This book was fantastic. I love Jon Krakauer’s clean and sophisticated writing style. I could stop there, but this would be a pretty boring review. It is, however, pretty much all you need to know.
The events upon which this book was based are probably already well known to anyone who might be interested in this topic. In spring of 1996 a bunch of people tried to reach the summit of Everest, and a bunch of people died. The author was in that party of mountaineers doing an article for the magazine Outside, and so is able to write the tale with an absolutely authentic clarity.
I myself have never had the desire to climb a mountain, and after reading this book I am 100% certain that I will never be a mountaineer. I am not sure why I even chose to read this book (other than the fact that I looooooooove true disaster/survival tales), but it was a fascinating read from beginning to end. Between learning about the sad commercialization of Everest, to the terrifying effects of altitude sickness, to the crazy characters who were along for the journey, to the agonizing hardships and deaths endured by these people, I learned many things about which I had been completely clueless and was completely riveted.
I had already read “Into the Wild” years ago, before it was made into that movie, and don’t remember being nearly as impressed. But I have already secured another book of Jon Kraukaers, “Under the Banner of Heaven” which I can’t wait to get started on.