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Alive: The Story of the Andes Survivors Mass Market Paperback – Dec 3 2002

4.6 out of 5 stars 129 customer reviews

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  • Alive: The Story of the Andes Survivors
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  • Alive (30th Anniversary Edition)
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  • Miracle in the Andes: 72 Days on the Mountain and My Long Trek Home
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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Avon; Reissue edition (Dec 3 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 038000321X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0380003211
  • Product Dimensions: 10.6 x 2.7 x 17.1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 431 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars 129 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #66,148 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


"A GREAT BOOK ... AN INCREDIBLE SAGA. Read's accomplishment in recording a struggle both physical and spiritual is superb."-- "Philadelphia Inquirer""THIS BOOK WILL EXCITE YOU, shock you, at times revolt you, but you are not likely to forget it."-- "John Barkham Reviews""A classic in the literature of survival."-- "Newsweek"

From the Back Cover

“It is inconceivable to me that this story could have been better told…a masterpiece of narrative.” — Graham Greene --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Format: Paperback
Time has not diminished the drama of the tale of the Uruguayan rugby team whose plane crashed in the Andes Mountains. Of the forty five people on the plane at the time of the crash, sixteen came down from the mountain about seventy days later with a saga of survival not easily forgotten.

Theirs is a journey born of tragedy and human endurance. The author unfolds a tale that is gripping in the telling, as enthralling as it is almost unbelievable. It is investigative reporting at its best, because it does not fail to convey the human drama and pathos behind the story of this remarkable struggle for survival high up in the Andes Mountains. Masterfully written, it is a well balanced narrative that takes great pains to ground the experience of the survivors in the context out of which it arose.

The plane had crashed in the Andes Mountains on Argentinian territory. It was an exercise in terror for those on the plane, as it barreled down the mountain, before finally coming to rest in a valley of snow high up in the Andes. Of the forty five persons on board, thirty two had initially survived the crash. Some, however, had sustained serious injuries. Time would not be their friend. Moreover, with little warm clothing (keep in mind that October is springtime in South America), the survivors were exposed to the extreme cold of the night air, high up in the Andes. Though spring, this still meant temperatures well below freezing. Damp, cold, and hungry, amid the anguished cries of the injured, thus began the first of many such nights.

By their tenth day in the Andes, the limited food supplies, which they had rationed with all the care of a miser, had virtually run out. Starving and ravenously hungry, they voiced what they all knew to be true, but had not dared to voice before.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I read this book many years ago, but the story has stuck with me all this time. It is both inspiring and thought-provoking. The reader is inspired by Nando Parrado who will do whatever it takes to escape the Andes to Chile (I still remember that name despite reading this so long ago). We are also inspired by other characters in the book who lend a part to the survival.
But it is thought-provking as a character study as the reader wonders how they would react in that situation. As the group is short on supplies and definately not clothed to handle the temperatures they are facing, everyone reacts differently. The aspect of the book (and later the movie) that has gotten the most attention is the decision to eat the flesh of deceased passengers for survival. It is something every reader will consider - not only how far would you go to survive, but what would you want to be done with your body in that situation.
Although you may know the basics of what happened, the reality of the situation will only sink in when you are wrapped in the story by the author. While he is able to make you feel like you are really there, then you will be able to feel truly inspired by Nando Parrado, and really think about the situation and the passengers' decisions. This book is still a must-read.
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Format: Paperback
The book alive was written by Paul Piers. This book is very exciting. I enjoy reading this book because it is a true story. The book doens't let you put it down because there is too much action taking place. This books explains the obstacles of ten atletes stuck in the Andes mountains fighting for survival. I can reflect back to this book with a true life experience when i was left at the beach at age 6 for 3 hours all by my self. I cant imagine what it would be like to be stuck in sub zero conditions for almost 1 month.
The part i enjoyed reading the most was at the beginning when the boys had to adapt to there surroundings. It would be very hard to do that for people that are from Uraguay which is on the eastern side of South America and is known to have beautiful weather. The Andes Mountains are known as some of the most dangerous mountains in the world. The conditions they were put trough were beyond belief. The part i least enjoyed reading about was when people died because i knew that it was a real death. Some of the characters froze to death and others starved to death. Can you imagine what it would be like to be stuck in the Andes mountains for a month with very little supplies?
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
"Alive" is a fascinating tale of survival that has acquired a notoriety because of something that happened during that period of survival. That notoriety is a shame because it detracts from the greater story of how so many individuals could have made through what had happened to them. For those totally uninitiated to the story, a plane load of Uruguayan rugby players (and family members) goes down in the mountains of the Andes en route to their game in Chile. All efforts to locate the downed plane were unsuccessful and the search eventually is called off. However, many of the passengers have survived and are essentially, in good health. They gather together their resources which were limited because the flight was relatively short and thus the on-board supplies were short as well. Things happen as the survivors await the rescue that doesn't come and the most infamous thing that happens is that many of the survivors take to eating flesh of their departed. Ultimately, in what is the most spectacular event of the book, a couple of men decide to reach civiliztion on their own (scenes from "Lost Horizon" come to mind) and they actually succeed. This leads to the resue of the others as the whole world discovers their amazing survival. They also discover one of the not-so-secret means of their survival; their canabalism. A variety of sleazy accounts in print and film sought to depict that shocking aspect of an otherwise amazing survival story. Fortunately "Alive" (both the book and, later, the film) rise above that to bring the real story. This account is one you won't be able to put down until you've turned the last page.
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