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Publisher's Summary

Joe Simpson, with just his partner, Simon Yates, tackled the unclimbed West Face of the remote 21,000-foot Siula Grande in the Peruvian Andes in June of 1995. But before they reached the summit, disaster struck.

A few days later, Simon staggered into Base Camp, exhausted and frostbitten, to tell their non-climbing companion that Joe was dead. For three days he wrestled with guilt as they prepared to return home. Then a cry in the night took them out with torches, where they found Joe, badly injured, crawling through the snowstorm in a delirium.

Far from causing Joe's death, Simon had paradoxically saved his friend's life. What happened, and how they dealt with the psychological traumas that resulted when Simon was forced into the appalling decision to cut the rope, makes not only an epic of survival but a compelling testament of friendship.

©1988 Joe Simpson (P)2012 Random House Audiobooks

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Kathy
  • Davis, CA, United States
  • 04-14-14

Frightening, emotional & heart-warming true story!

I saw the movie and have never been able to get the story out of my mind. Touching the Void is a true story, a miracle of sorts--a mountaineer left for dead by his climbing partner and his incredible struggle to live. I have always wondered how this could have happened and more particularly, how Joe and Simon felt about what happened. Specifically, how did Joe Simpson feel about his climbing partner after the ordeal? How did Simon Yates react when he learned Joe was still alive when he abandoned him. You can't rely on a movie to tell the real story but you can rely on this book's narrative. It includes segments also by Joe's climbing partner, Simon Yates.

This is an incredible story, beautifully written and very moving. The narration was excellent and I highly recommend this book.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Wonderfully told true story

Too often, books written based on a true story include too much hyperbole in turning the main character into a hero that did nothing wrong. This story is raw, and honest, and believable, and really well told.

The best part about this story is that it's true. No really, it's true. As you join Simpson in this tale, you'll find yourself saying "no way," but wow, it really happened.

The end of this story wrapped it up so well for me. I won't spoil anything in case you don't already know what happens, but I'll say, that any questions I had were answered by the end.

Whether you are a skier, a hiker, a mountaineer, or just love a great story about human strength and endurance, you'll love this story.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Captivating Story

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Given to me by a climber friend. Awesome insight into that extreme sport.

Any additional comments?

Captivating story told in alternating first person. I want to see the documentary next.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Amazing

Any additional comments?

For the non climbers, unfamiliar Mountaineering terminology can leave comprehension gaps in the audio version ( whereas easy to look up if reading ) but still a great story

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Inspirational

A well read inspirational tale of survival. On the must read list of survival stories.

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Awesome

Why have I never about this story, book, or movie. Absolutely incredible story. Beyond my perception of human ability.

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  • Martin
  • Jogeva Vald, Estonia
  • 04-29-18

Great one man survivor story

Captivating tale of a mans struggle and solo survival after the rope is cut and hope is lost.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Breath takingly amazing

The manner of narration is as if we are there with Joe and Simon on the mountains ...!!!

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Gutrenching dilemma

It's a tedious start until the disaster, but the rest of the story is riveting!

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Liked this ALOT!

Very good first person account of the harrowing True story of one man story of survival in the Swiss Alps.

The book did not hesitate to jump right in to the life changing , harrowing event , and did not waste anytime on the typical and sometimes boring backgrounds of the climbers or the family , which has its pro and cons.

It does maintain its pace throughout even for those who are not familiar with the sport of climbing. I sucked right in and felt the bitter -20° windchill with them as it was recounted detail by mind chilling detail.

It's a quick and interesting read and I promise you will have mixed feelings in the end about what you consider "right" thing vs "moral" thing and I still wonder what I would have done. So I think the book has left a mark , as long as I have a question then I am sure this book will stick with me for quite some time to come.

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  • Andrew Matthews
  • 06-10-15

Don't listen whilst driving!

Touching the Void had me hooked from chapter one. I often listened in my car which thinking about it was not so clever as there would be periods of excitement that knocked my concentration from driving!

It's a brilliant story that had me on the edge, made me squirm with thought and almost feel Joe Simpsons desperation.

A must read for anyone who likes real story's told truthfully by the person who experienced them.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Blair Ferguson
  • 04-13-13

Fantastic listen/read

This book is one of the most inspiring books i have listened to and the naration is first class cant recomend it highly enough

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • SARA-MADGE WYNNE
  • 02-19-13

A harrowing listen that will keep you gripped

A truly amazing account of survival that will keep you listening to the end and stay with you long after.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Lance Johnson
  • 04-08-12

Much for all of us to learn!

An excellent read and amazing journey of strength. The way the author survived, setting small goals, going step by step, despite the disabilities he suffered, is amazing, and a lesson for us all. Truly gives illustration of the saying "A million mile journey begins with the first step". There are many issues missed in the the film, that have been covered by the book. Including insights during the incident, what happened after the characters were reunited, and the participants reflection over what went wrong. Much of the lessons learnt can be applied to our own lives. A great listen!

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Simon
  • 06-30-18

A gripping true story

A truly gripping recount of one of climbings most controversial moments.
The narration brings the detail to life and leads you through the emotional journey all the way.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Dale Beddows
  • 06-13-18

You need to read this book!

Awesome
What a story of resolve and true grit, they are all absolute legends.
A great book, one of the best.
Who said miracles don’t happen...

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Stuart A Kemp
  • 02-13-18

Brilliant climbing novel!

Really gripping and inspirational story, didn't want to stop listening from beginning to the end. Would highly recommend to anyone, especially someone with an interest in mountaineering.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Lisa Metcalfe
  • 01-23-18

Terrifyingly realistic

An incredible book evoking fear and anguish of the ordeal these mountaineers faced. Fantastic read.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • pete
  • 11-30-17

incredible

this is the second client but I've watched After into thin air and I found out to Littley gripping and probably well told story with a fantastic narrator

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • MR DAVID I SUTTON
  • 10-16-17

Well written and read Audiobook

As I listened to this book at work to relieve the monotony that can come with working on my own, it teaches me one important lesson......watch your bloody step!

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  • Anonymous User
  • 04-14-18

Brilliant

Made me laugh, made my cry, made me gasp, made my trip quicker. Loved it.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • tom
  • 08-23-17

true stories are often the best stories

i would listen to it for no reason other than it's true, but there definitely are more reasons than that. a captivating story of survival.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Matthew
  • 06-26-17

Harrowing

A small taste of what it might be like to slowly die, alone and cold on the side a mountain

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 04-11-17

unputdownable

absolutely amazing story. gives so many struggles a dose of perspective. just so vivid and raw.