Travel Book of the Month: Into thin Air by Jon Krakauer

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Jon Krakauer’s Into thin Air has been on my to-read list for a few years now, but I never seemed to have the time for it or the necessary drive to start reading it. I knew approximately what the book was about and somehow it never seemed to be a good time to read about a massive tragedy. But when I heard a new movie entitled Everest was released, showcasing the events, I knew I had to read the book before seeing the film!

Into thin Air by Jon Krakauer - book review

Who? When? Where?

Jon Krakauer, an American journalist, writer and mountaineer participated in an expedition in 1996, aiming to reach the top of the World, the infamous Mount Everest. His mission was simple: to document and then write a lengthy article about the commercialization of the renowned mountain and its consequences for Outside Magazine. But little did he know that when he accepted the assignment, he was going to be a survivor of one of the worst Mount Everest disasters in history.

Long Story Short

The non-fiction book is a personal recollection of the 1996 Everest Disaster, complete with the memories of other survivors, whom the author met on several occasions to ensure the accuracy of the facts. The book gives us an insight about the teams of two of the most influential guides at that time, Rob Hall and Scott Fischer, as well as an idea of how their rivalisation with each other transpired to their clients and other groups aiming to reach the tallest peak on the Planet.

Who is it for?

For those who want to climb Mount Everest through their imagination. The descriptions are out-of-this-world, and mostly it’s just like you’re standing next to one of the main characters, feeling the cold, the excitement and at times, the desperation.

Favorite Quote

photo via Flickr by Calum Robinson

photo via Flickr by Calum Robinson

When to Read It?

Read the book when you know you have a lot of time on your hands, because it’s very addictive. I actually binge-read it in 2 days and couldn’t manage to put it down, not even while I was having dinner.

Is there a Movie? Is it any Good?

As I’ve told you before, the reason I read the book now was to get all the details of what really happened before I saw the movie. I’ve watched the film the same night I finished the book and in my mind it was an utter disappointment. Maybe I should’ve waited a little bit longer to somewhat absorb what I read before I sat down to watch the movie. I thought the movie was a bit superficial, of course dramatizing the events and maybe overdoing it sometimes. Nevertheless, I’d love to hear what you guys thought of it, regardless of whether you read the book or not!

Everest Movie Poster via everest-movie.co.uk

Everest Movie Poster via everest-movie.co.uk

In My Honest Opinion…

What I loved mostly about the book was the really good narration which guides you through the whole expedition. At times I screamed, I cried, I was scared, cold, and even heartbroken.¬†It’s not exactly the feel-good book of the year, but how could it be when it describes one of the worst mountaineering tragedies in history? Be prepared to be swept off your feet, fall in love with mountains, enjoy¬†the reward of a huge, almost God-like effort, then promise yourself¬†that you won’t ever attempt to summit Mount Everest…

Although a huge mountain-lover myself, and a novice hiker, I dream about getting to awesome heights, conquering big mountains, admiring the view and pushing my own limits. But after reading Into thin Air, I can’t say I’m interested in ever going climbing¬†in probably the most famous mountain ever known to mankind. YES, it is very tempting, I could probably learn the technique of mountaineering and maybe even be good at it. But when I think of the fact that at an altitude of 8,000+ meters your whole organism is dying by the minute, I’m not so keen on summiting Mount Everest.¬†

Into thin Air by Jon Krakauer book review

If you read Into thin Air, what did you think of the book?

What was your impression of  the movie Everest? 

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