I read this book two years ago, and have read a lot of true adventure books since then. I can honestly say that I have compared all others to "Journey" - it has become my benchmark!
The level of human suffering combined with positive life affirming attitudes in this book is overwhelming! It's difficult to apprehend the challenges these men faced, and for such long periods of time. Their feats are nothing short of miracles.
To top it off, "Cherry" recounts the story with superb style and grace. In todays world of "keep it simple", "dumb it down", and "shorter is better", it's refreshing to read an author who lets the language flow and uses it with a beauty of it's own. Granted, it was "normal" language at the time that it was written, but even among his peers, he excelled at the written word. That's why "this" book is a better choice that other books on the same topic. You get this one from Cherry's own diary and words, not a modern author looking at it from the outside in.
In spite of the illustrations included in the edition that I read, it would be helpful to consult other maps of the area. There were times when it took some digging to figure out exactly where the authors were (geographically) and the terrain difficulties that they discussed. Once you figure it out, though, there is usally another "WOW" moment attached to it.
If there is anything wrong with this book, it would be that it needs better maps in a variety of scales for frames of reference, and MORE PICTURES! There are times when your imagination just won't do justice to reality. Seeing it in a photo would be fantastic. There are many other sources for those photos... check them out while reading this book.
All in all, a GREAT adventure book. If you are interested in true life adventure which tests the limits of the human soul, spirit, and physical abilities, this book is an absolute MUST read.