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Left for Dead: My Journey Home from Everest [Mass Market Paperback]

Beck Weathers
2.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (73 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Nov. 6 2001
“I can tell you that some force within me rejected death at the last moment and then guided me, blind and stumbling — quite literally a dead man walking — into camp and the shaky start of my return to life....”

In 1996 Beck Weathers and a climbing team pushed toward the summit of Mount Everest. Then a storm exploded on the mountain, ripping the team to shreds, forcing brave men to scratch and crawl for their lives. Rescuers who reached Weathers saw that he was dying, and left him.

Twelve hours later, the inexplicable occurred. Weathers appeared, blinded, gloveless, caked with ice — coming down the mountain as a “dead man walking.”

In this powerful memoir, Weather describes not only his escape from hypothermia and the murderous storm that killed nine climbers; he describes another journey, a life’s journey. This is the story of a man’s route to a dangerous sport and a fateful expedition, as well as the road of recovery he has traveled since.

In Left for Dead, we are witness to survival in the face of certain death, the reclaiming of a family and a life, and the most remarkable adventure of all: what we can do when we’re offered a second chance.

Frequently Bought Together

Left for Dead: My Journey Home from Everest + Into Thin Air: A Personal Account of the Mt. Everest Disaster + The Climb: Tragic Ambitions on Everest
Price For All Three: CDN$ 40.34

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Product Description

From Amazon

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.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
On the evening of May 10, 1996, a killer blizzard exploded around the upper reaches of Mount Everest, trapping me and dozens of other climbers high in the Death Zone of the Earth's tallest mountain. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars High Expectations, Low Returns March 1 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The subtitle is "My Journey Home From Everest" which should actually be the title. By page 99 out of page 340, Mr. Weathers is out of the mountains trying to cope with being back in civilization after going through lleh.
I didn't read the subtitle when I was buying the book and was expecting most of the book to be about his time on Everest. Unfortunately it wasn't to be. By page 160 when he is battling with his psychological demons, a problematic family life, etc., it was time for me to put the book down and move on to other books. While he was successful with most of his battles and no doubt is inspiring, he uses his Mount Everest experience to springboard into his personal spiritual battle.
If you want to read this book, read it as a spiritual conquest by someone who happens to climb mountains.
Do not read this book as a mountaineering book.
I have listened to a speech that Mr. Weathers gave to the American Bar Association and think the world of him and what he went through on the mountain. Unfortunately I think very little of his book here. :-(
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4.0 out of 5 stars The Psychology of a Climber Nov. 4 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This is not a typical mountaineering book. If you are looking for detailed descriptions about Camp 4 or the Hillary Step, this is not the book for you. It also does not devote a lot of space to Beck Weathers' Everest climb in 1996 and his opinions on what went wrong. The Krakauer and Breshears books are better if you want a more adventure and climb oriented perspective. However, if you are interested in the psychology of a driven, focused, destructive personality, the book is fascinating. It is an excellent biography of this man's struggles.
The major theme of the book is Beck Weathers' personality and how he wrestles with depression and being extremely goal-oriented, and how this personality nearly drives him to death. It also discusses the carnage he inflicts on his family as he relentlessly follows his passions. The book contains many first-person points of view with some of the most interesting be those of his wife Peach as she deals with Beck's behaviors, tries to run a family, and hang together as Beck travels the world.
The writing is quite lively and there is very little filtering on the language as Beck's comments are often contradicted by the people around him. On the other hand, some of the conversations are not so poignant, and you feel as if some of words have been lifted too directly from the family interviews.
Beck's personality is very interesting to me because he reminds me of a modern Fitzcarraldo, and his choices raise many questions in my mind. Is he a madman for pursuing his dreams? Did his dream save him from suicide? How could he have expected his family to shoulder his burden? Will Beck pick up some other all-encompassing passion? Has he really changed? As I turned the pages, each anecdote seemed to provide some clue in the answers to these questions.
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4.0 out of 5 stars After Into Thin Air, this is a MUST READ Oct. 26 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback
If you haven't yet read Into Thin Air, do it before reading this book; it'll help put the necessary perspective to Dr. Weathers' incredible survival tale. And could there possibly be a better title than he has chosen? No other words adequately describe his situation when the other climbers, struggling themselves to survive against terrible odds, found him, determined he was dead, made it down to shelter, and told everyone else that Beck Weathers had died. Indeed, nine climbers did die, but Beck Weather was not among them. After spending 18 hrs in exposed sub-zero conditions, he miraculously regained consciousness, stood up, and walked into camp. Horribly damaged both physically and mentally by the experience, Dr. Weathers was urged and supported throughout his long and painful recovery by his wife, from whom he was estranged at the time of the 1996 expedition.
In this deeply personal story of estrangement and redemption, Beck Weathers tells a terrific tale that further fleshes out Krakauer's book
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2.0 out of 5 stars Ask for a refund Jan. 10 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Beck Weathers' book starts out mildly interesting as it explores his story of the 1996 Everest diaster, and then regresses into a self absorbed examination of how intelligent and how atheletically able Beck Weathers sees himself. Weathers airs out his struggle with an affliction suffered by millions, depression, but it's hard to judge if he truly is afflicted, or if his claim of depression is just an excuse for a life of self absorbtion and selfishness. The first few chapters of the book is a cheap and not well written attempt to grab the readers attention as it thinly describes the Everest adventure, the middle of the book about the life of Weathers growing up can (and should)be skipped entirely, and the end has some intersting tales of Weathers' climbing experiences around the world. When you finish this book, you'll want two things. First, you'll want at least half of whatever money you spent on the book back, and second, you'll feel certain that Jon Krakauer is owed the other half, because Beck Wethers certainly would never have sold a single book had Krakauer not published his brilliant "Into Thin Air."
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Read! June 18 2002
I was fortunate enough to hear Beck Weathers speak at our national convention (Medical Library Association) in Dallas last month. The story he tells his extremely compelling. When he tells the details of the climb and rescue, he does not mention the more personal anguish of depression and the derailment of his homelife. This is very integral to the major event of the climb, so I was glad to have the opportunity to get to know Beck Weathers through this book in addition to his personal tale of the struggle of life and death on Everest. I know that many reviewers thought this was extraneous, but it's not! And that's the whole point. To understand the psyche of this man who was overpowered with the idea of climbing the "Seven Summits", one cannot ignore the personal drive and journey that Beck Weathers took, virtually "solo" with the concomitant neglect of his wife and children. While this might seem very egregious and selfish, it appears that the author was so driven by depression and the need for concrete achievement, that he was almost unaware of the impact of the toll that this path would finally take. It's interesting that his children were always forgiving; the greater impact was on his wife who, although very angry (and justifiably so), never waivered (at least on the unconscious level) in her faithfulness and love towards him. The most poignant part of the book deals with Beck's relationship with his dying brother-in-law. Peach (Beck's wife's) brother is the role model for Beck's children. He was always there when Beck wasn't. The irony is that Beck is there for him at his time of need - out of genuine love and insight into what this man did for his family - and also as a means to demonstrate to Peach that he indeed loves her and this is one way to genuinely show it. Read more ›
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Most recent customer reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Not very good!!!
The book started out interesting then about 20 or 30 pages later
it started going down hill!!!
First about rescue, then the rest was about his life . Read more
Published 7 months ago by Shelley Hume
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book
My Fiance saw a Dateline show on Everest and became very interested in it and he loves the book :)
Published 8 months ago by Melissa Arnold
3.0 out of 5 stars Beck's Bagagge
Was hoping for more of his take on the events preceeding and immediately following the disaster rather than just a grocery list account the details of which I am already familiar... Read more
Published on July 22 2008 by John C. Marshall
2.0 out of 5 stars Boo. Very Disapointing
I bought this book hoping that Beck would provide some valuable insight in to what it was like to be, literally, left for dead. Read more
Published on Dec 28 2007 by NorthVan Dave
2.0 out of 5 stars "this book is boring me ****less." - a comment to my wife
To be perfectly clear, I am glad I read this book. The problem is that I'm only glad to have read about 20% of it, the rest is stuff that I frankly could care less about. Read more
Published on July 1 2004 by Steven Tursi
2.0 out of 5 stars Not much of an Everest book
I read this book and was severely disappointed in the story. I've read a lot of the accounts from the 1996 tragedy and Beck Weathers story was particularly fascinating. Read more
Published on April 23 2004
2.0 out of 5 stars expected more
Somehow, Beck Weathers managed to write a book about the tragic climb and descent and death and coming back to life atop Everest totally boring. Read more
Published on Feb. 11 2004 by Mary Nears
3.0 out of 5 stars The adventure and the recovery
When reading other books about the May 1996 tragedy on Mount Everest I got more interested in the man who was declared dead, but then miraceously escaped the maountain. Read more
Published on Jan. 31 2004 by Andreas Bjärlestam
3.0 out of 5 stars Pretty good overall
This is a pretty good book. However at least half of the book is dedicated to Weathers' home life and problems with his marriage. Read more
Published on July 7 2003 by K. Nelson
4.0 out of 5 stars Why climb a mountain?
Pretty much the autobiography of how a man almost lost his life on Everest, but somehow recovered his body and soul in the end. Read more
Published on April 1 2003 by Ryan Yeung
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