Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $3.99 shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
Into Thin Air: A Personal Account of the Mt. Everest Disaster Paperback – October 19, 1999
|New from||Used from|
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
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. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top customer reviews
I found the book compelling from the get-go, and downright gripping at times. He did a good job of piecing together where the various actors were on the mountain at pivotal moments of the final ascent and descent to and from the summit.
My only beef: Could've benefited from more photos, e.g. Some of the other major characters in the story (The rich, deletente, Sandy Pittman; The guides and clients of the expedition; the members of the other expeditions [the Taiwanese team, the South Africans]...and especially THE SHERPAS! Why no photos of the SHERPAS?).
To have gone through what he had, being a journalist and not a mountaineer as they say, one can only imagine - there has to be a lot of pain in his heart about seeing people he went up with only to watch 10 of them I think it was? die, And at one point - (Im terrible with the names) there was a part where he sees who he thinks is Andy Harris but turns out to actually be another man who survived and it brought him a tremendous amount of pain that he originally thought the man was alive and in a camp, his significant other called only to have to call them back the next day to tell her that he was in fact dead. Again, the book was a HUGE undertaking for me as far as keeping everyone's names straight so I might be confusing that one point - I just know that Krakauer seemed to be emotionally terribly distraught by a lot of the events that happened. To debate this Boukreev using oxygen I think is pointless - what happened happened - to me, anyone who climbs mountains for a living or for sport I admire, I suppose, but I also think YOU ARE CRAZY LOL - (said as light heartedly as I can) my goodness, what possesses people to want to do this? It has to be a calling a true inner calling that I can just not fathom. It sounds like an awful lot of pain for a little gain but hey, the same can be said for life in general.
I admire Krakauer and enjoyed the book thouroughly. I did not read the Climb and probably never will - one mountain book for me is enough. It was enthralling but scared me to a degree. Again, I cannot imagine the pain of being that cold and without oxygen, being asthmatic, and thinking back to my oxygen depleted youth NOTHING hurts worse than not being able to breathe so climbing any mountains for me is OUT OF the question, especially after reading this book WOW is all I have to say!!!
And for anyone a part of the 1996 climb who is still alive - give yourself a break, you too, Krakauer, what you did was fine and I see no reason for you to feel guilty - let go of those negative feelings - at one point in the book a Sherpa gets hit in the back of the head with a stone several times and turns to tell Krakauer, WHAT have we done to make the mountain Gods so angry???
That part more than any other made me think....what INDEED????
It must take great discipline to write about such a deeply personal event with such diligence towards fact and wherever speculation was presented the reader was always made aware, and repeated attempts to offer technical/clinical explanations for behaviours that seem out of character or normal behaviour.
I remember hearing about this tragedy when it happened but was only inspired to learn more after seeing the highly holywoodized movie Everest. This book truly reminded me how important separating fact from fiction/entertainment really is and highly recommend this book to anyone wanting to learn more from a highly endearing account from a humble human and gifted writer who happened to be there.
Thank you to the author for giving us a chance to hear your story and the events as you presented.
While "Into Thin Air" at times feels like a slightly padded and stretched version of the magazine article Krakauer initially wrote, in general the story moves quickly and is compellingly told. Krakauer has, in my view, been reasonably scrupulous in seeking a range of views and recollections and relatively honest about his own perceived shortcomings - he is also candid about the difficulties involved in piecing together an accurate picture from the recollections of cold, tired, frightened and oxygen-deprived people in stress - or of in being overly critical of their decisions with 20/20 hindsight. While one would have to read a work from an opposing viewpoint such as The Climb: Tragic Ambitions on Everest to form a definitive opinion of the actions of Andrei Boukreev, for example, Krakauer's criticism of Boukreev's actions before the disaster appears measured and objective (and gives space to opposing interpretations) while acknowledging his heroic and superhuman rescue efforts during the storm. Some of the one-star reviews attacking Krakauer on this front appear a bit unreasonable and unwilling to consider that Boukreev's heroism doesn't rule out inadequate planning or cooperation beforehand.
The most disappointing aspect of "Into Thin Air" is the authors tendency to conflate relatively trivial virtues (being an amusing dinner companion, having agreeable political views, or being able to climb a mountain well) with more fundamental human virtues - which seems to be a fairly common trait in works of this nature. If you are a better climber and a more entertaining companion than the next guy/girl on the rope, then you are a better person and that's it. As a consequence, he comes across as relatively shallow and banal, and never really engages with some of the more fundamental moral questions posed by events on Everest that climbing season, when a number of climbers in distress were either ignored, given insufficient help or pushed beyond their limits in order not to compromise what is, ultimately, a fairly empty achievement to let somebody die for. While no particularly profound thinker himself, Joe Simpson does a far better job of challenging this mental climate in Dark Shadows Falling.
Somewhere between three and a half and four stars (I marked it down to three only because there are so many 4/5 star reviews posted already). Certainly far more interesting and memorable than the authors Eiger Dreams: Ventures Among Men and Mountains, which also seems interested in trivial personal qualities at the expense of more important ones.