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Publisher's Summary

On the vast, sunlit walls of the world's greatest monolith, two veteran climbers unwittingly ascend into a vertical underworld. In a place where obsession kills, they quickly fall prey to past loves, old demons, and ghostly revenge.

Hugh and Lewis were Yosemite legends. El Capitan was their holy grail, and their destiny seemed written on its big walls. Here they met the women who married, then left them. Now, 35 years later, Hugh's wife has long since mysteriously disappeared into the desert and Lewis' wife is divorcing him. The old friends reunite to climb El Cap one last time and make a fresh start.

But "the Captain" seems cursed this time around. Even before the aging "wall rats" leave the ground, disaster strikes three young women high on a neighboring route. Hugh discovers one body in the forest and spies a second dangling a half mile overhead. He and Lewis launch their ascent, desperate to leave the terrible omens behind. But there is no escape. Doubts haunt them, the elements plague them, and an eerie reptilian woman invades their sleep. Every vertical inch, the men must battle the stone, their aging bodies, fear, and the memories of great loves lost.

©2006 Jeff Long LLC; (P)2006 Tantor Media Inc.

Critic Reviews

  • Audie Award Finalist, Thriller/Suspense, 2007

"Heart-stopping vertical adventure." (Kirkus Reviews)
"The surprise ending is a true shocker in this hurtling, gripping read." (Publishers Weekly )

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Enjoyable

Having been a longtime climber ( of middling talent at best), I really enjoyed the book as the author truly understands climbers and their motivations and captured the climbing experience very effectively. A bit heavy on the supernatural, but it didn't really take away from the book. I also agree that you can see the twist coming from afar, but it still had plenty of suspense and adventure. Well produced and found the narrator agreeable. I enjoyed the technical climbing terms, it made the book much more authentic.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Great!

This story held my interest straight through- I didn't want to stop listening. The author is very skilled at bringing a scene to life, and I could picture every event as if I were there. I will look forward to more of his books. The narration was perfect!

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Dawn
  • Henrico, VA, United States
  • 06-17-06

Non-Climbers Beware

Perhaps if I knew more about climbing, I'd have enjoyed this book more. Since the author explained very little of the jargon, I was lost half the time about what was going on. The story was okay, some parts were suspenseful, and the narrator tried his best to make things interesting. I saw the "twist" coming about midway through the book. All in all, I don't recommend this.

3 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

cool story. learned a lot about El Capitan.

narrator wasn't what I thought he should sound like. The voice didn't fit the character. Good none the less.

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

Very intense and kinda trippy

This was a phenomenal book that kept me coming back for more. Whatever you could possibly imagine that could go wrong does go wrong and more.

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

this was a really boring story.

don't buy. I'm a rock climbing and even I found it was poorly told. just boring

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Stacey
  • Palmer Lake Co., CO, USA
  • 08-02-09

Readers should match the characters.

The book is good. I am a Jeff Long fan. Unfortunately, I did not think the reader and his accents were a good match for the book and characters. If you can get over the English / fake Texan accent I say listen to the book, otherwise just read it.