Breathe To Read

Breathe To Read

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Read The World - Nepal - Into Thin Air

Book: Into Thin Air
Author: Jon Krakauer
Pages: 332
Book takes place in the country: YES
Author if from the country: NO
I have visited: no

I read this book during my 2016 challenge.  It was a book that came out the year I was born, and I didn't realize at the time that this story was that old.  I loved the book - it is griping, and terrifying.  And there is a movie, so that was a plus.

I am keeping this as my Nepal book for now, but things may change in the future.  While this takes place in Nepal, it is truly the story of Mount Everest and the people who lost their lives.  I may search for a book more about the country of Nepal itself.  We shall see.

This is a true story written by one of the climbers that was on this trip in 1996.  He is a reporter, but also an avid climber, and had always wanted to climb Everest.  He got the people at his magazine that he wrote for to fund his trip (did you know the trips cost $65,000?  And that was in 1996) and so he went.  The book tells of his trip, and what happened to cause the death of 5 people on that trip.

I liked this book.  If nothing else it taught me that people who want to climb Everest are borderline crazy.  If not completely insane.  The account from the author makes it sound terrible - every single second.  From getting altitude sickness to major frostbite to cerebral edema to death.  He talks about being so deprived of oxygen that he couldn't think straight when it was most critical.  And how he lost so much weight for having to work so hard that he almost froze to death.

And the Sherpas.  The people who live at the base of Everest who are hired to go on these climbs and set the ropes and carry the loads and care for the people who paid for these trips.  There are no words for how awful their jobs are but how they don't see it that way.  These mountain climbs are things of honor for them, but I felt nothing but terrible for them.

Many of the people on these trips have families that they leave behind to climb a mountain.  And die trying.  They are not fighting in a war for their country.  They are not putting themselves in harms way to save the life of another.  They have paid an exorbitant amount of money to have a team help them climb a snowy mountain.  It seems beyond silly.

But I am getting off track.  The book was well written and definitely worth the read.  He tells the good with the bad (mostly bad if you ask me) in taking on a climb to 29,000 feet.

So check it out.

Stars: 4 1/2

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