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Eiger Dreams: Ventures Among Men And Mountains Paperback – February 10, 2009


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Globe Pequot Press; Reprint edition (February 10, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1599216108
  • ISBN-13: 978-1599216102
  • Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 6 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (143 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #55,798 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

No matter what the actual temperature may be, several pages into Eiger Dreams you will begin to shiver. Halfway through you will acquire a new appreciation for your fingers, toes, and the fact that you still have a nose. And by the end of this collection, you'll define some commonly used phrases in an entirely different way. The understated "catch some air" and the whimsical "log some flight time" are climbers' euphemisms for falling, while "crater" refers to what happens when you log some flight time all the way to the ground. "Summiting," the term for reaching the top of a mountain, seems almost colorless in comparison. The various heroes, risk-takers, incompetents, and individualists Krakauer captures are more than colorful, whether they summit or not. The author is more interested in exploring the addiction of risk--the intensity of effort--than mere triumph. There's the mythical minimalist climber, John Gill, whose fame "rests entirely on assents less than thirty feet high," and the Burgess brothers--freewheeling, free-floating English twins who seem to make all the right decisions when it counts, and hence most often fail to reach the top. Of course, they are alive. Over these and other talented climbers hangs a malignant, endlessly creative nature--its foehn winds can make people crazy and its avalanches do far worse. Eiger Dreams is an adrenaline fest for the weary, an overdue examination of a stylish, brave subculture. As one of the heroes Krakauer outlines says of his occupation, "It's sort of like having fun, only different." --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Armchair adventurers can't ask for better entertainment than this tour of the legendary locations of mountaineering and the eccentric climbers who gather there.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Jon Krakauer grew up in Corvallis, Oregon, where his father introduced him to mountaineering as an 8-year-old. In 1999, upon presenting him with an Academy Award in Literature, the American Academy of Arts and Letters declared, "Krakauer combines the tenacity and courage of the finest tradition of investigative journalism with the stylish subtlety and profound insight of the born writer. His account of an ascent of Mount Everest has led to a general reevaluation of climbing and of the commercialization of what was once a romantic, solitary sport; while his account of the life and death of Christopher McCandless, who died of starvation after challenging the Alaskan wilderness, delves even more deeply and disturbingly into the fascination of nature and the devastating effects of its lure on a young and curious mind."

Customer Reviews

I read this book in a one week sunny vacation.
She34
Very enjoyable read--these are short stories that, put together, read like a book.
Kathy
Anyone who enjoys outdoor adventure, will enjoy reading the stories in this book.
Benjamin T. Dewolfe

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

91 of 95 people found the following review helpful By Trixie on June 12, 2000
Format: Paperback
How to do justice to a writer like Krakauer....well, he's such a good writer that I feel any review I write would suffer compared to the source. Nevertheless, here I go.
This is Krakauer's first book. It's a collection of his previously published articles on mountaineering (save the last one about Devil's Thumb which was written for the book.) What a gread read too whether you are an afficionado of the sport or, like me, you've never seen a pair of crampons in your life (by the way, those are a set of spikes climbers strap to their boots to support themselves and prevent slipping on icy slopes.) Some of the famous peaks that make an appearance here include K2, Mt McKinley, and the titular Eiger. Throughout you will read about some of the eccentric personalities in the international climbing community, personal triumph and inspiration, offshoots like bouldering and waterfall climbing, and horrific tragedy.
If you read Into Thin Air, you'll be surprised at how funny this book is. Krakauer displays a wry, self-deprecating wit in several of these stories-something the somber subject matter of the latter book didn't permit. The last one, about his decision to solo the Devil's Thumb in Alaska in his early twenties is hysterical.
Anyone who can make a story about being tentbound or the inventor of the perfect ice axe riveting deserves attention. If you are on the fence, just go ahead and get this book. It's definitely worth it.
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46 of 47 people found the following review helpful By Brian D. Rubendall HALL OF FAME on July 28, 2002
Format: Paperback
"Eiger Dreams" is a compelling collection of twelve stories by mountaineering writer Jon Krakauer. Included are several first person accounts of his own adventures, including his life-defining attempt to climb the Devil's Thimb in Alaska as a young man and his later failed attempt to scale the Eiger face. Krakauer also failed in his attempt to climb Mount McKinley, but manages to say more with one of his defeats than other climbers do with their success.
Krakauer also proves himself to be a first rate reporter with his accounts of other mountaineering stories. Particularly good is his tale of John Gill, the man who practically invented "bouldering." Krakauer goes on to describe waterfall climbing, canyoneering and the horrors of being tent bound with his deft narrative touch. At 186 pages, and featuring his easily readable prose, the book is a delightful experience for those who like good adventure stories of the kind featured in Outside Magazine.
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36 of 37 people found the following review helpful By William F. Harrison on November 9, 2003
Format: Paperback
I've read three of Krakauer's books including this one. Into Thin Air is eclipsed by Kenneth Kamler's Doctor On Everest, but Krakauer's own Under The Banner Of Heaven and Eiger Dreams are in a class by themselves. I have never had a fear of heights, but the stories in this book, particularly the one of his climb of the Devil's Thumb, a volcanic chimney in Alaska, lifting hundreds of feet into thin air is perhaps one of the most evocative pieces of writing I've ever read. If you are fascinated by mountins and the madmen and crazy women who climb them, this is your book. Either it will make you drop everything and head for the high remote places of the world, or render you at least sane enough to say, "I think I'll take my adventure in another way." Say in some weird polygamous community in southern Utah or northern Arizona. Krakauer knows mountains, and he knows how to take us with him, shaking, sweating and not daring look down, up a shear, icy face. This is great outdoor adventure writing. Highly recommended. wfh
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By G. W. Hodges on October 25, 2000
Format: Paperback
I've read Into Thin Air and Into the Wild so when I picked up this book in the Seattle airport after getting off Mt. Rainier I was hoping it would be as good. I wasn't disappointed.
An excellent mix of both adventure and mountaineering stories, I finished this book in no time at all. What really strikes me is the life that Krakauer has been able to lead. I only wish I had had the time and direction to attempt half of what this guy has done and then be able to write so candidly about it.
This book is first rate. From the stories about canyons in the Southwest to excellent climbing stories that focus not only on the terrain, but the personalities along the way, make this book enjoyable cover to cover. The fact that climbers are such an interesting cross section of society is vividly expounded on in this book. You finish feeling you know these folks intimately or at least relate to just about everyone as a friend or contemporary.
Buy it.....read it. Then give it to a friend like I did. The Burgess Boys are worth the cost alone!
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Willis on October 6, 2000
Format: Paperback
"I have fallen. I am dying. Please send help. Quickly!" Mountain climbing is on of the most dangerous sports in the world. This quote shows why in the book Eiger Dreams by Jon krakauer. This collection of memoirs is about adventures on mountains and the tragedies that occur on them everyday. This is a great collection of memoirs that are descriptive and very interesting. For instance, when he talks about he climbs, you actually feel like you're on the mountaiwith those brave sole. Even though there are one or two stories that are just boring, the rest of the stories are entertaining and keep you on the edge of your seat. For me, this book was a big page-turner. I wanted to read on from the first sentence to the last word. I occasionally drifted off, but I definitely wanted to figure what would happen next. If you like climbing, you will like this book. Another aspect this book excelled in was that it finished very strong. On every memoir that was recited, there was a good ending. They never left me hanging, and they connect to the memoir. The endings make a huge exclamation mark on an already great book. I would definitely recommend this book to everyone. Even if you don't climb. It can have philosophical and physical significance for everyone. Like I said, there are some definite weak spots, but its worth reading through them. This book is typical Jon Krakauer, wonderful.
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