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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 listeners say about Into Thin Air

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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 person found this helpful

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Great story. But that kiwi accent!

I thoroughly enjoyed Krakauer's account of the disaster.

The narrator was great until the kiwi/South African accent came out. I found it quite funny at first but by the end, it was rather grating. Maybe I’m too tough a critic being a kiwi myself 😂

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Thrilling, interesting, and we’ll written.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I read it directly after Ed Viesturs, no shortcuts to the top, which gave incredible perspective about the incredible risks the 96 expedition took. It also gives an understanding of how amazing inhuman Ed is. Both books should be read together in my opinion and they provide a great perspective on high altitude mountaineering, 1 amateur and 1 expert.

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Riveting

Jon Krakauer puts you right in the middle of this unbelievable trip up Everest. It’s graphic and gritty and he’s not shy to be self critical. I rate him as a properly talented writer. The story has left me wanting to look for images online and find the movie.

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Does not get more real

Grim at places but beautiful.
This real life story takes you as close to reality as possible.

The author speaks truly from deep inside.

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Sobering!

For those that are dreamers: May the truth guide you and poison you not to the perils that befell those that came before you, for through the desire to achieve you will invite your own perils and whether by force or through providence you either will or you won't end up where you intended. Whatever the outcome, so it should be for therein lies your lesson or your salvation. Interpret both with grace.

A sad story, expertly told.

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Into Thin Air

The subject matter of the book is riviting, and Jon Krakauer uses his excellent journalistic skills to draw the reader into the events. You will not only feel as if you were there to experience it, you will also be confronted by some of the very difficult moral choices people had to make.

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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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  • 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

21 people found this helpful

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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.

15 people found this 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.

8 people found this 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

8 people found this 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

6 people found this helpful

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  • jonàgilbertson
  • 03-06-19

Audio glitches abound

Great book with a decent performance, however, there are atleast 10 occasions throughout the book where the audio loops. This isn't a deal braker by any means but it does snap you out of the great sense of immersion that J . K creates throughout.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Mrs D
  • 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

4 people found this 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!!

3 people found this 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.

10 people found this helpful

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  • Jack
  • 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.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Vanessa N.
  • 11-08-20

ENOUGH with the haphazard switch into terrible accent

This is the first time I’ve experienced this with an audible and I don’t know who’s idea it was to have the narrator break into accents for every single character. I thought this was a reading not a voice reenactment! I’m wondering why the narrator didn’t effeminate his voice when reading a female characters speech or that of a child? Seems so random and inconsistent.

The real problem is that the accents are terrible! As an Australian person, to hear him butcher the Australian and Kiwi accents (especially of Hall) is painful to sit through. Also it is inconsistent (starts with accent, doesn’t finish the second sentence in the same quote with that accent even though it one speech by the same character), which is soo distracting.

I have to stop the audible to write this review as it is so distracting every time it comes on which is every few minutes.

3 people found this 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 !

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  • Harry
  • 04-12-18

Accents

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

2 people found this 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 people found this 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 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 07-21-21

I’ve been trying to find more like it ever since

This book was incredible! I listened in almost one sitting! After reading Jon Krakauers book ‘Into Thin Air’ I was captured by the beautiful style of writing. I was desperately on edge and captivated by this book!

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  • Suzanne
  • 07-19-21

Excellent book and reading

Really, really enjoyed this book. An exceptional re-telling of a very sad story. Actually now one of my all-time favourites despite being so sad and somber.

I found myself unable to switch it off...kept needing to hear what happened next.

Unlike others who have reviewed the book, the narrator's accents didn't bother me at all. It helped me differentiate between the various individuals as I was getting to know them.

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  • Jeckylberry
  • 05-23-21

The story carries the narrative

It is an incredible and horrifying inside story to which Jon Krakauer give us access. It is a story that remains in my thoughts and one whose facts and details I use as a measure against other accounts. His précis on his own actions as well as his considerations about the why’s and the heavy results of all the little are his rawest moments. Unlike his other works it is a regretful tale he tells.

The story carries the narrative. Krakauer infuses the tale with his sadness at the bitter outcome and at times I think it clouds the progression of the narrative. At times it is only a dull reflection of who did what. It loses timing and emphasis. It meanders back and forth. It’s a newspaper report until it isn’t. On a second listen through I was more informed. I’d also watched a few other things so I wasn’t using it as my sole factual reference of who’s who and timeline of events. Krakauer is straightforward with his details. You don’t get much waxing eloquent. In comparison the narratives of other explorers peppered through the book are deeply personal and they add more of a bookish feel to what is essentially an account. Having said that the narrative accurately demonstrates how removed he was from his teammates and they from each other, and all from the mountain; something he says pointedly and shows throughout. If you’re looking for deep connection the lack of any tells you a lot about the whole thing.

The performance by Philip Franklin who has read other Krakauer books was professional quality with good flow. The gentle accents helped to distinguish one character from another and give a sense of realistic multicultural difference to the reading.

So, overall, a bit awkward to follow and to connect with but understandable enough that it stews in your mind, and definitely essential reading. I’d say to get the best most powerful experience from this book, get informed on the basics first, then listen to how this story is told as much as what is said.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 05-01-21

Australian accents so distracting

I love this story but if a narrator has absolutely no idea how to perform an Australian accent, why wven try? It was sooo distracting. Just read in your own voice rather than wreck the story for anyone who's heard an actual Australian talk.

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  • Larissa
  • 03-11-21

Intense!

An interesting and riveting insight into the madness of Everest, and the dreams and consiquences that it brings.
Only let down was the narrator, whose attempts at accents could be jarring. Otherwise, it seemed to be well rounded by other's reminisces - even if a few voices were notably absent.