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Into Thin Air
 
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Into Thin Air [Format Kindle]

Jon Krakauer
4.4 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (7 commentaires client)

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Descriptions du produit

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A bank of clouds was assembling on the not-so-distant horizon, but journalist-mountaineer Jon Krakauer, standing on the summit of Mt. Everest, saw nothing that "suggested that a murderous storm was bearing down." He was wrong. The storm, which claimed five lives and left countless more--including Krakauer's--in guilt-ridden disarray, would also provide the impetus for Into Thin Air, Krakauer's epic account of the May 1996 disaster. With more than 250 black-and-white photographs taken by various expedition members and an enlightening new postscript by the author, the Illustrated Edition shows readers what this tragic climb looked like and potentially provides closure for Krakauer and his detractors.

"I have no doubt that Boukreev's intentions were good on summit day," writes Krakauer in a postscript dated August 1998. "What disturbs me, though, was Boukreev's refusal to acknowledge the possibility that he made even a single poor decision. Never did he indicate that perhaps it wasn't the best choice to climb without gas or go down ahead of his clients." As usual, Krakauer supports his points with dogged research and a good dose of humility. But rather than continue the heated discourse that has raged since Into Thin Air's denouncement of guide Boukreev, Krakauer's tone is conciliatory; he points most of his criticism at G. Weston De Walt, who coauthored The Climb, Boukreev's version of events. And in a touching conclusion, Krakauer recounts his last conversation with the late Boukreev, in which the two weathered climbers agreed to disagree about certain points. Krakauer had great hopes to patch things up with Boukreev, but the Russian later died in a avalanche on another Himalayan peak, Annapurna I. Krakauer further buries the ice axe by donating his share of royalties from sales of The Illustrated Edition to the Everest '96 Memorial Fund, which aids various environmental and humanitarian charities. --Rob McDonald

Extrait

In March 1996, Outside Magazine sent me to Nepal to participate in, and write about, a guided ascent of Mount Everest. I went as one of eight clients on an expedition led by a well-known guide from New Zealand named Rob Hall. On May 10 I arrived on top of the mountain, but the summit came at a terrible cost.

Among my five teammates who reached the top, four, including Hall, perished in a rogue storm that blew in without warning while we were still high on the peak. By the time I'd descended to Base Camp nine climbers from four expeditions were dead, and three more lives would be lost before the month was out.

The expedition left me badly shaken, and the article was difficult to write. Nevertheless, five weeks after I returned from Nepal I delivered a manuscript to Outside, and it was published in the September issue of the magazine. Upon its completion I attempted to put Everest out of my mind and get on with my life, but that turned out to be impossible. Through a fog of messy emotions, I continued trying to make sense of what had happened up there, and I obsessively mulled the circumstances of my companions' deaths.

The Outside piece was as accurate as I could make it under the circumstances, but my deadline had been unforgiving, the sequence of events had been frustratingly complex, and the memories of the survivors had been badly distorted by exhaustion, oxygen depletion, and shock. At one point during my research I asked three other people to recount an incident all four of us had witnessed high on the mountain, and one of us could agree on such crucial facts as the time, what had been said, or even who had been present. Within days after the Outside article went to press, I discovered that a few of the details I'd reported were in error. Most were minor inaccuracies of the sort that inevitably creep into works of deadline journalism, but one of my blunders was in no sense minor, and it had a devastating impact on the friends and family of one of the victims.

Only slightly less disconcerting than the article's factual errors was the material that necessarily had to be omitted for lack of space. Mark Bryant, the editor of Outside, and Larry Burke, the publisher, had given me an extraordinary amount of room to tell the story: they ran the piece at 17,000 words -- four or five times as long as a typical magazine feature. Even so, I felt that it was much too abbreviated to do justice to the tragedy. The Everest climb had rocked my life to its core, and it became desperately important for me to record the events in complete detail, unconstrained by a limited number of column inches. This book is the fruit of that compulsion.

The staggering unreliability of the human mind at high altitude made the research problematic. To avoid relying excessively on my own perceptions, I interviewed most of the protagonists at great length and on multiple occasions. When possible I also corroborated details with radio logs maintained by people at Base Camp, where clear thought wasn't in such short supply. Readers familiar with the Outside article may notice discrepancies between certain details (primarily matters of time) reported in the magazine and those reported in the book; the revisions reflect new information that has come to light since publication of the magazine piece.

Several authors and editors I respect counseled me not to write the book as quickly as I did; they urged me to wait two or three years and put some distance between me and the expedition in order to gain some crucial perspective. Their advice was sound, but in the end I ignored it -- mostly because what happened on the mountain was gnawing my guts out. I thought that writing the book might purge Everest from my life.

It hasn't, of course. Moreover, I agree that readers are often poorly served when an author writes as an act of catharsis, as I have done here. But I hoped something would be gained by spilling my soul in the calamity's immediate aftermath, in the roil and torment of the moment. I wanted my account to have a raw, ruthless sort of honesty that seemed in danger of leaching away with the passage of time and the dissipation of anguish.

Some of the same people who warned me against writing hastily had also cautioned me against going to Everest in the first place. There were many, many fine reasons not to go, but attempting to climb Everest is an intrinsically irrational act -- a triumph of desire over sensibility. Any person who would seriously consider it is almost by definition beyond the sway of reasoned argument.

The plain truth is that I knew better but went to Everest anyway. And in doing so I was a party to the death of good people, which is something that is apt to remain on my conscience for a very long time.


From the Hardcover edition.

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Commentaires en ligne 

4.4 étoiles sur 5
4.4 étoiles sur 5
Commentaires client les plus utiles
6 internautes sur 6 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Do you really want to climb the Everest ? 13 août 2003
Format:Broché
Well well !! ....After reading this book, you would probably think twice about it.
This is a very disturbing story,and honestly a story which should be read by anybody who intends to go on top of Everest.I am not myself into mountaineering but this book explains the difficulty of climbing, the commercial pressure on the guides to get all their clients to the top, the danger of collapsing at high altitude with all the side effects,the unpredictable climate, and of course the possibility of death for anybody experienced or not.
"Into thin air" will be on my mind for a long time. Jon Krakauer writes very effectively, he's very honest with himself, and with the other people who did share this awful experience. That makes it even more interesting to read.
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2 internautes sur 2 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Format:Broché
My personal favourite mountaineering book of all time. Krakauer provides a day-by-day journal to tell the chilling, harrowing and controversial story about the 1996 Everest season when 12 climbers were killed. He describes the trek to Everest Base Camp, the acclimatization climbs to Camps One, Two and Three, the final climb by 34 climbers towards the Everest Summit, the descent to the South Col, the killer storm, the rescues and failed rescues, and the descent off the mountain. The Illustrated Edition contains almost 250 b/w photos to bring the story to visual life. The photos are by Jon Krakauer, Neil Beidleman, Klev Schoening, Scott Fisher and others.

"In March 1996, Outside magazine sent [Jon Krakauer] to participate in, and write about a guided ascent of Mount Everest", on Rob Hall's Adventure Consultants expedition. In addition to Hall's eight clients, Scott Fisher's Mountain Madness guided expedition also had eight clients. Scott Fisher: "We've got the big E figured out ... we've built a yellow brick road to the summit." Krakauer did reach the Everest summit on May 10, 1996 at 13:10. Worrying about his dwindling oxygen, he left the summit after just five minutes, finally making it back to his tent on the South Col at about 18:45, "more exhausted than I'd ever been in my life." "The storm abruptly metastasized into a full-blown hurricane, and the visibility dropped to less than twenty feet ... nineteen men and women were stranded up on the mountain by the storm, caught in a desperate struggle for their lives."

Two guides, two Sherpas, and seven clients had reached the South Col, but "staggered blindly around in the storm, growing ever more exhausted and hypothermic." In a small break in the storm, Camp Four was slightly visible.
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1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 haletant et douloureux 15 mai 2013
Par Philippe Korda TOP 1000 COMMENTATEURS
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
Into Thin Air est le récit authentique de la tragédie survenue au sommet de l'Everest en mai 1996, avec l'échec simultané de deux expéditions commerciales, dû à la fois à des imprudences, des défaillances de commandement et des conditions météo exceptionnellement défavorables.
Krakauer était journaliste et surtout alpiniste chevronné, il préparait un reportage sur les expéditions commerciales sur l'Everest. Il raconte de façon très personnelle l'ensemble de cette affaire. Son témoignage est captivant et poignant, et le lecteur réalise pleinement la dureté et les risques de ce type d'expédition.
La fin du livre est gâchée par le compte rendu des polémiques qui ont suivi la publication de la première édition. En effet, les principaux survivants du drame se sont bien sûr rejeté la responsabilité des événements. Or, l'auteur est partie prenante, son livre a été écrit aussitôt après la catastrophe et un peu de recul aurait été bénéfique. Paradoxalement, alors qu'on accompagne l'auteur à plus de 8.000 mètres, c'est la hauteur de vue qui manque un peu.
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1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Into thin air 28 avril 2011
Par Fpiazza
Format:Broché
Breathtaking, moving, sensational. It is a compelling account but also a great book and a great piece of narrative, by a deeply intelligent man who also masters the English language to a rarely encountered extent.
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But at times I wondered if I had not come a long way only to find that what I really sought was something I had left behind. &quote;
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&quote;
I quickly came to understand that climbing Everest was primarily about enduring pain. And in subjecting ourselves to week after week of toil, tedium, and suffering, it struck me that most of us were probably seeking, above all else, something like a state of grace. &quote;
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&quote;
But there are men for whom the unattainable has a special attraction. Usually they are not experts: their ambitions and fantasies are strong enough to brush aside the doubts which more cautious men might have. Determination and faith are their strongest weapons. At best such men are regarded as eccentric; at worst, mad. &quote;
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