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A Bolt from the Blue: The Epic True Story of Danger, Daring, and Heroism at 13,000 Feet Paperback – June 12, 2012


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A Bolt from the Blue: The Epic True Story of Danger, Daring, and Heroism at 13,000 Feet + Buried in the Sky: The Extraordinary Story of the Sherpa Climbers on K2's Deadliest Day
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Atria Books; 1 edition (June 12, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1451607083
  • ISBN-13: 978-1451607086
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.5 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #301,644 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Armchair travelers and bona fide adventurers alike will love Woodlief's thrilling newest...Fans of Jon Krakaeur's Into Thin Air will find in Woodlief an engaging and exciting guide." —Publisher's Weekly

“Jennifer Woodlief rivetingly re-creates the odds-defying mountain rescue.” —Elle Magazine

About the Author

Jennifer Woodlief is a former reporter for Sports Illustrated. Her first book Ski to Die: The Bill Johnson Story was optioned by Warner Brothers. A graduate of Stanford University and UCLA School of Law, her past jobs included prosecuting first-degree murder cases as a district attorney and working as a case officer with top secret clearance for the CIA.

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Customer Reviews

This book is a page turner -- well told story.
Bette craven
For me this story is far from my own way of life and because of that it is a story that gives me insight in a world alian to me.
Michael Scott Walters
I look forward to reading Woodleifs other books!
R B Hutch

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Pen Name on April 24, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I read as many books on mountain tragedies and rescues as I can. However, I can't get into this one at all. I'm quitting.... giving up. I find it irrelevant and uninteresting what candy bars the rescuers packed, how much they weighed, or which part of the job each ranger preferred. I wanted to read about the accident and the resultant rescue. At least 2/3 of the book was dedicated to mundane ancillary information and not enough to the actual event. Was the author trying to turn a 75 page book into a 240 page book? I feel great sorrow for the family who lost their loved one, but this was a yawner.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Spudcroft on July 13, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
As the wife of one of the rescued climbers, I truly appreciated the story about the rangers that saved my husband's life. Those rangers are true heros who went above and beyond. The author does a great job of giving background information about climbing, lightening, and the rangers. Thanks for such a special book!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Frogalita on January 13, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I thought I would love this book - being a fan of such survival stories such as "Into Thin Air" and "Alive". But this book lost my interest half way thru. It focused too much on how to fly a helicopter and what it takes to climb a mountain rather than the story of the survivors themselves. Maybe they got to that by the end of the book but the whole thing got way too off track for me to finish. Maybe there is a book out there written by the survivors point of
view?
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Shelley Nork on July 6, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have read all of Jennifer Woodlief's books and enjoyed them all. In her latest compelling effort, she has hit just the right tone - A Bolt from the Blue is a winning combination of an exciting adventure story and amazing facts about the events that transpired. Her research and knowledge of everything from lightning to rock climbing to rescue helicopters shines through and is woven into the story seamlessly. Her descriptions of the characters make them come to life and of the events and places make you feel like you were there. I highly recommend it - a great read!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mountain man on June 18, 2012
Format: Paperback
Jennifer Woodlief's account of the Jenny Park Rangers and their amazing heroism is so compelling, I could not put it down. She made me feel like I personally knew each and every one of the victims and the rangers with her immense story telling skills. You will love reading A Bolt from the Blue, I promise!!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Indanthrone Blue on January 3, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The climbing disaster and rescue described by the book are interesting.

But the writing is poor. The prose gets the job done, but isn't particularly elegant or beautiful. More seriously, the book suffers from structural problems and a lack of editorial review. In numerous places the same information is redundantly provided in adjacent or nearby paragraphs. The sequence in which information is provided is sometimes awkward - paragraphs seem out of place, as though they were just strewn in. There is a lot of fluff, mostly overlong biographies of the participants and statements about how cool the rescuers are.

Contrary to some of the other reviewers, I found the description of how a helicopter is flown and the challenges of flying in these conditions interesting (I haven't read Robert Mason's excellent "Chickenhawk" in quite some time). There was a nice account of the behaviour of lightning and its (extremely varied) effects on the human body too.

The technical information regarding climbing was uneven - the author explains some things in considerable detail (the history and use of the prusik knot for instance), but leaves other aspects of technique and equipment unexplained.

One senses that the book was composed by cobbling together a series of interviews with a somewhat random bunch of Google and Wikipedia searches.

Additional diagrams would have been very helpful in understanding the situation.

There are much better books on climbing/disasters/rescues:
Jon Krakauer's "Into Thin Air" But for more (or less biased? or biased from a different point of view?) perspective on the events, also read "The Climb" by Anatoli Boukreev
Art Davidson's "Minus 148 - the First Winter Ascent of Mt McKinley"
Joe Simpson's "Touching the Void"
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Spike Kinghorn on November 18, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I was involved as a provider of one of the helicopter services and pilot that participated in the rescue and nominated both pilots for the Helicopter Association International Robert E.Trimble Memorial Award.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By N. Lemanski on March 25, 2013
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Rod Liberal is our son-in-law so reading this brought it all back to life. Jennifer did a wonderful job writing about the rangers. We owe them so much for saving Rod's life, we are forever gratefull. Good read for those that rock climb.
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