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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Still Thinking About It
I enjoyed this novel so much that I immediately read it again after finishing it the first time. That was mostly due to the fact that the bulk of the action takes place in the last quarter of the book and by then, you're so interested in the fate of the characters, that you have to start again just to sort out all the players. I agree there was MUCH referencing back to...
Published on Jan. 8 2011 by MrMoe

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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Amazing journalism; not the best story
Into Thin Air is a good read- provided you approach it the right way. If you are looking for an action-packed thrill-ride on every page, this book will disappoint you. Krakauer's style is very balanced, straight shooting, and journalistic; and the story has one major limitation- reality. As a journalist, Krakauer is obligated, perhaps by professional ethic, perhaps by...
Published on Nov. 2 2003 by Brian


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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Still Thinking About It, Jan. 8 2011
This review is from: Into Thin Air: A Personal Account of the Mt. Everest Disaster (Paperback)
I enjoyed this novel so much that I immediately read it again after finishing it the first time. That was mostly due to the fact that the bulk of the action takes place in the last quarter of the book and by then, you're so interested in the fate of the characters, that you have to start again just to sort out all the players. I agree there was MUCH referencing back to the expedition listing pages (had to dog-ear that one) due to the enormous cast and Krakauer's penchant for jumping back and forth in the timeline.

Regardless, I am still thinking about this story days later; about the physical hardships they suffered, about those who suffered further only to ultimately die for their troubles. I still haven't concluded whether climbing Everest is pointless or purposeful. It is currently very wintery in my home town and every time I feel like complaining about the wind chill or how bad it's snowing, I think about the Hillary Step, about Beck Weathers or Neal Biedleman and what REAL cold is.

I'd like to make a note that the 5 stars goes to the story itself and the subject matter, and is not necessarily related to the author. Krakauer's writing style is agreeable and informative, and the firsthand account, however accurate, is fascinating. However I would caution Krakauer to limit his penchant for elaborate and complicated words to describe the ordinary, for no apparent reason other than to make you sprint for the dictionary in mid-paragraph. Why use `bivouac' when you can just say temporary camp or unsheltered area?
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5.0 out of 5 stars Very Touching, Feb. 20 2014
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This review is from: Into Thin Air (Kindle Edition)
Krakauer gives a very touching and eye opening account of what can only be explained as an extremely tragic event.
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4.0 out of 5 stars excellent !!!, Dec 25 2013
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This review is from: Into Thin Air: A Personal Account of the Mt. Everest Disaster (Paperback)
The only thing is that there is some Highlighted section in the book.... and description said there was none. Beside that, it is excellent.... nad cheap!!!
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5.0 out of 5 stars A harrowing read, Oct. 19 2013
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This review is from: Into Thin Air (Kindle Edition)
A sobering and harrowing account of a climbing disaster. As I read it, I wondered "can this get any worse?". Well, it does. This book shows clearly why guiding inexperienced people up Everest is not a good thing, and why it should perhaps be stopped entirely. What is more disturbing is how Krakauer himself was treated by others afterward. He did his best as a journalist to get all of the events factually correct. He did not deserve to be attacked for doing so.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Extremely gripping, July 23 2013
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This review is from: Into Thin Air (Kindle Edition)
Great book. It is very engrossing and makes you feel like you were there. The author tries to be fair and present all points of view.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Amazing journalism; not the best story, Nov. 2 2003
By 
Brian (Washington) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Into Thin Air: A Personal Account of the Mt. Everest Disaster (Paperback)
Into Thin Air is a good read- provided you approach it the right way. If you are looking for an action-packed thrill-ride on every page, this book will disappoint you. Krakauer's style is very balanced, straight shooting, and journalistic; and the story has one major limitation- reality. As a journalist, Krakauer is obligated, perhaps by professional ethic, perhaps by personal belief, to tell his readers what actually happened. And as you probably know, the true story is not always the most interesting.
The book itself is riddled with pages of hard facts, which are probably unnecessary and uninteresting to the average reader. Krakauer delves deep into the history of Everest, from its discovery to the present, attempting to set the stage. But his lengthy, grueling descriptions make for laborious reading, as he relates every major expedition since 1924. After some initial background on the mountain, the author feeds you a liberal helping of climbing etiquette and technique. Finally, after nearly 100 pages, Krakauer and his climbing partners reach Mt. Everest Base Camp. The meat of the story is very interesting, and follows Rob Hall's expedition to summit the mountain in 1996. Numerous hardships and pitfalls will be met along the way, but reaching the top is only half the battle. It is on the way down that the real crisis begins to unfold- one month and 250 pages later.
Krakauer cites two reasons for writing this book: to tell a story which he felt needed to be told, and perhaps to gain some closure on the events which have haunted him since the day he left the mountain. He toils to remain balanced in his writing, sharing the accounts of other climbers in addition to his own. In good journalistic form, Krakauer poses questions to the reader without directly asking them. The ending and aftermath in particular do a nice job of drawing on readers' emotions. I also strongly recommend that you read the Author's Note, where you will learn of Krakauer's internal and external struggle; and the fierce debate over how this story should be told.
Perhaps the best way to review this book is to relate the author to you. Jon Krakauer is an incredible, one-of-a-kind journalist... but not the best at action-packed storytelling. His style of writing is one of fact reporting. It goes far beyond the definition of "non-fiction," and borders on... dare I say "boring"? The Los Angeles Time raves that Into Thin Air "will leave you gasping for breath." The only way I see that happening is if you run a marathon while reading it. The bottom line- a good read with a solid, interesting plot, but definitely not "among the great adventure books of all time." Into Thin Air rates a 3 out of 5.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars interesting but slanted, May 27 1999
By A Customer
When I first read this book, I thought it was an interesting although not outstanding bit of reporting. Then someone gave me a copy of Boukreev's "The Climb," which appears to be an honest but completely non-self-aggrandizing account of how Boukreev, in the face of spectacularly awful conditions, single-handedly rescued other climbers who surely would have died otherwise. It objectively recounts what one can only, realistically, call heroism. But while Boukreev risked his own life to save others, Krakauer slept in a tent; and afterward, despite receiving much direct evidence to the contrary, Krakauer insisted on casting aspersions and innuendo on Boukreev. Realizing Krakauer's lack of honor detracts significantly from any enjoyment of his work.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Krakauer suggests far more questions than he answers, May 26 1999
By A Customer
As part of the audience Krakauer presumably was trying to reach (non-climbers who are interested in Everest and the 1996 tragedy) I don't know all that much about climbing in general or Everest in particular. Given that, it would have been easy to applaud the book and say, great job, terrific account. Having read two (better) books on the 1996 tragedy after I read this book, I simply can't be enthusiastic about the story overall. Krakauer does a terrific job of making the experience of climbing something people who doesn't do it can relate to, but his account of the tragedy quite frankly comes across as a desperate attempt to place blame. And given his nonexistent high-altitude experience prior to this climb, Krakauer is the last person who should have been making judgments. Essentially, it's a story of "this decision was bad, that decision was bad, this person and that person were both wrong in doing this and that." Krakauer claims that everyone involved in the summit attempt, storm, and subsequent rescue attempts was operating under impaired judgment from lack of oxygen and exhaustion. One is led to wonder just exactly how he escaped these problems to pass judgment on the decisions of climbers and guides with far more Himalayan and high-altitude experience than he had. Lastly, it seems ludicrous that a man who makes a living as an author can claim to give an accurate account of the disaster when he has missed so many crucial facts. Definitely NOT the best choice if you want an objective assessment of what happened and only want to read one book about Everest in May of 1996.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book, Oct. 3 2011
This review is from: Into Thin Air: A Personal Account of the Mt. Everest Disaster (Paperback)
Well written. As a non climber myself I found it very interesting as there is alot of details included to help the reader have a thorough understanding of what was really happening
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Very Chilling Account of the Disaster, Aug. 2 2009
By 
A. Saeed "dukanborn" (Toronto, Canada) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Into Thin Air: A Personal Account of the Mt. Everest Disaster (Paperback)
Don't ever begin reading this book if you have to go to work the next day! This is the second book I've read by Jon Krakauer and once again he solemnly forces you to re-live a real story, in this case the harrowing hours he and his teammates went through during the 1996 disaster on top Mount Everest, in which eight climbers were killed. Sad and tragic and it's hard to shake the impression off yourself after reading this book, and if you are susceptible to nightmares you will have plenty after reading this book.

I kept reminding myself that this is a non-fiction book, about real events, because at some points it feels so esoteric that you would find it hard to believe it really happened. I confidently rank this book among great adventure classics like Thor Heyerdahl's "Kon-Tiki".
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Into Thin Air: A Personal Account of the Mt. Everest Disaster
Into Thin Air: A Personal Account of the Mt. Everest Disaster by Jon Krakauer (Paperback - Oct. 19 1999)
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