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Miracle in the Andes: 72 Days on the Mountain and My Long Trek Home Hardcover – May 9, 2006

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In October 1972, a plane carrying an Uruguayan rugby team crashed in the Andes. Not immediately rescued, the survivors turned to cannibalism to survive and after 72 days were saved. Rugby team member Parrado has written a beautiful story of friendship, tragedy and perseverance. High in the Andes, with a fractured skull, eating the flesh of his teammates and friends, Parrado calmly ponders the cruelties of fate, the power of the natural world and the possibility of continued existence. "I would live from moment to moment and from breath to breath, until I had used up all the life I had." Parrado, who for the past 10 years has been giving inspirational talks based on his experiences, lost his mother and sister in the crash. Struggling to stay alive, his guide becomes his beloved father: "each [stride] brought me closer to my father... each step I took was a step stolen back from death." More than a companion to the 1970s bestselling chronicle of the disaster, Alive, this is a fresh, gripping page-turner that will satisfy adventure readers, and a complex reflection on camaraderie, family and love. Photos. First serial in Outside. (May 9)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From School Library Journal

Adult/High School–In 1972, Parrado and his rugby teammates from Uruguay were flying to Chile to play a match against the national team. Crossing the Andes, the aircraft crashed on a remote, high-altitude, glaciated slope. This remarkable story of the survivors omits none of the raw intensity and brutality of their experience but is burnished by time, casting an analytical perspective on ways in which their subsequent lives were influenced by the ordeal. The many forms of courage exhibited and the sustaining power of love of family are the basis of the narrative as the group supported one another in a collective refusal to surrender to the mountain. Parrado credits their physical conditioning and the rigorous team ethic inherent in the sport as the foundation for the trust and allegiance that enabled the men to battle the odds. Reduced to the most elemental human needs and learning from a radio transmission that rescue efforts had been abandoned, they reluctantly realized that their only food source was the bodies of the victims. Parrado was respectful of the spiritual faith of those who clung to a belief in rescue, but put his energy into engineering a plan and acted as a leader of the expeditionaries who hiked through the perilous mountains to find help. A detailed chronicle of these events was presented in Piers Paul Read's Alive (Avon, 1975), but Parrado's memoir offers a reflective expansion of that work. Dramatic photographs are included.–Lynn Nutwell, Fairfax City Regional Library, VA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Crown; 1St Edition edition (May 9, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1400097673
  • ISBN-13: 978-1400097678
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1.1 x 10.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (337 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #966,255 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

162 of 170 people found the following review helpful By Lance M. on April 12, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Piers Paul Read wrote the great book Alive and after an excellent movie it could be thought there was little more left to the actual story. Wrong. Nando Parrado adds much much more to this survival story and doesn't re-tell like Read but lets you know what happened to him and his emotions on the mountain. This is a great companion to the classic book. Most (myself included) wanted to be Nando - he was strong, and saved his friends through unreal internal fortitude - he's a genuine hero. His is one of the most compelling survival stories in recorded history and this is a worthy memoir.

Where Read lets you know what happened Parrado lets you know the why's and how's they survived - the real heart of this story. He let's the reader know in more detail the miserable existence on the mountain. When you read his thought "tears waste salt" it might sound cold hearted but it was the RIGHT thought and you begin to understand his inner strength. His thoughts about his family are touching, his feelings about his great father are insightful - what a fortunate son, what a fortunate father. Without his father the disappearance of the plane would remain a mystery.

In an interview Roberto Canessa once said the survivors know each other better than anyone. I really didn't understand that until reading this book. Parrado also sheds light on some negative depictions of survivors in Read's book and it helps the reader understand their actions. I also enjoyed reading what happened to Parrado after the incident and how the words and behavior of his friends who died on the mountain has influenced him. It took Parrado a long time to realize how inspirational his story is and it's great he's written his story. Make no mistake; this story is not about cannibalism, it is about love, survival and determination. I'm a better person for having read this book.
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58 of 62 people found the following review helpful By Daniel P. Markoff on May 15, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is one of the most remarkable books I've ever read - just an incredible story and told with perfect pacing. I started reading the book on a plane of all places and then finished it the first night at 4:00 in the morning. You won't be able to put it down - even though you'll know the ending.

The story truly puts our small problems in perspective and gives the reader an apprecition for the human spirit at it's most tested.

Now I just want to find someway to hear Nando Parrado speak in person.
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36 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Eric Wilson on July 11, 2006
Format: Hardcover
As a youngster, I heard bits and pieces of this story--an Andes plane crash; a rugby team; cannibalism; heroism and terror. When I saw that a new, more personal account was being released, I knew I would have to read it, to experience the horror and amazement that my own father felt in the generation before me.

"Miracle in the Andes" is a superbly written book. A prologue hints at much greater trouble to come with a brief description of the plane crash's aftermath. Then, with building, unrelenting drama, the story follows the chronological path of the ordeal. As a reader, I was awed by the grandeur and beauty of the Andes, then frightened by their rapid weather changes and malevolent moods. I related to different individuals' reactions--and lack thereof--to the trials they endured. At certain points, I laughed. Or shook my head. Or took a deep breath and moved on. By the end, I was moved to tears by Nando's final poignancies and his reunion with his father.

Like "Into Thin Air" and "Endurance," this book has all the qualities of fantastic non-fiction, mixing detail and human drama without melodrama. It provides tasteful photos and clear maps for clarity. Going beyond even the soul-searching of "Touching the Void," "Miracle in the Andes" moves forward with unflinching honesty and believable introspection. It's an account of challenge and encouragement to each of us as we go through trials that life throws our way. With his talented co-writer, Nando peels back the layers of his memory and emotion to glean from his experience and then to pass on that learning to others. The passage of time not only lends weight to his words, it lends a humility and grace.
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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful By MElise VINE VOICE on June 16, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Although the stories of the rugby players who crash landed in the Andes and survived there for months is well known, especially as told by Alive. In this book, a survivor tells the story from his perspective. This book makes you really believe the saying that truth is stranger than fiction. I would find it hard to believe that a charter plain could crash land in the Andes (after coming apart in mid-air), have over half those on board survive (but not the plane's crew), that these remaining mostly young men could survive for 72 days in the freezing temperatures with just snow to drink and flesh to eat, and that two men could attempt a ten-day journey through the Andes. But it happened, and this is the story as told by one of the two men who went in search of rescue.

Quote: "Nando, I want you to remember, even in this place, our lives have meaning. Our suffering is not for nothing. Even if we are trapped here forever, we can love our families, and God, and each other as long as we live. Even in this place, our lives are worth living."

I thought this book was amazing- sad, though-provoking, suspenseful, I couldn't put it down. The author makes it clear that he is telling his own story, not just the facts of what happened, but also his feelings and internal conflict during that time. He does not sensationalize the story (which he felt the media did)- instead of dwelling on grisly facts for shock value, he mentions them, that the survivors did what they had to do, and moves on. what the media considers most important in the story and what he believes people should take from it are very different things.
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