- Hardcover: 304 pages
- Publisher: Villard; 1 edition (April 2, 2002)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0375506098
- ISBN-13: 978-0375506093
- Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1.1 x 9.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 38 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #550,153 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Over the Edge: The True Story of Four American Climbers' Kidnap and Escape in the Mountains of Central Asia Hardcover – April 2, 2002
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A year before America woke to the madness of Islamic terrorism, four young American rock climbers were pulled directly into its line of fire on a rock climbing expedition 80 miles from Afghanistan. Oblivious to the volatile mix of ethnic strife, drug smuggling, and militant Islam brewing there, the four had been seeking extreme adventure in the "Yosemite Valley" of Central Asia. Greg Child gives a riveting chronicle of their capture by militants of the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (linked to al Qaeda), who dragged them through six harrowing days of gun battles before the four made their dramatic escape. As a veteran climber of the area and a seasoned writer, Child was uniquely qualified to write "the story that refused to stop unfolding," scrupulously tracking the moments that led to the ultimate decision--whether to kill to live--and the firestorm of controversy and skepticism that surrounded the four on their return to a still-ignorant America. To learn the truth, Child even traveled to Kyrgyzstan with two of the climbers to face one of their captors. Over the Edge is a charged and unforgettable look into the many faces of international terrorism and human nature itself. --Lesley Reed
From Publishers Weekly
Child has everything he needs for an Ian Fleming-type mountaineering drama: a great setting in the Pamir Alai region of Kyrgyzstan; a cast of quick-witted American mountaineers (three men and one woman); a backdrop of drug trafficking, political instability and economic free-for-all; Islamic mujahideen facing Uzbeki soldiers armed with naivete or Kalashnikovs, or both. Unfortunately, Child (Postcards from the Ledge) left his talent for dialogue, description and sense of timing back at the magazine writer's base camp at 4,000 words. The climbers were kidnapped and held for six days in August 2000, pawns of Muslim extremists on the border between Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. Despite full access to the climbers after their escape and rescue, and despite background knowledge from his own climbs in the region, Child's story is flat. The dialogue is wooden, and Child tends to overexplain his characters' motivations and psychic states. Though he details some thrilling scenes, the psychological drama fizzles, and the momentum is slowed by Child's narrative about his own connection to the story (which began as an assignment for Climbing magazine). Even the obvious current relevance of kidnapping, Islamic politics and narco-trafficking in these mountains doesn't quite compensate for storytelling problems and being just one more John Krakauer-style mountaineering adventure doesn't help, either.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
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Their story is so unbelievable and information is so unreliable that their credibility is severely questioned. This book goes into detail about this controversy and I think does an excellent job of showing how it developed. ...
Based on the controversy you're either going to believe the story or not. To me, it's very believable. The climber characters are classic young Americans and the author does a great job portraying their close relationships and this eventually cracks. I stongly recommend this book if you like climbing or stories of adventure.