• Alive

  • The Story of the Andes Survivors
  • By: Piers Paul Read
  • Narrated by: Paul Ansdell
  • Length: 11 hrs and 11 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (563 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

On October 12, 1972, a plane carrying a team of young rugby players crashed into the remote, snow-peaked Andes. Out of the 45 original passengers and crew, only 16 made it off the mountain alive. For 10 excruciating weeks, they suffered deprivations beyond imagining, confronting nature head-on at its most furious and inhospitable. And to survive, these men and women not only had to keep their faith; they had to make an impossible decision: Should they eat the flesh of their dead friends?

A remarkable story of endurance and determination, Alive is the dramatic best-selling account of one of the most harrowing quests for survival in modern times.

©2002 Piers Paul Read (P)2017 Dreamscape Media, LLC

What listeners say about Alive

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Overall Great Read

Overall, I highly recommend this book! The only criticism I have is that they should’ve chosen a Spanish-speaking narrator. The narrator is a British man with a nice voice, but it’s just a little strange to hear him mispronounce Spanish words. Since the story is about Spanish-speaking people, it would’ve been nice to have a narrator that could comfortable say the names of the people and places in the book.

14 people found this helpful

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Great book

I've loved this book for years. For the most part, the reader was fantastic. But I do believe Juan & Jose are pronounced with what's called a soft j, not as in jog... But like I said great other than that

6 people found this helpful

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Amazing story! I was caught up the entire time!

I absolutely loved this book. The narrator was phenomenal, and the story was extremely well-written. I never got distracted and wanted to keep listening. It's wild that this is a true story, it sounds like a Hollywood blockbuster! I'm anxious to watch the film. Please read!

6 people found this helpful

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Gross but interesting

If you are super interested in this story, this is a great book for it. Be prepared to listen to a lot of minute descriptions of cannibalism.

5 people found this helpful

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excellent story of survival

Long in detail but excellent story of survival in a hostile environment. The will to live is strong enough to survive extreme hardship

4 people found this helpful

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Long Drives Made Better

It is a beautifully written tale of a miraculous feat!
This book was recommended to me by someone when I was talking about true crime and the deaths on Mount Everest. I started listening the next day during my commute and I suddenly started looking forward to car rides.

There is great detail on what happened, the men's experiences and struggles both mentally and physically, and they went about surviving.

I would not recommend to those who can't handle slightly morbid topics involving death, wounds, etc.

4 people found this helpful

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Amazing!!!

I could not stop listening. It was so interesting! The author made a great job of describing clearly all the incidents. The narrator was also great.

3 people found this helpful

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Courage and determination

Loved this story, so tragic but so beautiful in its courage, determination and truth. Could I have so brave?

7 people found this helpful

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So detailed, it seemed more like a novel

This was certainly an interesting story about an actual 1970s plane crash in the Andes. Following an introduction to the reason and background of the flight and its passengers, it becomes a very detailed description of the disaster, the struggle of the survivors of the crash to stay alive, and the efforts of family and officials to find the plane and any survivors.

The book feels like a nearly moment by moment account of events. There's no indication of where all the source material comes from, but there is so much time spent on excruciating, and intimate detail that I started to wonder how much of the story was true, and how much was created or surmised to fill in blanks - or pages.

There are quotes throughout the book of intimate thoughts of the protagonists, some never even spoken aloud. We know they didn't write them down at the time, because their predicament included being stranded without anything to write with, or on.

The story is enthralling, and can stand on its own. It does a good job of describing the tremendous challenges and tribulations faced by the stranded group. But the level of minute details -of individual thoughts and exchanges - just made we start to wonder how much of the story reflected the actual events.

2 people found this helpful

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Amazing!

Definitely not for the faint of heart, some parts were hard to listen to, but it was enthralling. I couldn't stop listening to it! To hear what those people had to do to survive was heartbreaking, fascinating, and awe-inspiring. Their story is truly a miracle!

2 people found this helpful

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  • BenGee333
  • 10-17-19

couldn’t finish listening to, returned title...

an utterly unfortunate choice of reader for a book describing a catastrophic event as profound as those events described i find it utterly incomprehensible as to why the producers of this book chose a plummy london geezer (think Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall [a celebrity chef {who i LOVE by the way} talking about food etc but wouldn’t be my first choice for a book of this kind]) to narrate this title

giving an completely incongruous ‘children’s storybook’ reading of a subject that is anything but

a book with Spanish and Latin American peoples and place names read by someone who so obviously and painfully struggles with both

tone and intonation of voice being critically important and highlighting the the importance of casting for book readings conveying profound and difficult

the message of the book with empathy, understanding and deep (any) insight as to the pain and struggle of those being described

i have no doubt that this title is an important one, so much so that i cannot do it the disservice of listening to this version

i will simply have to look and wait for and until another more sensitively approached version is released.

i can’t read this book so i am grateful to all involved in its making

and i have never stopped listening to a book before, however much i didn’t enjoy the narration, this is an unhappy first and i do so out of respect for the subject and the pain and struggle of those being described.

please ignore the star ratings, they are meaningless for this review

i simply don’t feel able to give any

this review is 100% regarding performance, at this point, i am saying nothing about any other aspect, how can i I wasn’t able to finish

6 people found this helpful

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  • Pootle_around
  • 02-03-21

Incredible story

This is a great book! I found myself listening to it at 2am in the morning, unable to switch off. I was born way after the event so I only knew snippets of what had happened, so it was a shame that the preface gives the ending away. Other than that, a really enjoyable read. Well worth the credit.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 08-12-20

Enjoyed the story but...

I've already read the book and was interested to listen to the audio version.

Unfortunately I felt the choice of reader was poor - although clear, the reading was far too lighthearted and jovial sounding

2 people found this helpful

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  • FrancisR
  • 04-12-19

Astonishing story

Grim retelling of the Adean air crash in the '70s. Interesting to hear the actions of the parents and the useless military.
The question is... Would you?

2 people found this helpful

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  • Gwynfor de la Cruz
  • 09-23-18

One of the best books I've ever read

Incredible story, I couldn't stop listening. The narrator was actually very good on the whole, but, as others have pointed out, his pronunciation of Spanish names and places was awful. Still, it doesn't really detract from the experience and he makes up for it with otherwise good narration.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Martin
  • 06-13-21

Mental story..

The story here is absolutely crazy.. would recommend for that alone.
A tragic accident in the first place but then pile on top of that everything else they had to endure.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Jon234
  • 07-11-20

Why tell us how it ends at the beginning?

Very interesting story and clear narration however, it was a shame they told you how it ended at the start of the book. I’m not sure why they did that as you already knew how many survived and how they were rescued which did ruin the anticipation aspect of the story a bit.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 08-17-22

Excellent (including the narration!)

I genuinely cannot understand why some reviewers have had such a negative reaction to the narrator of this audiobook - he seems to me to have got it just right - lively and with some emotion, but at the same time not over-doing the emotion i.e. reading with some feeling and energy but at the same time allowing the reader space for their own subjective reaction to the content. There is nothing worse than an over-interpretive narrator whose emotional reaction and consequent expression clashes with one’s own. And yes, it might be a bit irksome that his Spanish pronunciation isn’t spot on (especially if you have had a few lessons yourself in order to converse with the locals about their culture…) but, again, I really cannot understand why that would be quite as irritating as it apparently was to some…. So, overall, having read (listened to) several books on this Andes plane crash, I would say this one is the most comprehensive in terms of detail and background information. And very well narrated too.

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  • Shane canning
  • 12-16-21

truly amazing story

amazing story some great people here brave and strong willing to stay alive amazing

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  • Chlobe Bear
  • 10-20-21

Tears

A moving and inspirational story. The book started pretty lackluster but just got better and better. The final chapters had me in tears.

Performance was excellent.

I have read a selection of survival tales and this one is one of the best.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 02-07-22

If I die, you Survive, don't starve, eat me.

Narration was great. Sad though it was taken from a real event. the Courage they all faced in extreme conditions, is Inspiring. I ask myself, would I have had the Courage to do the same and I answer, YES. My survival instinct is food my Souls survival. I hope they are all

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  • Anonymous User
  • 01-31-22

a terrific story

incredible story of survival, the movie doesn't do this book justice. worth the read

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 03-18-20

Incredible, harrowing story of survival

Amazing and terrifying this actually happened not so long ago. The hardships and heroism displayed during this tragedy is so inspiring and haunting.

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  • Arausio
  • 09-28-18

Insight into the Human psyche

I enjoyed this book more the insights into the human psyche rather than the amazing feat of survival.

It’s difficult to imagine the hardship the passengers went through by listening to the book in the comfort of your home ... try going without the simplest of life’s comforts - no coffee this week - no newspaper - no TV - now imagine that in a rarefied atmosphere, cold so cold ... and the constant threat of avalanche.

How would your psyche hold out?