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Into Thin Air [Kindle Edition]

Jon Krakauer
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2,407 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $15.95
Kindle Price: $7.99
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Sold by: Random House LLC

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Book Description

When Jon Krakauer reached the summit of Mt. Everest in the early afternoon of May 10,1996, he hadn't slept in fifty-seven hours and was reeling from the brain-altering effects of oxygen depletion. As he turned to begin the perilous descent from 29,028 feet (roughly the cruising altitude of an Airbus jetliner), twenty other climbers were still pushing doggedly to the top, unaware that the sky had begun to roil with clouds...

Into Thin Air is the definitive account of the deadliest season in the history of Everest by the acclaimed Outside journalist and author of the bestselling Into the Wild. Taking the reader step by step from Katmandu to the mountain's deadly pinnacle, Krakauer has his readers shaking on the edge of their seat. Beyond the terrors of this account, however, he also peers deeply into the myth of the world's tallest mountain. What is is about Everest that has compelled so many poeple--including himself--to throw caution to the wind, ignore the concerns of loved ones, and willingly subject themselves to such risk, hardship, and expense?

Written with emotional clarity and supported by his unimpeachable reporting, Krakauer's eyewitness account of what happened on the roof of the world is a singular achievement.


From the Paperback edition.


Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Into Thin Air is a riveting first-hand account of a catastrophic expedition up Mount Everest. In March 1996, Outside magazine sent veteran journalist and seasoned climber Jon Krakauer on an expedition led by celebrated Everest guide Rob Hall. Despite the expertise of Hall and the other leaders, by the end of summit day eight people were dead. Krakauer's book is at once the story of the ill-fated adventure and an analysis of the factors leading up to its tragic end. Written within months of the events it chronicles, Into Thin Air clearly evokes the majestic Everest landscape. As the journey up the mountain progresses, Krakauer puts it in context by recalling the triumphs and perils of other Everest trips throughout history. The author's own anguish over what happened on the mountain is palpable as he leads readers to ponder timeless questions.

From School Library Journal

Heroism and sacrifice triumph over foolishness, fatal error, and human frailty in this bone-chilling narrative in which the author recounts his experiences on last year's ill-fated, deadly climb. Thrilling armchair reading.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1780 KB
  • Print Length: 368 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0307475255
  • Publisher: Anchor; 1st edition (November 12, 1998)
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B000FC1ITK
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,295 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
293 of 314 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Classic Tale July 28, 2002
Format:Hardcover
I first read "Into Thin Air" right after it was first published five years ago. It haunted me at the time, and it continues to do so today. By now, the story has been told so many times and by so many different people that it hard to remember that Krakauer's original account is the one that made it famous to begin with. Were it not for his incredible abilities as a storyteller, it is doubtful that anyone outside the world of mountaineering would remember what happened at the peak of Everest in that fateful May of 1996.
Krakauer's account is so compelling because it reads like a book length confession, which it is in a sense. The author worked through his very considerable feelings of survivor's guilt in the book's pages. His descriptions and not inconsiderable opinions have become legendary. For example, how many people read of AOL Chairman Robert Pittman's recent outster from the company and remembered him as the husband of Sandra Hill Pittman, who personified the rich amature climber who buys their way to the top of the world's tallest peak and who has no business being there? Krakauer's descriptions of Mrs. Pittman on the mountain are an example of his simple but devastating observations.
Krakauer's highly readable prose make the book read like fiction, probably another reason why it was so popular. He signed on for the Everest climb intending to write a standard mountaineering magazine article. That he chose the fateful May 1996 climb is simply a rare case of someone being at the wrong place at precisely the right time. Though it caused him plenty of personal torment, it also allowed him to write a story for the ages.
Overall, "Into Thin Air" fantastic storytelling make it one of the best non-fiction books published in the last decade or so.
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104 of 112 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Page by Page Suspense June 19, 2004
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Even if you already know the story of the deadly Mt. Everest expeditions of 1996, you will appreciate Jon Krakauer's own first person account of the Adventure Consultants and the Mountain Madness groups. Both of these expeditions were led by well-seasoned Everest climbers---Rob Hall from New Zealand and Scott Fischer from the States--and had the aid of expert guides, Sherpas from Nepal and "outsiders". But we soon find that even these experienced people are not immune from the human frailties of greed, denial and self-serving. Those Achilles' heels will cause both expeditions to completely fall apart. At the same time, human error combined with the unforgiving terrors of high altitude climbing sets the scene for heroism in many of the climbers and crew.
Krakauer, a journalist who signed on with Hall's expedition to do a story for Outside magazine, doesn't disappoint as weaver of a tale. I took the book everywhere with me while reading it, always eager to find out what would happen next.
If a book that explores deftly our desire to reach an unreachable summit appeals to you....especially when that book does not shy away from the tragedy caused when the desire to reach it undoes common sense and humanity....I highly recommend "Into Thin Air."
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67 of 72 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How to tell the truth at 29,000 feet November 20, 2007
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
By and large, the negative reviews posted here have little to do with the quality of this book and almost everything to do with the presumed character of the writer, Jon Krakauer. Similarly, those who dislike Krakauer's Into the Wild tend to focus their judgment of the book's worth on their own feelings regarding the essay's subject, Christopher McCandless, the young man who traveled the Western United States and Mexico for two years before perishing in Alaska. I read Krakauer differently. I am not interested in Krakauer's liberal politics, his emotional instability, and variable maturity. I am not interested in whether he portrays the absolute truth in his account of the 1996 Mt. Everest disaster for the simple fact that I don't believe the truth can be told. Writing is a very poor substitute for a frostbitten finger or a hypoxic head. All we have is Krakauer's writing, so let's look at what he does as a writer.

Krakauer is a sensationalist journalist, and since he reports on dangerous and near-death experiences regularly, he really can't help being grandiose and spectacular. The subject of his writing demands that he ratchet up the emotional power of his style and word choice. And let's be honest--don't we, as readers, demand it of him as well? Don't we want a voyeuristic and graphic account, where the size, the shape, and the smell of death seem to lift from the pages? Who wants to read about a mountain climbing disaster sans the emotion and the ego it takes to put one's self unnecessarily into such perilous situations?
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145 of 162 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars AN UNFORGETTABLE ADVENTURE - MOVING,SHOCKING,REAL August 18, 1997
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
Having never understood why people climb mountains, and after seeing Beck Weathers on
television last year, I bought INTO THIN AIR in order to gain more insight. Krakauer delivered.

Have some time on your hands, because once you begin reading Jon's story depicting the turn of
events throughout his journey on Everest in the Spring of '96, you won't be able to stop reading until you've read the last word in his book. This account of summitting Everest is a page turner even though the outcome is old news. It will leave you wanting to know more about other attempts made
on Everest, both failed and successful.

For those who don't understand why on earth anyone would want to do something as dangerous as
climbing "Into Thin Air" on rock and ice ... this book answers that curiosity. Because Jon introduces his readers to the backgrounds and personalities of the main characters in his book, we can better comprehend the different reasons people spend thousands of dollars and two or more months of their lives in "hell" on a mountain - freezing and injured - 'just to get to the top'. We learn through Krakauer why they continue their ascent even though the conditions are pure torture and more life threatening with each step; why they don't give it up once they've lost feeling in their extremities, separated their ribs, lost their vision, can no longer breathe due to oxygen depleted air, why they don't turn back even when they see the dead who've attempted to reach the summit on prior expeditions. You'll understand because of Krakauer's talent as a writer ... his ability to replay his emotions, his thoughts, his experiences, and his opinions through writing.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
If you are at all an Everest fan, this is a must read. The story of one man and his experience and opinion of an speakable tragedy.
Published 3 hours ago by speters
1.0 out of 5 stars AN ODE TO NUMBSKULLS AND NUMBSKULLERY
This is a book about people who go to the most uninhabitable and dangerous place possible for no good reason and Mr Krakauer describes them as heroes and brave. Read more
Published 9 hours ago by L. COOK
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Who would want to climb Everest after reading this?
Published 15 hours ago by william m. wilson
3.0 out of 5 stars Ok, nothing great.
Reasonable read, contains a lot of padding. Improved towards the end.
Published 1 day ago by Gregory cox
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent! Well written
Excellent!
Well written, fast reading, awesome adventure!
Published 1 day ago by Valerie
3.0 out of 5 stars a personal perspective of the disasterous year of commercial guided...
This is Jon's personal story of how - as a journalist - he was invited to join onto one of the commercial climbing treks up Everest that boomed in the mid 1990s. Read more
Published 2 days ago by David Taylor
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect. As expected
Perfect. As expected. Very impressed.
Published 2 days ago by Kalyn Saylor
3.0 out of 5 stars Great story!
Great book! I am obsessed with anything to do with Everest, and this book was so good. Unbelievable true story. Easy read too.
Published 2 days ago by Kayzee1970
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read
Thoroughly enjoyed this book. The author does a good job of explaining climbing/mountaineering terms and equipment for those (like me) who are inexperienced and unfamiliar. Read more
Published 3 days ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth the $
This was a great read. Very entertaining story that gives the reader a perspective that is often lost when we hear about scaling Mount Everest.
Published 3 days ago by Chris Kissling
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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."

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Outside Magazine Sept 1996
here you go! http://outside.away.com/outside/destinations/199609/199609_into_thin_air_8.html
Mar 3, 2009 by Silvia D. Medina |  See all 7 posts
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