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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

Overall

  • 4.4 out of 5.0
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Performance

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Story

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  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

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 7 people found this review helpful

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  • 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 6 people found this review helpful

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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.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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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

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Not Reaching Great Heights

Is there anything you would change about this book?

I am a big fan of Alex Honnold - both for his climbing and for his social action. I truly wanted to like this audio book. I definitely should have simply bought the book itself and forgone the audio version. I would've had Alex Honnold read his portion of the book. He is very well known and has a very recognizable voice. The person who read in his place was simply adequate. There were some mispronunciations, and every time he spoke, it reminded me that Alex Honnold was not reading the book.

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

Eiger Dreams, The Tower, Into Thin Air...

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Andrew Eiden and Will Damron ?

I would've cast Alex Honnold to read Alex Honnold. It was truly distracting to listen to someone else who was obviously not him.

Did Alone on the Wall inspire you to do anything?

Yes - check who is narrating more closely in the future.

Any additional comments?

The book is likely quite good. The readers were also good. But not having Alex read his portions was a mistake by the producers.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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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

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  • Paul
  • HaworthUnited Kingdom
  • 12-01-17

As a climber I really liked it

Great recounting of incredible climbing adventures. A truly amazing individual. I climbed Half Dome using ropes and it took 2 days and was hard enough. I could not ever imagine anyone ever free soloing it so to hear the story in Alex's own words is brilliant.

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Amazing story about an out of this world athlete.

This is a great book about Alex, a complete alien-like figure, always doing things beyond comprehension. This book is incredible and doesn't include is greatest achievement to date, his free-solo of Free Rider route on El Capitan. AMAZING!

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OK, but a lot of mispronunciations.

The book is good, if a bit redundant to popular climbing films. The readers, however, mispronounce a number of climbing terms: Salathe, Tuolumne, to name a few, and the iconic Dawn Wall is once called the "Down Wall". They strangely get climbing ratings wrong too, calling 5.11 "five point one one", but only sometimes--other times they get it right. This sloppiness makes for a somewhat frustrating listening experience for an experienced rock climber.

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  • Dan
  • Lynchburg, Vatican City State (Holy See)
  • 07-10-17

Great book, poor performance

Very odd performance - the reader mispronounces common names and words, such as Tuolomne, Salathe, and "5.11"