a lot guys, you have completely ruined the audio version of this book!!!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tom 10-18-15
    Tom 10-18-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Intriguing, well-written and a little annoying"

    I like JK's writing style and an certainly appreciate his honesty throughout. It is clear that he has a journalism background. Many of the climbers involved (Beidelman, Weathers, etc.) have suggested that JK's portrayal is "accurate."

    I was largely unfamiliar with the story until I saw "Everest" (2015). After the movie, I haven't been able to read enough about the tragedy and the people involved. It is a uniquely intriguing saga.

    While I loved the book, I find JK to be a fairly negative person who, intentionally or not, comes across as a tattle-tale. I can't place my finger on it but the guy just seems like a bit of a weasel. In fact, I found myself enjoying the letter from Scott Fischer's sister in which she lights him up pretty good.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rich 10-14-15
    Rich 10-14-15 Member Since 2014

    Thoreau's 'Walden' and Ayn Rand's 25th anniversary introduction to 'The Fountainhead' summarize my library well.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Detailed Tragedy; Leaves You Gasping for Air"

    I could not stop listening to Into Thin Air--a page-turner if there ever was one. Krakhauer's timing, attention to detail and first-person account of the 1996 Everest disaster will persist for the next 100 years--a modern-day, non-fiction classic. Franklin's no-frills narration was spot-on for a book like this.

    I am an active, adventure-oriented person: after reading ITA I have absolutely no desire to attempt Everest. I found the read to be emotionally upsetting, grieving not only for the loss of life, but for the pain suffered by all in May 1996 and for the next party who will invariably step into the same oxygen-deprived beartrap that these climbers did. I know the mindset: sweeping goals like summitting Everest are truly intoxicating. Krakauer's chosen epigraph is hauntingly perfect:

    "Men play at tragedy because they do not believe in the reality of the tragedy which is actually being staged in the civilized world." --Jose Ortega y Gasset

    Twenty years later, I hope that those who survived this ordeal have found their internal peace, though the past can never be undone. ITA must be the defining book of Krakhauer's career, though I am certain that he wishes he never had the reason to write it. That said: thank you Mr. Krakhauer for sharing your story.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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