Into Thin Air: A Personal Account of the Mt. Everest Disaster by Jon Krakauer
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When Jon Krakauer reached the summit of Mt. Everest in the early afternoon of May 10, 1996, he hadn't slept in fifty-seven hours and was reeling from the brain-altering effects of oxygen depletion. As he turned to begin the perilous descent from 29,028 feet (roughly the cruising altitude of an Airbus jetliner), twenty other climbers were still pushing doggedly to the top, unaware that the sky had begun to roil with clouds... Into Thin Air is the definitive account of the deadliest season in the history of Everest by the acclaimed Outside journalist and author of the bestselling Into the Wild. Taking the reader step by step from Katmandu to the mountain's deadly pinnacle, Krakauer has his readers shaking on the edge of their seat. Beyond the terrors of this account, however, he also peers deeply into the myth of the world's tallest mountain. What is is about Everest that has compelled so many people--including himself--to throw caution to the wind, ignore the concerns of loved ones, and willingly subject themselves to such risk, hardship, and expense? Written with emotional clarity and supported by his unimpeachable reporting, Krakauer's eyewitness account of what happened on the roof of the world is a singular achievement.