Sunday, January 4, 2009

Into Thin Air--Jon Krakauer

Year Published: 1997
Genre: Non-fiction
Pages: 368
Rating: 4/5

"The actual particulars of the event are unclear, obscured by the accretion of myth."

"The event" refers to the ascension to the summit of Mount Everest, on which the author participated as a climber and a journalist. But due to a series of unforseen events, as many as twelve people from the excursions on the mountaintop didn't return alive. Krakauer relates the story as well as he can remember, adding in details that bring home what a grueling experience it is to climb Mount Everest. Altitude sickness, frostbite, intestinal ailments picked up from villages all contribute to the difficulty of an achievement that is difficult enough!

Krakauer's writing is captivating, just as in his previous novel, Into the Wild. What really brings the book home is the characters, whom he develops enough throughout the book that by the end we read with dread to see how they fared. The author's obvious investment with the characters and the journey, and his pain after the excursion was over, makes this a moving read.

Book-a-Week #1
Challenge/s: New Classics, Decades, TBR, A-Z

No comments: