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High: Stories of Survival from Everest and K2 (Adrenaline Books) Paperback


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High: Stories of Survival from Everest and K2 (Adrenaline Books) + Epic: Stories of Survival from the World's Highest Peaks + Climb: Stories of Survival from Rock, Snow, and Ice (Adrenaline)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Balliett & Fitzgerald Inc. / Thunder's Mouth Press; 1st edition (December 23, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1560252006
  • ISBN-13: 978-1560252009
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.2 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,566,952 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Editor Clint Willis collects some of mountaineering's finest writing in these tales from storied expeditions to grails like Everest and K2. Included are classic accounts of early American attempts on K2, by consensus the most daunting and ruthless peak to summit. Frank Smythe's telling of his 1933 attempt and Charles Houston and Robert Bates's from 1938 typify the wooly-knickered bravado of pre-war climbing. As counterpoint, Willis serves up Galen Rowell's sad and unadorned journal from the tempestuous 1975 failed expedition.

But there are other angles as well. Tucked in the middle of High is a gem told by an Everest widow, Maria Coffey, who traveled to the base of the mountain that took her husband and his partner: "I could pick out the ridge where Joe and Pete were last seen. The image blurred, tears were washing down my face and collecting in the jacket collar pulled tightly around my chin." In a collection of writing that soars it is a moving--and grounding--reminder of mountaineering's risks. --Tipton Blish

From School Library Journal

YA-A collection of excerpts from mostly real-life experiences that will leave even the most jaded armchair adventurers gasping for air and thoroughly waterlogged. Both titles depict humans at their most physically challenged in environments that they sought out but for which they were not necessarily completely prepared. High features Jon Krakauer, David Roberts, and Chris Bonington. An excerpt from Matt Dickinson's The Other Side of Everest is also included. A touching narrative is taken from Maria Coffey's Fragile Edge, in which the author recounts her visit to Tibet to find some closure over the death of her sweetheart, who disappeared from Everest's Northeast Ridge. Many of the writers in Rough Water describe such dire straits out on the open sea that one wonders how they ever survived to tell their tale. Memorable moments from maritime literature include a selection from F. A. Worsley's Shackleton's Boat Journey, in which the South Pole explorer and his men rowed 14 days across 800 miles of some of the earth's most treacherous seas in a small boat. Another classic excerpt depicting a heartless captain is taken from Richard Henry Dana, Jr.'s Two Years before the Mast. Readers who still have not gotten enough of the Titanic stories will be intrigued by yet another viewpoint from The Loss of the S. S. Titanic. And there's more. Bibliographies lead readers to the rest of the stories.
Cynthia J. Rieben, W. T. Woodson High School, Fairfax, VA
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 5, 1999
Format: Paperback
You should read this book if you like stories that you never know whats going to happen at the end, it really gets you thinking. If you like climbing this book is for you, its almost like it inspires you to go and be a pioneer of Everest, it has mixed stories not only concentrating on the climbers but the well known sherpas of the Himalyas, who are are the real heroes of climbing, the stories will make you think about respect for nature, for nature's fury can suprise any of us, at any time.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 9, 1999
Format: Paperback
Willis has selected well-written and exhilarating stories and assembled them in the fashion of a great short-story anthology. This book takes the reader through the entire range of human emotions, showing humans at their very best--as well as their worst. You might, at times, wonder why these people put their lives on the line, but you won't wonder why you bought this book.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By saliero on March 20, 2000
Format: Paperback
Even if you have never been anywhere near a mountain, this is aterrific book. Actually, I did put it down....had to when I got towork, or occasionally to turn the light out at night. The short story format makes it an excellent companion volume for dipping into.
I found some of the K2 stories especially 'breath-taking' and the edge-of-the-seat drama present everywhere. I agree with the review that says the piece by widow Maria Coffey is a gem - another perspective on the mountain climbing experience.
I also liked the older, more historical tales, contrasting some of the worls views about climbing with more modern attitudes evident in some of the newer books, especially now focussing on the commercial aspects of climbing especially Everest.
Am I alone in thinking that mountain climbing to the point of summiting used to be a more collective, comradely pursuit, and now it is 'everyone for themself' ? I know there is a lot of bunk that could be said - and I don't hold that the class-ridden older (especially Bristish) school of mountaineering in the days of Mallory et al was some kind of 'golden age'. But on the other hand, there was something in the spirit of the times then lacking now...and the difference is not just money. The old Siege-like expeditions required vast amounts of sponsorship....but it was aimed at the collective effort, whereas now it is anyone who can stump up $65 000 of their own wealth.
I might be wrong, but I think there is something different now. Not being an expert, I'm interested to continue exploring this. This volume is a good place to start reflecting on some of those issues.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By E. Clarke on June 28, 2000
Format: Paperback
This is a fantastic book becuase it allows the reader a chance to experience many different stories from some of the best high altitude mountaineering books around. The best thing is that just when one story comes to an end the next one starts right again in the middle of the action. You just want to keep reading because you never come off the edge of your seat. The reader also gets to read about a myriad of expeditions from different routes up the mountains through several different decades. The different perspectives about the two mountains are really overwhelming when you step back to consider the dedication these climbers put in and how much they are risking everything all the time. Pick up this book if you crave the thrill of human conquest and the limits of the human spirit.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By S. Newton on May 19, 2003
Format: Paperback
I very much enjoyed and highly recommend this book. I've read many of the books from which these chapters are selected, yet there was much fresh material for me. The editing was so masterful that even though the chapters are from different writers, mountains, and times, they flowed together seamlessly
High does for climbing what the movie The Thin Red Line did for combat: It explores not the details of the event, but the inner thoughts of the participants. You read what it feels like to have a climber dying in a tent next to you. You learn about the humilation of having frostbite while back at home. You are with the widows who trek in the paths of their husbands to glimpse the mountain graves of their loved ones.
While I can understand that some reviewers felt the selections dropped one into the middle of a big problem high on a mountain without the broader context of the expedition, I didn't feel this was a problem. I don't need the beginning, middle, and end to enjoy a brief tale. There are plenty of books that give all those details, yet few that are gripping to read from the first page to the last.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Hans Burri on February 24, 2001
Format: Paperback
This is the first book i've read that was a collection of excerpts from other books. It is a real page turner and you will work through it quickly, desperately wanting more non-fiction adventure reading to follow. Well anyways, just buy it. you won't be disappointed.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By T. S. Phillips on January 9, 2000
Format: Paperback
Clint Willis has created a fascinating series of books with Epic, Climb, High, Wild, Ice, Rough Water, and The War. Each of these volumes presents the best literature about their respective subjects in a powerful cohesive manner. These books are a quick read, but intricate and spellbinding. I have given many of them to friends and family as gifts.
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