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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Living Your Challenging Dreams
People have always pushed to accomplish more. When one of my best friends took up mountain climbing well into his fifties after he back wasn't up to golf any more, I began to wonder what the sport was all about. Having remembered that Jon Krakauer is both a wonderful writer and an adventuresome climber, it seemed like I might learn the answers by reading this book. I was...
Published on Feb. 5 2008 by Donald Mitchell

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars No Hill for a Climber
In my humble opinion this book is not in the class of Krakauer's other two books. The stories were, undoubtable exciting (I especially liked the K2 account), but it didn't reach the height of Into thin Air or the depth and discovery of Into the Wild. Well worth the money, but not quite as hair-raising.
Published on July 16 1998


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Living Your Challenging Dreams, Feb. 5 2008
By 
Donald Mitchell "Jesus Loves You!" (Thanks for Providing My Reviews over 122,000 Helpful Votes Globally) - See all my reviews
(#1 HALL OF FAME)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
People have always pushed to accomplish more. When one of my best friends took up mountain climbing well into his fifties after he back wasn't up to golf any more, I began to wonder what the sport was all about. Having remembered that Jon Krakauer is both a wonderful writer and an adventuresome climber, it seemed like I might learn the answers by reading this book. I was more than amply rewarded for my curiosity.

Knowing that adventures are better heard as a story rather than read, I also opted for Philip Franklin's reading for Books on Tape. This was a stunningly good choice. Mr. Franklin makes you feel like you are right there as you look down from dizzying heights of thousands of feet while being held up by a small patch of crumbling ice.

The diversity of the stories is remarkable, from those who want to set records for getting up dangerous new routes to those who want to set records for speed in sport climbing (lots of strength and technique but not much risk). I was very surprised by some of the stories, including the ones about climbing "impossible" boulders that might be only 30 feet high and tall columns of crumbling frozen water . . . unattached to any nearby rock.

Mr. Krakauer has a wonderful ability to bring you into the stories by recounting his own fearful beginnings as a climber and the ways that he has sought release from humdrum cares by climbing. You'll find yourself chilled to the bone in places, even though you may be sitting in front of a roaring fire. It's a great trip!

I don't think I'll take up climbing, but I am indebted to this brilliant exposition of climbing's appeal.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars No Hill for a Climber, July 16 1998
By A Customer
In my humble opinion this book is not in the class of Krakauer's other two books. The stories were, undoubtable exciting (I especially liked the K2 account), but it didn't reach the height of Into thin Air or the depth and discovery of Into the Wild. Well worth the money, but not quite as hair-raising.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Exposure, July 13 2004
By 
S. D. Lord (Monrovia CA) - See all my reviews
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This is an engaging, brilliantly-written set of stories, not about just the experiences, but about the mindsets of climbers. Did I say enganging? I should have said spellbinding. The book could have been titled "Exposure." Every one of the climbers, including the author, and including many who die, is given a history and reference-frame from which you may evaluate the sanity of their thirst for the climbing elixor. Krakauer gives you the full story. This is great reading; you will not be bored!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great Writing, Great Stories, May 23 2004
By 
"robo_kop" (Willowbrook, IL United States) - See all my reviews
I read Into Thin Air a few years ago. I found it compelling, but at points I felt that the writing was rushed. I just finished Eiger Dreams and was very impressed. Because all but one of these stories started as magazine articles (mostly in Outside, a tremendous magazine when it isn't a travel mag), they are well put together. Most of the stories are riveting (I read the book in one setting). Krakauer is a skilled author. A few times I found myself laughing. A few times I found myself tense from the suspense.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, Nov. 15 2003
By 
Howard C. Craig (Poway, Ca United States) - See all my reviews
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Count me in as another Jon Krakauer fan....
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5.0 out of 5 stars I got vertigo reading this, Nov. 10 2003
By 
William F. Harrison (Fayetteville, AR USA) - See all my reviews
I've read three of Krakauer's books including this one. Into Thin Air is eclipsed by Kenneth Kamler's Doctor On Everest, but Krakauer's own Under The Banner Of Heaven and Eiger Dreams are in a class by themselves. I have never had a fear of heights, but the stories in this book, particularly the one of his climb of the Devil's Thumb, a volcanic chimney in Alaska, lifting hundreds of feet into thin air is perhaps one of the most evocative pieces of writing I've ever read. If you are fascinated by mountins and the madmen and crazy women who climb them, this is your book. Either it will make you drop everything and head for the high remote places of the world, or render you at least sane enough to say, "I think I'll take my adventure in another way." Say in some weird polygamous community in southern Utah or northern Arizona. Krakauer knows mountains, and he knows how to take us with him, shaking, sweating and not daring look down, up a shear, icy face. This is great outdoor adventure writing. Highly recommended. wfh
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4.0 out of 5 stars Mountaineering and Mountaineering Culture, Sept. 25 2003
By 
Wayne A. Smith (Newark, DE) - See all my reviews
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Krakauer is fine author. His stories read like well honed long magazine articles and capture the drama and danger of high altitude mountain climbing (Into Thin Air) as well as mental soloing(Into The Wild).
Eiger Dreams is a collection of stories about mountaineering and mountaineering culture. This collection of a dozen or so chapters (I suspect all were magazine articles first) regales the reader with the danger of high-altitude climbing, the uniqueness of attitude among many of the climbers and a slice of the culture that surrounds the climbing world.
On the whole the stories are gripping and interesting. It falls short only in one or two instances when the author delves into set place stories like describing the town near Mt. Blanc that seems to derive it's personality from the towering rock and those who are drawn to it in great multitudes each year.
The chapters on individual climbs introduce the reader to the thrills and dangers of high-risk climbing, without the chance that one will tumble out of an armchair 10,000 feet to become part of a mountain. Particularly enjoyable are the articles on the North face of the Eiger, the author's own journey to solo climb Alaska's Devil's Thumb at age 23 and a chapter on the Burgesses -- two mountaineering hobos who combine moxie with single mindedness as they climb the world's tallest peaks. I also enjoyed the chapter detailing early attempts to divine whether or not Everest was really the tallest mountain -- some of the journeys associated with ascertaining the claims of competing peaks remind one of Scott's Polar expeditions -- fueled more by British resolve than planning and logistics.
One wonders at the bent of mind that draws climbers to the highest climbs. Mountains like Everest and K-2 are littered with well over a hundred corpses (it is to arduous in the thin air and brutal conditions to haul reachable bodies down -- and impossible for those who tumble a mile off the edge or several hundred feed down a crevasse). Something like one person perishes for every four who reach the summit of Everest. A strikingly large number of survivors endure amputations of fingers or toes. It is the same or worse at some of Nature's other monoliths.
This is a sport that makes auto racing and boxing seem like rational athletic endeavors. One is left to ponder why (perhaps no better answer exists than Mallory's "Because it is there") some are willing to risk life itself for the privilege of standing ten or so minutes atop one of the tallest mountains. Krakauer does not pursue this question directly, though the brief character sketches he paints of climbers -- including himself -- offers some conclusions.
A fast read and entertaining book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable short stories..., Sept. 8 2002
By 
PAUL W CAMPBELL (Chandler, AZ USA) - See all my reviews
I highly recommend this collection of short stories for those who like to read of adventure and the outdoors and how it engrosses some people's life. Nice variety of stories and hard to put down.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Collection of Stories, July 28 2002
By 
Brian D. Rubendall (Oakton, VA) - See all my reviews
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"Eiger Dreams" is a compelling collection of twelve stories by mountaineering writer Jon Krakauer. Included are several first person accounts of his own adventures, including his life-defining attempt to climb the Devil's Thimb in Alaska as a young man and his later failed attempt to scale the Eiger face. Krakauer also failed in his attempt to climb Mount McKinley, but manages to say more with one of his defeats than other climbers do with their success.
Krakauer also proves himself to be a first rate reporter with his accounts of other mountaineering stories. Particularly good is his tale of John Gill, the man who practically invented "bouldering." Krakauer goes on to describe waterfall climbing, canyoneering and the horrors of being tent bound with his deft narrative touch. At 186 pages, and featuring his easily readable prose, the book is a delightful experience for those who like good adventure stories of the kind featured in Outside Magazine.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, but not based on the Eiger, Feb. 1 2002
By 
TPA "freelancereader" (Burlington, VT United States) - See all my reviews
Krakauer lives up to his strong reputation in this collection of short works. Do not expect a full book about the notorious Eiger mountain! That is but a small portion of this book. Look forward to meeting other climbs, from fifteen-foot boulders to the 20,320-foot Denali. Makes a nice plate of appetizers if you're interested in Krakauer's writing.
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Eiger Dreams: Ventures Among Men and Mountains
Eiger Dreams: Ventures Among Men and Mountains by Jon Krakauer (Paperback - Feb. 10 2009)
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