©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)
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.
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.
Biomedical entrepreneur. Lifelong Libertarian. Yoga enthusiast.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!!!
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.
Thoreau's 'Walden' and Ayn Rand's 25th anniversary introduction to 'The Fountainhead' summarize my library well.
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.
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