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Into Thin Air

Narrated by: Philip Franklin
Length: 9 hrs and 8 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (55 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

One of the inspirations for the major motion picture Everest, starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Keira Knightley.

This is the true story of a 24-hour period on Everest when members of three separate expeditions were caught in a storm and faced a battle against hurricane-force winds, exposure, and the effects of altitude, which ended the worst single-season death toll in the peak's history.

In March 1996, Outside magazine sent veteran journalist and seasoned climber Jon Krakauer on an expedition led by celebrated Everest guide Rob Hall. Despite the expertise of Hall and the other leaders, by the end of summit day eight people were dead.

Krakauer's audiobook is at once the story of the ill-fated adventure and an analysis of the factors leading up to its tragic end. Written within months of the events it chronicles, Into Thin Air clearly evokes the majestic Everest landscape. As the journey up the mountain progresses, Krakauer puts it in context by recalling the triumphs and perils of other Everest trips throughout history. The author's own anguish over what happened on the mountain is palpable as he leads his listeners to ponder timeless questions.

©2011 Jon Krakauer (P)2016 Audible, Ltd

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Balanced

As an avid amateur mountaineer and writer, this book spoke to me on many levels. Perhaps it seems more intellectual to criticize, but I will avoid this pretentious practice.

Krakauer's account is rendered with a balance of awe, realism, adventure, reverence and sadness. While not as experienced as John myself, the technical and physical aspects of climbing were completely relatable to me as an amateur. The surrealism of losing a teammate on the mountain is so relatable that I was reduced to tears I was unable to shed previously.

Thank you for this John, and may you find the peace you seek.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Great book...

Loved it! i'm not a mountaineer but enjoyed the epic story! Great, Gripping, and life lessons to be learned.

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Great

It feels like as true an accounting of a tragedy, that anyone can give, having being in the middel and/or apart of it.

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Compelling and cautionary

Tragic story compellingly told. Use of accents by narrator was not great though, as someone very familiar with South African and New Zealand accents, it made for some awkward moments. Otherwise, a very good listen.

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An exceptional and personal account. Must read.

I started this book with a little bit of a reservation due to the controversy around it and the movie. Within in minutes I was quickly engrossed in the phenomenal story telling. Not much of a reviewer, but this book is a must read for anyone interested in Everest and the limits of human kind.

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very interesting and heart touching ...

Loved it ... feel sorry for Rob hall, Scott & I do agree with the author on Anatoli boukreev. Although he saved many lives at the end... he could've saved many others by climbing with oxygen as a guide... anyways he is one gem of a mountaineer. RIP Anatoli and finally Well done krakauer

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A gripping story told with honesty & understanding

A very powerful story of a tragedy on Everest which the author witnessed first hand. Difficult to put down. Very well written. Jon suffered from strong guilt after the event which although I understand was entirely unjustified. He could not have done more in his condition. When my late wife died she sent messages back to ask me to stop grieving as it was holding her back. Bodies die not people and the departed are very understanding and prefer us to get on with our lives and drop our guilt. I hope Jon has now done that - it would make the climbers on Everest who died happy.

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  • Michael
  • 04-22-16

Brilliant

Any additional comments?

I'm relatively new to audio books but this is definitely the best so far. Starts of with historical information about the mountain and the stories of other people that have been up to the top of Everest or attempted it, which is a nice build up to the events which happened in 1996.

Nearly listened to the whole thing in one sitting but got through it on the second attempt.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

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  • Mr. Dj Jenkins
  • 06-28-16

So gripping, so intense!

haunting, chilling, and utterly enthralling! could not stop listening, to hear the story through johns eyes was such an experience 10/10

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Steve S
  • 11-08-16

Exceeded expectations

Purchased this on a whim as it was in the sale. Wasn't expecting much, but I thoroughly enjoyed it and didn't want it to end. It's been a long time since I have said that about an audiobook!
The book is written in such a way that you almost feel like you are there with the climbers. You get drawn in to the unfolding disaster, as though you were part of it.
Note that it is not necessary to have any interest in climbing to enjoy this book. I certainly haven't, but I did! Enjoy

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 10-09-18

Good story, annoying narrator

While the book was interesting, the narrator did very bad accents for Brits, South Africans and New Zealanders which was quite grating.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Steph in Nottingham
  • 10-27-16

Needs editing

Really heartbreaking story. Well read but some lines are read twice, I wonder if this was originally cds converted to digital download. If so it needs the extra lines editing out. Overall I enjoyed it and I will probably listen to it again in a few years.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 05-16-16

couldn't stop listening

this is a well read interesting account of the events that took place on Everest. thoroughly enjoyed it

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • colin
  • 11-24-16

Powerful

An Intensely powerful and thought provoking recount of an incredible event. I Couldn't stop listening. Accents a little dodgy!!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Robert
  • 10-14-16

Real life adventure

Very interesting thought provoking a true story of goals and glory ,
Apart from a couple of editing errors ( you can't miss them , you can't miss them ) that's a clue, a sad but unavoidable story of the power of nature

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • richest4u
  • 09-04-16

Amazing

Fantastic story which works hard to make you understand the gravity of a decision to take on Everest and the risks involved. Entirely friendly to those not into climbing (as I'm not) and truly gripping at times. The recording is a bit janky however, with some sections repeating themselves.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • John McCluskey
  • 06-09-16

Epic Tale

Would you try another book written by Jon Krakauer or narrated by Philip Franklin?

Would definitely try another book by Jon, Into the wild was excellent as well. The narration I found pretty excruciating.

What did you like best about this story?

Close quarters account of what happened on that fateful summit attempt in 1996 from Jon's perspective. Its an opinion, and there are others but a piece of the jigsaw all the same. It was well written and we got a sense of being on the mountain, so well done. Climbers as a breed didn't come off very well as there seemed a lot of ego jostling, but I guess you need to be like that to climb the worlds highest mountain.

How could the performance have been better?

OMG, those cheesy accents, they were all over the place. I found the narration poor and it could have been edited better as there were a few double lines read. I hang in till the end though as the story was compelling.

Was Into Thin Air worth the listening time?

Absolutely. Wasn't too heavy and I was well informed.

7 of 9 people found this review helpful

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  • Tonya
  • 11-21-16

I feel like I have just climbed Everest!

I enjoyed the narration and historical detail. also loved the retrospective analysis of events. a great read!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 04-08-19

Riveting!

A hugely absorbing book! really enjoyed it. Terrible kiwi accent was funny but otherwise a great book

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Ryan
  • 12-03-18

Awesome book, very harrowing story - could improve

Only complaint was the accents were terrible, mainly the South African and New Zealand accents which sounded more like a botched Aussie accent than anything. Would have preferred no accents at all as it does distract from the story . Overall read very well and highly recommend this book !

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 04-12-18

Accents

The narrator should not try to replicate the accents of the characters. They were amateur and detracted from the impact.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Four legs good
  • 08-04-19

Fascinating and enthralling story

I thought it took too long to get into the story itself which may be more interesting to people interested in detail of climbing. However when the story got going it was fascinating. I am amazed that people put themselves through such a dangerous scenario and found it almost disturbing the risks people took. For anyone wanting to know what a Mt Everest climb might be like I don’t think you will be disappointed.

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  • Michael S
  • 07-23-19

Ripping Yarn

An impressive account told from within the very centre of a mountaineering disaster. Human achievement, frailty and folly laid bare in startling detail and with brutal candor. The story gives some insights into how people can become so driven and obsessed that even the actual threat of death can't moderate insane ambition. The narrator does a pretty decent job with the difficult task of mimicking Australian and New Zealand accents in the few places this makes sense. The story really gets you in and unfolds like the best mystery thrillers. Hard to stop listening and vividly told. A great read/listen.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 06-18-19

fantastic insight into psyche of climbers

Great recout of a harrowing factual event. accents should have been abandoned as they are quite offputting. otherwise, fantastic listen.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 05-28-19

Riveting story

Even though I have read the book it was so well narrated truly compelling, felt like you were there

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  • Anonymous User
  • 05-23-19

great book

great book, loved it, very interesting I was hooked could hardly turn it off listened every spare second I could

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  • Anonymous User
  • 01-16-19

An incredible yet harrowing tale

An amazing story, wonderfully written, of what it means to push oneself til there is nothing left.