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No one writes about mountaineering and its attendant victories and hardships brilliantly than Jon Krakauer In this collection of his finest essays and reporting Krakauer writes of mountains from the memorable perspective of one who has himself struggled with solo madness to scale Alaska's notorious Devils Thumb In Pakistan the fearsome K2 kills thirteen of the world's most exp. This is a wonderful collection of essays about mountain climbing I greatly enjoyed Krakauer s book Into Thin Air A Personal Account of the Mount Everest Disaster and Eiger Dreams is just as good Each chapter is an essay on some facet of mountain climbing The first chapter is about climbing the Eiger Other chapters are about climbing Mount Blanc and K2 Another chapter is about bouldering and another is about the experiences of a bush pilot in Alaska transporting mountain climbers to a glacier at the base of Mount McKinley One chapter is about ice climbing while another describes the experience of living in a tent for days on end while a storm makes it impossible to get outA small stream of dry humor runs throughout the book You have to have a sense of humor to engage in some of these dangerous sometimes mind numbing activities One chapter describes how a team of doctors spend their summers on the slopes of Mt McKinley They study the effects of altitude sickness and has saved numerous lives All on their own dime Krakauer asked one of the doctors why they volunteered to spend their summers toiling in such a godforsaken place Well he explained as he stood shivering in a blizzard reeling from nausea and a blinding headache while attempting to repair a broken radio antenna It s sort of like having fun only differentWhile describing the heavy human toll among climbers of K2 a troubling uestion gets asked Should a civilized society continue to condone much less celebrate an activity in which there appears to be a growing acceptance of death as a likely outcome During one summer one out of five climbers who attempted the mountain did not come back aliveWhen Krakauer told Coloradans that he intended to climb the Devil s Thumb in Alaska solo they thought he had been smoking too much pot they thought it was a monumentally bad idea But when he told Alaskans they hardly reacted at all They just wondered how much money there was in climbing such a mountainI am not a climber but I find that Krakauer s writing style is ridiculously engaging He puts you the reader right there on the mountain and lets you know how it feels For a collection of non fiction essays this book is a real page turner Highly recommended

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Eiger Dreams Ventures Among Men and Mountains

Al fraternity of daredevils athletes and misfits stretching the limits of the possibleFrom the paranoid confines of a snowbound tent to the thunderous suffocating terror of a white out on Mount McKinley Eiger Dreams spins tales of driven lives sudden deaths and incredible victories This is a stirring vivid book about one of the most compelling and dangerous of all human pursui. After Jon Krakauer s Into Thin Air made him writer famous his publisher started pushing this essay collection originally published in 1990 for readers who couldn t get enough of Krakauer s tales of mountains and the people who attempt to climb them However a lot of those readers like me were probably somewhat let down by this early effort which consists largely of pieces Krakauer wrote for Outside magazine The articles describing various mountains and mountain towns were educational but not exactly riveting and the profiles of well known climbers were not uninteresting exactly but left me with a distinct why am I reading this feeling The one humor piece about how to survive in your tent for days as a blizzard rages outside made it clear that while Krakauer might be a funny guy in person he is no humor writer and I think the topics he s chosen to write his books on bear this out This collection only really came alive for the last two essays which not coincidentally are the two most reminiscent of Into Thin Air One was an account of the horrific 1986 summer on K2 when 13 people died than had died on the peak in the past 84 years combined Reading about the nightmarish conditions the climbers faced was absolutely riveting although I felt guilty for deriving reading pleasure from their horrendous misfortunes and at times was so disturbed I wondered if I d have to hide the bookThe final essay and the only one written especially for this book was a memoir like rendering of the time when Krakauer as a 23 year old abandoned his dead end job and took off alone for Alaska with the brazen certainty that he was going to scale the Devil s Thumb via its most difficult route and that doing so would change his life This engaging suspenseful piece made me hope that someday Krakauer will grace us with a full length memoir of his various adventures and their sometimes serious fallout So would I recommend Eiger Dreams Well not really While I m very glad I read the final two essays I would say that on the whole this book is probably just for climbers and Krakauer completists Everyone else would be better off reading Into the Wild and Into Thin Air instead

Jon Krakauer Ý 8 Summary

Erienced mountain climbers in one horrific summer In Valdez Alaska two men scale a frozen waterfall over a four hundred foot drop In France a hip international crowd of rock climbers bungee jumpers and paragliders figure out new ways to risk their lives on the towering peaks of Mont Blanc Why do they do it How do they do it In this extraordinary book Krakauer presents an unusu. Despite having been to Mt Everest base camp on the Tibetan side I m an armchair mountain climber I enjoyed seeing the mountain and taking pictures but was uite happy to get back to the hotel and climb into my warm bed However I love stories about mountain climbing and what people will do to get to the top I admire their perseverance and courage I watched the movie Free Solo two times And I marvel over the dangers they face and sometimes the sheer stupidity like going on a climb without being prepared Then there s the heartbreak over the deathsThis is a series of magazine articles Krakauer wrote for Outside the Smithsonian and others and they were all written in the late 1980s so it s a bit dated but it was still a good read and gave some insight into the climber s mindset


10 thoughts on “Eiger Dreams Ventures Among Men and Mountains

  1. says:

    Before the recognition he received for Into the Wild and Into Thin Air Jon Krakauer was a serious outdoors type writing about other serious outdoors types In this collection of essays Krakauer relates several stories of his personal adventures one about a youthful and maybe foolish venture to a particularly difficult cli

  2. says:

    This is a wonderful collection of essays about mountain climbing I greatly enjoyed Krakauer's book Into Thin Air A Personal Account of the Mou

  3. says:

    I came to each of Krakauer's works independently I read Into the Wild first on a recommendation and years later I read Into Thin Air because someone told me it would be a good insight into the effects of altitude as I prepared to climb Kilimanjaro a mild but high peak Finally I found this collection of essays and realized that somehow I'd

  4. says:

    Despite having been to Mt Everest base camp on the Tibetan side I'm an armchair mountain climber I enjoyed seeing the mountain and taking pictures but was uite happy to get back to the hotel and climb into my warm bed However I love stories about mountain climbing and what people will do to get to the top I admire their perseverance and courage I watched the movie Free Solo two times And I marvel over the dan

  5. says:

    Love Krakauer These essays are somewhat dated but still interesting and delivered in his inimitable style The was the last book fo his I had not already read and while it ranks near the bottom as far as favorites because of the datedn

  6. says:

    In a previous book I had read by Krakauer Into Thin Air about mountain climbing there was a uote that has stuck with me One of the Everest mountaineers who chose not to try and help a climber who subseuently died from being left behind said this to justify his actionsThere is no morality above 26000 feet I had one foray into mountain climbing It was 1998 and myself and two friends Kevin and Lacey were going to attempt

  7. says:

    Although I enjoyed this collection immensely the writing wasn't Krakauer's strongest in fact I'd label it his weakest effort to date when compared with Into the Wild and Into Thin Air With the exception of the last piece Devil's Thumb the book was composed entirely of clipped magazine articles And it showed Complaints aside however the book was wonderful and showed a humanity that I haven't often found in other climbin

  8. says:

    After Jon Krakauer's Into Thin Air made him writer famous his publisher started pushing this essay collection originally published in 1990 for readers who couldn't get enough of Krakauer's tales of mountains and the people who attempt to climb them However a lot of those readers like me were probably somewhat let down by this early effort which consists largely of pieces Krakauer wrote for Outside magazine The articles d

  9. says:

    What a page turner And also the perfect book to drag along rock climbing or on a hike which is what I did I sat on a boulder and devoured this book until it was my turn to climb or belay Krakauer’s narrative style is simple and straight forward but still evocative in its description of nature because he doesn’t add anything superfluous and that’s as it should be K2 Eiger Chamoix etc do not favor the superfluous and

  10. says:

    Indeed Jon Krakauer is the master of the literature of AdventureI always hated literature They are always boring But Jon has his way in literature It is completely impossible for me to write so many worlds about a mountain A mountain is a mountain for me But for Jon it is like a book of worlds I am damn sure that make him walk a tiny hill