Concise and yet packed with detail, Touching the Void
, Joe Simpson's harrowing account of near-death in the Peruvian Andes, is a compact tour de force that wrestles with issues of bravery, friendship, physical endurance, the code of the mountains, and the will to live. Simpson dedicates the book to his climbing partner, Simon Yates, and to "those friends who have gone to the mountains and have not returned." What is it that compels certain individuals to willingly seek out the most inhospitable climate on earth? To risk their lives in an attempt to leave footprints where few or none have gone before? Simpson's vivid narrative of a dangerous climbing expedition will convince even the most die-hard couch potato that such pursuits fall within the realm of the sane. As the author struggles ever higher, readers learn of the mountain's awesome power, the beautiful--and sometimes deadly--sheets of blue glacial ice, and the accomplishment of a successful ascent. And then catastrophe: the second half of Touching the Void
sees Simpson at his darkest moment. With a smashed, useless leg, he and his partner must struggle down a near-vertical face--and that's only the beginning of their troubles.
"A gripping narrative that should excite armchair adventurers everywhere." -- --Cleveland Plain-Dealer
"A truly astounding account of suffering and fortitude." -- The Times (London)
"Simpson touches a nerve of the mountaineering community and the hearts of others." -- --Los Angeles Times
"Told with lyrical quality and stunning immediacy, Touching the Void
transcends its genre and becomes accessible to readers who have never had any desire to climb a glacier." -- New York Newsday