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Left for Dead: My Journey Home from Everest Mass Market Paperback – November 6, 2001


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Left for Dead: My Journey Home from Everest + The Climb: Tragic Ambitions on Everest + Dark Summit: The True Story of Everest's Most Controversial Season
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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Dell (November 6, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0440237084
  • ISBN-13: 978-0440237082
  • Product Dimensions: 4.3 x 0.8 x 6.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (137 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #324,170 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Left for Dead is a deeply personal story, told in first person by a variety of people who contributed to the survival of Beck Weathers during the Everest accident of 1996 that left nine climbers dead. It goes past the tragedy to discuss why Weathers got involved in climbing in the first place, his lengthy and painful recovery, and the all-important relationship with his wife, Margaret (commonly referred to as Peach). Without Peach's hope and tenacity, it's likely that rescue efforts would not have been continued, and Weathers may never have recovered from the hypothermic coma and its dreadful results. The story of their relationship--they were estranged at the time of the accident--is told from both perspectives, and his obsession with mountains seems almost like another family member. The overall tone is straightforward and conversational: children, pets, and clothing feature as prominently as reconstructive surgery and heroic rescues. But no matter how plainly they are told, the events of that climb are sure to bring tears. Rob Hall's last conversation with his wife, climbers disappearing into the storm, Anatoli Boukreev's rescuing three people, and Weathers and climbing partner Yasuko being left for dead are just a few from a long list. Still, you'll find yourself laughing just pages later, when Weathers gets his rescue team to sing "Chain of Fools" while hiking back to safety--you can imagine Peach being in full agreement of that song's appropriateness. The Everest deaths affected people around the world, and this chronicle of one survivor and his family is a hopeful reminder of the good that can result from such tragedies. --Jill Lightner --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

A survivor of the disastrous Mt. Everest expedition described in Jon Krakauer's bestseller Into Thin Air, Weathers is the climber many readers will remember from searing media photos of a man with heavily bandaged hands and a face so badly frostbitten it scarcely seemed human. In fact, Weathers had been abandoned by his fellow mountaineers as dead and spent some 18 hours on the mountain in subzero temperatures before miraculously regaining his senses and staggering into camp. Back in the U.S., Weathers, who is a physician, lost both hands and underwent extensive facial reconstruction. But there were other wounds to heal: he had neglected his family so much in pursuit of his hobby that his wife had decided to end the marriage once he returned. Co-written with Michaud (The Evil That Men Do; The Only Living Witness), this book deals in part with the climb but mainly with Weathers's life before and after the catastrophe. The man who wrote this book doesn't seem any less self-absorbed than the one who climbed Mt. Everest. In the years before the disaster, Weathers spent every spare moment pursuing his own interests as his wife and children became strangers to him. Now he claims to have rediscovered his family, but, unfortunately, the reader learns very little about them. Ultimately, this engrossing tale depicts the difficulty of a man's struggle to reform his life. Photos not seen by PW. Author tour. (Apr.)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

I could not finish this book.
zen118
After reading Into Thin Air and The Climb I was anxious to find another viewpoint about the Everest disaster so I turned to this book.
Gwendolyn M. Whittick
This is a whiny book in which Beck Weathers blames everyone but himself for his predicament.
Bonita Holder

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

105 of 109 people found the following review helpful By "finchsnotes" on September 26, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I have read several accounts about the 1996 disaster on Everest, and was eager to read Beck weather's version. I think the book can be divided into three parts: an account of his climb (Part I), the story of his recovery (Part II), and how the event has changed his life and given him new perspective (Part III). Part I was enthralling, although I was somewhat disappointed that it did not contain more detail as seen through his eyes. Part II was very slow and agonizing reading. I am glad that I stuck with it as I found Part III somewhat redeeming. The organization of the book is frustrating. Certainly, it was worthwhile to hear other perspectives from Beck's family and friends, but there could have been a better way to incorporate this information other than sticking quotes in places that often times seemed not to make sense. If you a a true Everest addict, this is a must read. But if you are looking for something as well written as Krakauer's INTO THIN AIR, then this is not the book for you.
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49 of 50 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 18, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Having read just about all the books that are out regarding the 1996 Everest expedition I didn't have much hope that Dr. Weathers would have anything much to add. But I was wrong, I was surprized by his openness and surprised too to hear the rest of his story. It's an amazing story in more ways than one. Dr. Weathers has a way of writing that is very personal, almost like you could hear him speaking. I enjoyed his droll sense of humor, dotted though out the book and learing how his mountaineering career got started, the training that he did. I liked the comments from his wife and kids I though they added another dimension to the story.
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39 of 42 people found the following review helpful By R. Spell VINE VOICE on June 18, 2000
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The first 120 pages of this book are mesmerizing. They deal with the climb from his prespective. His writing style and comments can be very humorous at times in dealing with this massive trauma he was facing. Clearly, he looked death in the eye and has come out a better man. I started this late at night and couldn't put it down until I finished this section.
The rest of the book deals with his family relationships (poor) and his early struggles with depression. There is no question this reads slower but I am still glad I read it. Clearly, his marriage was on the rocks from his noncaring attitude and he admits as much. Climbers may not like this part of the book but if you are involved in a intense personal relationship but have lived your life as an "A" type individual, read this to learn what might happen to you. At one point, he admits the accident was a positive experience for his interpersonal relationships even though he lost his hands. That's a powerful statement.
This book has something for everyone but maybe not enough for any particular type person. I applaud Beck Weathers and wish him, his wife and his kids well. I enjoyed the book but make sure you're ready for both sides of the story. Hard core climbers who are only in it for the thrill may be disappointed with Beck's life lessons.
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51 of 58 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 25, 2000
Format: Hardcover
This morning, I picked up a copy of "Left for Dead" at (a well-known book store), sat down in a stuffed chair, and read for over an hour. It was very difficult to stop. The heartfelt story of Beck's astonishing walk to Mount Everest's Camp Three; his rescue by an helicopter; his recovery; and his family. . . It was hard to keep from crying on occasion. A great story!
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Raymond Martin on April 18, 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Beck Weathers story could be the most incredible individual survivor-story in the history of Mt. Everest and possibly in history. The first-person account of what he went through is worth the purchase price of the book. One definitely learns a few things about the various participants that tragic season that aren't in the other published accounts. Like most people have said in their review of the book, the last half was BORING. It's a fairly entertaining read right up to the point that he is in a Kathmandu hospital and then he manages to bore us to death with his family life. The thing about it is that this is such a recurring theme in mountaineering. A climber's first love is the mountains. Everything and everyone else take a back seat to the climb. Basically, this was Beck Weathers' problem and he was only able to see the value in his family when he thought he would die. I mean, you're somewhat happy for the guy that he has re-evaluated his life and discovered what's most important to him, but it's difficult not to think that if he hadn't have been such a selfish bastard to begin with, none of it would have ever happened. Like I said, the parts of the book that detail his experience on Everest were riveting, but the rest of the book could have been left out.
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39 of 45 people found the following review helpful By Andre Rivera on April 29, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Unbelievable. That's all I can say. There isn't a soul on this planet that could even begin to comprehend what Beck Weathers went through high in "The Death Zone". This man literally defied death, having been left for dead 3 times and surviving by sheer force of will and his love for his family. This side of the 1996 tragedy hasn't been told until now. Several books have been written about that fateful climb, but Weathers' account delves much deeper than that deadly storm. He gives us all a look into what drives many of us to reach for such lofty and deadly goals.
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