Alone on the Wall (Expanded Edition)

Narrated by: Andrew Eiden, Will Damron
Length: 8 hrs and 46 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (259 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Includes two new chapters on Alex Honnold's free solo ascent of the iconic 3,000-foot El Capitan in Yosemite National Park

On June 3rd, 2017, Alex Honnold became the first person to free solo Yosemite's El Capitan - to scale the wall without rope, a partner, or any protective gear - completing what was described as "the greatest feat of pure rock climbing in the history of the sport" (National Geographic) and "one of the great athletic feats of any kind, ever" (New York Times). Already one of the most famous adventure athletes in the world, Honnold has now been hailed as "the greatest climber of all time" (Vertical magazine).

Alone on the Wall recounts the most astonishing achievements of Honnold's extraordinary life and career, brimming with lessons on living fearlessly, taking risks, and maintaining focus even in the face of extreme danger. Now Honnold tells, for the first time and in his own words, the story of his three hours and 56 minutes on the sheer face of El Cap, which Outside called "the moon landing of free soloing.... A generation-defining climb. Bad ass and beyond words.... One of the pinnacle sporting moments of all time."

©2018 Alex Honnold (P)2019 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What listeners say about Alone on the Wall (Expanded Edition)

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Surprisingly Slow Read

What could have been an exhilarating journey, was a surprisingly bum read with way too much filler. This could be a fun read at three chapters long. Disappointing.

A damn boring read.

2 people found this helpful

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Last few chapters were great

I enjoyed this book, but it was a little confusing with different narrators. I saw the movie Free Solo and this book doesn't bring anything new although it gave a more in depth view of the mind of Alex. All in all a nice book.

1 person found this helpful

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Great insight of adventure climber Alex Honnold’s mindset

The book does a nice job of detailing Alex’s unorthodox rise to a climbing phenom. I also like how the story is told at times from Alex. He has an interesting perspective. The free solo on El Cap is exciting. You don’t need to be into climbing to learn from this read.

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Yep, made my hands sweat

Well done, smart, detailed, stoke inspiring with climbing history intertwined. Def suggesting to climbing buds

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Technical

Enjoyed the book though really too technical for a non-climber like me. Took several chapters before I decided if I even wanted to finish it. Very intricate details about every climb but fascinating nonetheless. Hugely impressive athleticism and accomplishments! Enjoyed the personal and travel sections and I felt the narration was helpful.

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A singularly amazing human being

In his long quest to climb El Capitan, Alex Honnold showed greater integrity than I have ever seen, and I've really tried to think of some comparable instance. There just isn't one anywhere in my memory, and I've been seeking out examples of integrity for more than 50 years.

What I mean by integrity is a combination of ruthless self-examination in order to define one's values, refusal to compromise on those values, endless self-estimation of strengths and weaknesses, and relentless striving toward self-improvement. Alex can reel off examples of climbers who are superior to him in specific physical traits of an elite climber, but what makes him the greatest climber of his generation is his character. The important statistic of his many ascents isn't their height, or the difficulty of their pitches. It's the years he spent becoming the one person who could climb El Capitan. Expanding his comfort zone, as he says. Great comfort always takes correspondingly great self-discipline.

I have my own wall to climb, in my case autoimmune autonomic neuropathy, which I do not suggest looking up unless you really love research for its own sake. My goal is joy, my discipline is meticulous and unending self-care and refusal to engage in meaningless activity. My success is every enjoyable day of my life. I get there more often than not. I like my life , and in order to keep liking it I can't afford compromise. If I allow myself to settle for less, if I turn away from a painful truth, I'll probably die a sad and horribly painful death for no good reason. As it is, the disease might kill me, or something else might kill me first. It really doesn't matter. What matters are the days of my life. I am in constant pain from a dozen sources, I've been unable to walk for years, and I'm one of the happiest people I know.

Safety is a falsehood invented and maintained by human beings who cannot tolerate fear. No one is ever safe. Joy, on the other hand, is very real, and it waits on the other side of fear for those who reach for it.

In addition to this book, I collect every piece of film about Alex Honnold that I can find, and when the disease doesn't allow me to think and the going begins to seem intolerable, I look to him for reminders of what it takes to achieve integrity: the willingness to perform every single one of an infinity of necessary tasks and the courage to have a damned good time doing it. If I'm having trouble falling asleep because my pain level is too high or because my autonomic nervous system just doesn't flip the sleep switch or both, I sometimes listen to this audiobook and breathe until I achieve, if not sleep, at least a pleasurable relaxation. (It took me years to learn to do that and I'm still improving. Recently I'm beginning to have some control over inflammation, believe it or not. I'm so proud of myself it's embarrassing.) I spend the long hours listening to Alex describing the details of his journey in chapter after chapter. He wasn't only getting better at climbing, he was getting better at living. I wish I knew more of what he was thinking all those years. Managing this insanely complex illness of mine is not so different from what he did to become the person who could free solo El Capitan, who can love his Sannie and will very likely spend the rest of his life with a depth of fulfillment that most of us can't imagine. I need his example sometimes. I wish there was a way I could thank him. He's helped me to give myself the gift of life.

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Great motivational

loved it, super motivational. i really liked the format as well as the reading. 5 stars

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Inspiring story!

This book is worth your time. The last two chapters alone would be worth it. Great to learn about all the details of the great free solo of el cap that you didn’t see in the film. From peeing on the ledge and taking poos at the Yosemite lodge to the scary parts of the freeblast slabs and infamous boulder problem - its all gold!

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Amazing!

This story is worth listening to for the ages! A person pushing himself to the absolute limits!!

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Could have been better

Some parts of the book really flowed, especially about 50% of the way through where the author talks about Alex’ life, goals, and relationships. Some of it is just too detailed and I’ve been a climber all my life and read dozens of mountaineering books. I guess the author is trying to appeal to the widest possible audience for such a momentous feat by Alex —. who deserves the Congressional medal of achievement or some justified level of recognition. Also I have to say I didn’t like the narration; a bit like Keanu reading Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventur in parts: ‘doooood!’

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 08-07-20

great book read well.

always nervous of autobiography books not read by who there about/written by. this one's great, the reader become the voice.

great story and added allot to those who have seen the docs.

I liked

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  • Lance Johnson
  • 04-04-20

A daredevil's survival guide

Meet Alex.

He is not like you and me. Or even most climbers.

He is an intense wall climber often climbing cliffs thousands of feet high without a rope. He may only be stuck to a wall by just the tip of his fingers, and the margin of error is very low, such that if he slips - he is going to fall and meet his maker.

Why should you be nervous?

Because many experienced good climbers die from time to time. Most of us if just for a moment were in Alex position for even a moment on a cliff- we would be freaking out.

Now before I begin - I would like to add that what Alex does requires for you to have a few screws loose - mentally. The part which deals with fear in his brain is not working properly, and it takes a lot more than the average person to activate. I think this may be inherited from his weird parents. His dad (he has passed away) was said to have a form of Asperger(which Alex may also have), but that what was said by his ex-wife.

According to the documentary "Free Solo" love was not openly expressed in the house, who knows this could be made up for the purpose of making the documentary more interesting.

The book deals with his stories of how he became a climber and how he started to take up Free Soloing(climbing without a rope). What's important to note is Alex no fool - whenever he undertakes a task to free solo - he will spend many months learning and getting used to the wall (while using a rope) to become familiar - such that when he actually free solos he is walking through a routine that he has climbed with a rope and never fell off. So he just does the same and follows the steps. He abandoned a free solo of el-Capitain when his instincts told him, and he listened.

This book teaches you about the intense sport of climbing and what it takes. As I said Alex needs a lot to activate the part of his brain to experience fear and possibly also pleasure. It is for this reason that I believe he does this.

This is a great book to listen to and gives you insight into the way these mountain climbers think.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 03-22-20

MIND-BLOWING! TO THE MAX AND PADDY.

Edge of the seat all the way AMAZING! Alex Honnold is a living Legend WOWCHA

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  • RonanFromEire
  • 12-31-19

Great book

Being a Honnold fan I was always going to enjoy this book....but I got even more than expected. Really great insight into the guy and his climbing. highly recommend.

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  • charlie
  • 11-04-19

Great storytelling

Whilst the plot is not that elaborate it is absolutely gripping. Probably enjoyed more by by those with a basic climbing knowledge but you don’t have to be an expert to appreciate Alex’s super human abilities.

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  • Jake G
  • 07-12-19

Boring

Feels like half the dialogue is just the number ratings of every pitch ever climbed “5.14” “5.10a” blah blah. Film is good, book is boring

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  • Anonymous User
  • 02-05-20

incredibl guy

Would have loved for him to read this himself, nevertheless it was still a great book.

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  • Na1W31r
  • 08-21-19

Boring

Was expecting much more. Story tellers nearly put me to sleep while driving so that says enough. Just focus on the amazing film Alex was involved in.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 08-20-19

a humble review

Ales's account of free soloing el cap and many different routes is grounded and surprisingly humble

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  • Andrew
  • 08-02-19

Wonderful insight

What a fantastic and motivating story. Enjoyable account of an exciting life. Definitely one of my new favourites!