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The Third Man Factor: The Secret to Survival in Extreme Environments [Paperback]

John Geiger
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 26.00
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Book Description

Jan. 27 2009

Trader Ron DiFrancesco in the World Trade Center, diver Stephanie Schwabe, Sir Ernest Shackleton: All shared an experience that an unseen being helped them to survive against staggering odds. If it were just a handful of people, it might be dismissed, but in fact, this phenomenon has occurred again and again. In a riveting scientific and historical analysis, The Third Man Factor explores the human capacity to transcend extreme conditions.


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The Third Man Factor: The Secret to Survival in Extreme Environments + The Angel Effect
Price For Both: CDN$ 32.90

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Review

"Fascinating to read ... This deeply humane book is more than the sum of its parts: Geiger elegantly demonstrates how these divergent and very personal experiences reveal our profoundly social nature... Geiger is relentless and persuasive in investigating the science behind the experience, and describing the cascade of factors involved." -- Maclean's

"Packed with edge-of-your-seat stories of survival and compelling looks into the transformative psychology of extreme experiences." -- Canadian Geographic

"Riveting...truly relevatory...an important book" -- The Explorers Journal

Review

"Fascinating to read ... This deeply humane book is more than the sum of its parts: Geiger elegantly demonstrates how these divergent and very personal experiences reveal our profoundly social nature... Geiger is relentless and persuasive in investigating the science behind the experience, and describing the cascade of factors involved."

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Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars
3.6 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Compelling Nov. 2 2009
This writer spoke at Edmonton's LitFest and a group of us just couldn't stop talking about his book. It is not a scientific study of anything; it is a compilation of compelling stories of people who survived despite the odds stacked against them. The author is like an everyman, seeking out an understanding of the voice that comforts us and, indeed, guides us through the worst imaginable situations. He comes to the conclusions as we would, unsure that he's right, but unable to deny the evidence (if only anecdotal) that he's been witness to. This is an excellent read for a non-fiction reader who likes stories of adventure, suspense and survival. Thank goodness for writers of all kinds- with enough books printed, we can all connect with a great story.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly Recommended Sept. 27 2010
By Allie
I have read another of Geiger's books, Frozen in Time. He clearly has a keen interest in the history of polar exploration, as well as the third man phenomenon. I found both books to be impossible-to-put-down page-turners, and this one is well-researched, though certainly not a scientific or academic study. I would definitely recommend it for anyone with a passion for unexplained phenomena, history and mystery.
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7 of 11 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A book with an agenda April 11 2009
By D. S.
While book cover and promotional texts studiously give the impression that this book is a serious analysis of a psychological phenomenon that happens under extreme duress, the book itself, from the start, does not hide its bias toward a religious explanation. In short, the author's opinion is that this "Third Man" is your "guardian angel" and from then on the book, happily confusing personal interpretations for facts, aims at proving it.

While some scientific explanations are presented, they seem to be there only to provide a semblance of objectivity - and are quickly dismissed as not really satisfactory. For the author, the most satisfactory explanation is, of course, the presence of "an unseen being of compassion and beauty and, for some, a greater power".

Bottom line, if you are looking for a serious and objective study, this book is not it.
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4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Third Man Factor March 23 2009
By reader
This book was recommended to me and was glad it was. I loved it and couldn't put it down. It grabs you like life does. It is well written and easy to read and understand. It reminds us how strong we as humans really are and what we are capable of enduring. We are not alone when we discover we have ourselves to guide us. I will recommend it to my circle of friends.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing July 23 2009
I was interested in the subject but I thought it could have been written much better. I was mostly bored with it.
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