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Publisher's Summary

Only a few years ago, Alex Honnold was little known beyond a small circle of hardcore climbers. Today, at the age of 30, he is probably the most famous adventure athlete in the world. In that short time, he has proven his expertise in many styles of climbing and has shattered speed records, pioneered routes, and won awards within each discipline. More spectacularly still, he has pushed the most extreme and dangerous form of climbing far beyond the limits of what anyone thought was possible.

Free soloing, Honnold's specialty, is a type of climbing performed without a rope, a partner, or hardware - such as pitons, nuts, or cams - for aid or protection. The results of climbing this way are breathtaking, but the stakes are ultimate: If you fall, you die.

In Alone on the Wall, Honnold recounts the seven most astonishing climbing achievements so far in his still-evolving career. He narrates the drama of each climb along with reflective passages that illuminate the inner workings of his highly perceptive and discerning mind. We share in the jitters and excitements he feels waking in his van (where he lives full time) before a climb; we see him self-criticize in his climbing journal (a veritable Bible for students of the sport); and we learn his secrets to managing fear. Veteran climber and award-winning author David Roberts writes part of each chapter in his own voice, and he calls on other climbers and the sport's storied past to put Alex's tremendous accomplishments in perspective.

Whenever Honnold speaks in public, he is asked the same two questions: "Aren't you afraid you're going to die?" and "why do you do this?" Alone on the Wall takes us around the world and through the highs and lows in the life of a climbing superstar to answer those fascinating questions.

©2016 Alex Honnold and David Roberts (P)2015 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Performance

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Story

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Sort by:
  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

love climbing and Alex honnold, dislike this book

narrator makes this book very hard to listen to, he comes across as very arrogant and he mispronounces many climbing words. The book reads like a tick list, I did this then this. I was hoping for more insight into the thoughts fears and desires behind honnold's climbing career, or at least an interesting read like steph davis' books. Hope his next book is more thoughtfully laid out as he is an amazing person with an amazing story to tell.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great story, narrated by non-climber

This is a great book. Whether you are a climber or not, there is a story to enjoy for everyone. As a climber, I would have enjoyed it more if the narrator had some climbing knowledge. Listening to him mispronounce Chris Sharma's name and not understanding what 5.11 referred to was a bit peeving.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • W
  • San Diego, CA USA
  • 01-16-16

The Emphaaasys is on the wrong sylaaable.

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes, it's all about Honnold, which is an interesting subject. An interesting slice of the climbing pie.

What other book might you compare Alone on the Wall to and why?

I am not sure. Maybe Kiss or Kill. Or that book about Lance Armstrong. If you like climbing books and can handle some serious mispronounciation, then this book is for you

Would you be willing to try another one of Andrew Eiden and Will Damron ’s performances?

I am not an orthoepist, but some names of places and important people are mispronounced and it hurts my ears. I can understandthat some of it's just wacky climber lingo, but it's almost like he is mispronouncing the words on purpose. Why would someone do that?

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I really enjoyed it. I didn't laugh or cry, but I liked it.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Mispronunciation buzz kill

It's too bad Tuolumne and Tallac's pronunciation was not made a priority.

Otherwise mostly enjoyable

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Poor performance

The reader obviously doesn’t know climbing and didn’t do his homework. He makes Alex sound like a surfer from California and pronounced so many names of people and climbing routes wrong. It’s the Dawn Wall, not the Down Wall! I was annoyed at the reading the whole time. Alex’s book is very good however. The reading just distracts from that.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

many pronuciation errors!

way too many errors for an audiobook. wasn't it checked by someone who knows climbing?

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • B. Smith
  • HUNTINGTON, WV, United States
  • 06-07-17

inspired and inspiring

Few if any will actually known what his life acomplishments mean. In a way that could be said for many people, but this book brings Alex Honnold to an accessible front. take what you will from it, for me it's a good listen. At times both hand wringing and inspiring, his simple drive to excell, joy in the process and honest reflection kept me listening.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Interesting book, gripping look at Honnold

Get ready to grit your teeth as the narrator mispronounces climbing term after climbing term. Move past that and it's a fun listen.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Ok, 29 might be too young for an autobiography

Big fan of Honnold as a climber, but a lot of this book is play-by-plays of climbing videos of his you can find on YouTube, which was disappointing. The guys reading this mispronounce a lot of famous climbers’ (Bachar, Salathé, and Kauk), which was mildly irritating since these guys are legends. It would be like listening to a book about The Rolling Stones where the narrator kept calling Mick Jagger, Mick “Yagger” and Keith Richards, Keith “Risshard”

I also recently finished another autobiography written by a world class rock climber, Tommy Caldwell’s book, “the Push,” and I thought it had more insight, and perspective on life than this book. To be fair, Tommy’s older the Honnold and has had some pretty wild ups and downs in his life. Maybe no matter how accomplished a person is in their field, 29 is still a little early to write your autobiography. “Alone on the wall” is Definitely worth listening too if you’re a fan of Honnold’s or are a climber, but I’d recommend The Push over this one to a non-climber for sure, as this is a little more “inside baseball,” and focuses a lot on specific climbs that Honnold has done. Tommy’s book also talks a lot about climbing, but the narrative thrust of the book is driven by 1) the human relationships that play a key part of Caldwell’s book, like those with his father, with Kevin Jorgeson (his climbing partner on the dawn wall) and with his first wife, and 2) dramatic circumstances that shaped his life including accidentally chopping off a finger, and the aftermath of being kidnapped in Kyrgyzstan.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Self-gratifying bragging + arrogant narration

Some of the stories in this book were genuinely thrilling, but I had a hard time getting past the fact that this book felt like a checklist of bragging items. Honnold would brag about this or that, move onto the next one, brag about that, then repeat. Him continually brushing off huge climbs and making condescending comments in the middle of climbs when his partners were clearly struggling really rubbed me the wrong way. He'd be talking about how X or Y climb was extremely difficult for everyone, "everyone except me" and that this incredibly difficult climb was "no big deal." It really left a negative impression on me and made Alex sound like someone with an over-inflated ego and just an A-hole in general, someone who you cant help but feel is in for a rude awakening. The narrator further exacerbates this by talking like a climbing bro, making Honnold's writing voice sound especially cocky and pretentious.

This book could have been a lot better, but overall I was able to enjoy it enough to warrant the purchase. The reason I gave it three stars overall is that I still found a few moments in the book that had my palms sweating and filled me with a genuine sense of thrill. If you can get past the shortcomings of this book there are a few gems of remarkable stories and feats that are worth your time.