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Publisher's Summary

Into Thin Air is the definitive, personal account of the deadliest season in the history of Everest by the acclaimed journalist and author of Eiger Dreams and Into the Wild. On assignment for Outside magazine, Krakauer, an accomplished climber, went to the Himalayas to report on the growing commercialization of the planet's highest mountain. Everest has always been a dangerous mountain. From the first British expeditions in the 1920s until 1996, one climber has died for ever 4 who have attained the summit. This shocking death toll has not put a damper on the burgeoning business of guided ascents, however, in which amateur alpinists with alarmingly disparate skills are ushered up the mountain for a $65,000 fee. To ascend into the thin, frigid air above 26,000 feet - the cruising altitude of a commercial jetliner - is an inherently irrational act. The environment is unimaginably harsh, the margin for error miniscule. Krakauer examines what it is about Everest that has compelled so many people - including himself - to throw caution to the wind, ignore the concern of loved ones, and willingly subject themselves to such risk, hardship, and expense. Written with emotional clarity and supported by his unimpeachable reporting, Krakauer's frank eyewitness account of what happened on the roof of the world is a singular achievement.
©1997 Jon Krakauer; (P)1997 Bantam Doubleday Dell Audio Publishing, Bantam Doubleday Dell Audio Publishing, A Division of Random House Inc.

Critic Reviews

  • Publishers Weekly Listen Up Award Winner, Best Audio of 1998, Best of the Best
    Alex Award Winner, 1998

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Awesome!

This being my first audio book, I'm impress of how well the author captured his experience. I was moved by his narration and felt as if I was on the journey along side them. Great book so worth listening!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Mike
  • austin, TX, USA
  • 05-12-06

into thin air

In the 4 years I have been enjoying audible books, I have never felt compelled to write a review until now. This is the most amazing story. Krakauer is modest but obviously heroic. He seems to truly regret his faults in the events while not overplaying his courage and stamina in saving several lives. Usually authors' narrations are not as good as the pros, but he does a great job. You can feel the emotion. For me it was like reading LOTR for the first time.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

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if you are fascinated by mountaineering, this is

you couldn't pay me to climb Everest or K2, but I am completely fascinated with reading about them.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Fantastic very honest

Gripping - must listen to - sad tale of all going wrong. Moving . Loved it. Highly recommended and loved Jon's reading of his own story.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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better than expected

I was a little late to the party on this book. It is great, very gripping start to finish, the pace reminded me of The Perfect Storm. I read John's book on Pat Tillman and it was great as well.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Wonderful book!

I couldn’t stop listening to this book! It was written incredibly well and you felt like you were right there. So tragic what happened.

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Riveting

Narration is really good and keeps you enthralled in the story. Highly recommend sampling a partial listen

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The Best of Audiobooks

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

This is the first and best audiobook I ever listened to (I am up over 400 now). The fact that John Krakauer reads it himself provides a direct physical and emotional connection. His skill as a writer combined with one of the most traumatic events in mountaineering results in the greatest outdoor adventure ever told.

Which scene was your favorite?

Johns descriptions of arriving at the summit provides a dramatic contrast of great views fighting for attention versus a total ambivalence caused by altitude effects.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

How I Spent My Summer Vacation.

Any additional comments?

Thanks John Krakauer for a lifetime of great writing. Its goodt to see you achieve the success you deserve!

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spectacular

written like a storm rolling in .. (spoiler alert). i actually could't put it down

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A look into the ultimate advanture.

Most people will never take the chance of scaling Everest but this is a good look into the conditions those people face and how some act after being exposed to harsh conditions like that. Even though some of the book is speculation it is a good idea of how the events unfolded.