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Book Review: “Into Thin Air” by Jon Krakauer

April 10, 2013

Cover of "Into Thin Air: A Personal Accou...

I just recently finished the book Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer. I decided to try my hand at a book review. This book was assigned as an English class assignment. This was probably one of the best assignments I have done, because hiking and mountain climbing are some of my hobbies, so reading a book about it made it feel like I wasn’t doing homework.

The book is an account of an Everest expedition that took place in the spring of 1996. Jon Krakauer is the author who worked as a journalist for an outdoors magazine that sent him on an expedition to write a great article about the mountain.This article then turned into a book.
The book starts off by giving a history of Mount Everest and the Himalayas, along with some of the highest peeks in the world. It then goes into talking about how the author was chosen to do the climb and gives a history on the guide service and head guide that he chose to pay to take him up the mountain along with a group of other people that just were climbing because they had the money to pay the $65,000 it took at the time to climb.
Krakauer then gives a brief bio on all the fellow climbers and starts talking about the acclimatization period, how some of the members did not seem to have enough experience to climb the mountain, and then finally the push for the summit. The book gets really interesting when it talks about a sudden storm that swept the Southern Col causing the death of several climbers and the loss of limb sustained by frostbite.

Krakauer had a great way of telling the story of the climb a way that makes you feel like you are reading a novel about Everest. He keeps it interesting by constantly bringing in the points of view from the climbers he summited with.
One thing I did not like about Jon Krakauer’s style is he portrayed himself to be a little cocky in his climbing experience. I do not think he meant this way, because when I met him a few years ago he seemed very humble and not full of himself (Yes, I did meet meet before at my school. He came in to talk to us about the climb.). He also placed a lot of blame on individual climbers, when he himself did not attempt to help out anyone when the storm thrust itself upon them. These are some of the same remarks he addresses, but I do not think he was justified in what he did. When you are over 26,000 feet above sea level you should not be thinking only of yourself if you have even a little bit of mental function.
All together this book was a great page turner and I loved hearing the experience of an Everest climb. If anyone likes hiking or climbing they should definitely read this book. It has made me want to try climbing Everest, even with all its danger it is a great feat to achieve!

If you enjoyed this review leave a like. If you have read this book and want to weigh in on it leave a comment. If you have climbed Everest or any other high altitude mountain please, please, please leave a comment about your experience or link a blog post about it.

Thank You!



From → Books

  1. Joey, I have never climbed anything higher than a large staircase, and have never felt inclined to. However, If I was of a mind to get a book about climbing, specifically Everest, then I would be well guided by your very good review. I probably would choose a different author! Well done. Regards, Pete.

    • Thank you! I would suggest even a small hill with a view. Once you have done that you will be hooked on mountains. That is exactly what got me hooked!

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