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This Game Of Ghosts [Paperback]

Joe Simpson
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)

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Paperback CDN $21.95  
Paperback, Dec 31 1995 --  
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Book Description

Dec 31 1995
Joe Simpson didn't anticipate experiencing, again, the events described in "Touching the Void". A fall in the Himalayas crippled and almost broke him. Forced to test his nerve he struggled on crutches to 20,000 feet on Pumori only to hear the news of the death of yet one more friend in the mountains. In an attempt to find a catharsis for his confused emotions, he wrote this memoir of the signposts that have directed him since childhood to live as an adventurer.
--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Product Description

From Amazon

In his second memoir, climber Joe Simpson reveals a lifetime of flirtation with danger, from risky childhood stunts to an astonishing number of near-death climbing accidents. Simpson revisits his many brushes with death while climbing: a 2,000-foot fall in the Courtes, the collapse of a bivy ledge on the Dru, a 150-foot fall on Nepal's Pachermo, and his nearly fatal climb in the Andes, covered in his Boardman Tasker Award-winner, Touching the Void.

Simpson writes in an effort to understand his own reasons for taking such risks. He describes what it is like to face death, and works through the guilt of being spared so many times when other climbing friends and mentors were not. Simpson also copes with the frustration of having his climbing ambitions cut short by injury and the resultant feelings of uncertainty. Complete with photo documentation of key events in the author's life, This Game of Ghosts is a gripping account of honesty and fortitude that will keep both mountaineers and outdoor enthusiasts in suspense.

Review

This Game of Ghosts continues Joe Simpson's story, following Touching the Void, in which he described a fall in the Himalayas which crippled and almost broke him. This is a memoir of the signposts that have directed him since childhood to measure fear and embrace the unknown. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This Game of Ghosts June 1 2000
Format:Paperback
As the follow-up book to 'Touching the Voids' Simpson details his life with the emotion and detail you would expect from a truely remarkable individual. From his early childhood to his most advanced expeditions this book takes you on a journey through the highest and lowest points of Simpsons life. Truely blessed with the ability to write with a fine balance of humour and compassion 'This game of ghosts' captured me with three basic emotions; extreme happiness, sadness and a great deal of despondency to finish the book, Perfect!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Fear is the Key July 31 2003
Format:Paperback
From Simpson's introduction to this book we realize that it is perhaps fear, and overcoming fear and the accompanying exhiliration that drives him. Or is it?
Touching the Void was a brilliant book, detailing a horrific climb and fall in the Peruvian Andes. But at the end, you do wish you could know more about this guy. This Game of Ghosts fills in the blanks. Beginning with his upbringing as the youngest of 5 children, we get to come along as he is introduced to climbing, and adopts it more as a lifestyle than a hobby. Simpson comes of age literally and figuratively in this book. His writing is more polished than in his first book, he is older and wiser, and has gone on to experience more peaks, more true friends, more loss. He explores these things in an effort to describe the allure climbing holds for him, while admonishing us not to assume all adrenaline junkies are the same.
Don't worry, this isn't a philosophy book. It's chock full of fantastic adventures and once again we get to accompany him to dangerous places where we feel the cold, the fear, and the companionship of like minds. This is a must read for anyone who liked Touching the Void. Highly recommended.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good reading June 30 2000
Format:Paperback
This is a delightful book. Not that the writer's more well-known TOUCHING THE VOID is badly written; it isn't, and it remians on my short list of the best mountaineering/adventure books I've read. But in THIS GAME OF GHOSTS Simpson stretches out more fully, more autobiographically (is that a wrod?) in an attempt to explain (to himself, to the reader) what it is about climbing that is so attractive, so essential to his existence. While he is honest almost to a fault, Simpson is smart enough to not fall (no pun intended) into the cliches and pseudo-mystical parrot talk that waters down an awful lot of mountaineering lit. For Simpson, there is no short, definitive answer as to why he is drawn to steep, icy mountain walls. On the other hand, the whole book is an answer to this question, which he poses, dismisses, returns to, and obliquely answers over and over.
This is not just a good mountaineering book; it is a bood book, period. At first I thought Simpson was being a bit self-indulgent by detailing his early life. ("Who does this guy think he is?" I asked myself. "This isn't Winston Churchill or even Frank McCourt, but an unknown Brit who thinks we care about his schoolboy years.") But he won me over through his strong sense of humor and good storytelling. And the whole thing is full of good stories. Part of the book's appeal is in the stupidity of Simpson's climbing mistakes, many of which lead to life-threatening accidents. But through all his many incidents, Simpson proves to be as resilient as a rubber ball.
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By A Customer
Format:Paperback
I have read many self centered, often gratuitous mountain adventure books. Joe Simson really brings us home to an obsession, which for him happens to be climbing. For all readers, the book could serve as a great insight into our dreams, passions or habits, for that matter. Although, the book is categorized as a " climbing " book it far outranks others of that genre. Climbing is an important element in it and there is lots of it. However, it is Simpson's way with words, his style and the retrospective flashes from his past which really makes us all wonder about our goals and aspirations in life. Thumbs up, five stars, fantastic, what else can I say ? Peter Chrzanowski
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4.0 out of 5 stars A thoroughly enjoyable read Oct. 13 2000
By iamcdn
Format:Paperback
Although the story is not as dramatic as his "Touching the Void", the writing style is better and Joe gives us an inside on his life and his climbing. He is honest and and paints a colourful portrait of his life and encouters with danger. His story includes a funny cast of climbers who share the same lifestyle and sport.
His life stories are funny and interesting. However he also deals with the dark side of climbing, the loss of his comrades. Joe is honest and shares with us his recollection of his life after the accident. I thoroughly enjoyed this book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Aug. 26 1998
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
"This Game of Ghosts" is about 10 times better than "Touching the Void". The writing is so much better, it's hard to believe that it's the same author. Simpson touches on his childhood as well as his early climbing years. You really get to know the author thorough many events instead of just one covered in his first book. His narratives are extremely funny and entertaining. What an incredible cast of characters. Simpson talks about what climbing meant to him, and how in changed his life. Truly a fantastic read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars This Game of Ghosts June 1 2000
Format:Paperback
As the follow-up book to 'Touching the Voids' Simpson details his life with the emotion and detail you would expect from a truely remarkable individual. From his early childhood to his most advanced expeditions this book takes you on a journey through the highest and lowest points of Simpsons life. Truely blessed with the ability to write with a fine balance of humour and compassion 'This game of ghosts' captured me with three basic emotions; extreme happiness, sadness and a great deal of dispondoncy to finish the book, Perfect!
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Confusion
The honesty of the author in "This Game of Ghosts" is startling, and refreshing. Joe looks at the experiences that have shaped his life, both before and after the... Read more
Published on Dec 1 1998
5.0 out of 5 stars A challenging but often funny insight into Joes life & mind
After being stunned by "Touching the Void", I read this book with keen interest to understand why and how he survived, and if he had progressed in his life. Read more
Published on Oct. 14 1998 by N. Down
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable, more thorough look at Simpson's climbing life.
Prepare for a switch in gears if you read this after "Touching the Void". It details not one rivetting account, but several harrowing events that possibly give the... Read more
Published on Sept. 5 1998 by Robert Hayes
5.0 out of 5 stars An amazing insight into a climbers mind
Thought it was great. The desire to climb and face risks, is often hard to discribe. Simpson address those thoughts - and looks at some of the psychological reason why people... Read more
Published on Aug. 23 1998
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
About 10 times better than "Touching the Void", the writing is so much better, it's hard to believe that it's the same author. Read more
Published on Aug. 22 1998
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book, a fitting sequel to Touching The Void
If you read "Touching The Void" and finished in record time like most people you might have felt it ended a bit quickly, that there was clearly more to say about the trek... Read more
Published on July 26 1998
2.0 out of 5 stars Fascination of Death!
Being I mountaineer myself, I have found "Touching the Void" absolutely rivetting and transcanding. Read more
Published on July 6 1998 by Amazon Customer
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