This is an entertaining anthology for armchair adventurers. These previously published “incredible stories of human survival” are divided into convenient categories: “The Vast Oceans,” “Snow and Ice,” “The Wild Country.” There’s quite a variety here: an excerpt from Owen Chase’s famous first-person account of his survival after the sinking of his whaling ship in 1820; Fridtjof Nansen’s chronicle of his ill-fated expedition to the North Pole in 1895; a story about the aftermath of a disastrous 1920 flight in a hydrogen balloon; Jon Krakauer’s reflections on a solo effort to climb a treacherous mountain; the tale of a pilot whose errors land him in the Alaskan wilderness, with small chance of survival; and more. The word extreme in the subtitle seems to be there mainly to catch the eye of extreme-sport enthusiasts (“True Adventures of . . .” would have worked as well), but there’s no denying these stories are gripping and that they do involve considerable risk to life and limb. A fascinating and frightening book. --David Pitt
About the Author
Ever since his very first steps, BROGAN STEELE has chased adventure. After a long, exhilarating day of facing Death and coming out on top, he relishes seeing the smoke curling up from the chimney of his log cabin, knowing he'll soon be lounging fireside with a cold beer.