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Villard Books

Into Thin Air: A Personal Account of the Mount Everest Disaster

Into Thin Air: A Personal Account of the Mount Everest Disaster

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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 his long, dangerous descent from 29,028 feet, twenty other climbers were still pushing doggedly toward the top. No one had noticed that the sky had begun to fill with clouds. Six hours later and 3,000 feet lower, in 70-knot winds and blinding snow, Krakauer collapsed in his tent, freezing, hallucinating from exhaustion and hypoxia, but safe. The following morning, he learned that six of his fellow climbers hadn't made it back to their camp and were desperately struggling for their lives. When the storm finally passed, five of them would be dead, and the sixth so horribly frostbitten that his right hand would have to be amputated.

Into Thin Air is the definitive account of the deadliest season in the history of Everest by the acclaimed journalist and author of the bestseller Into the Wild. On assignment for Outside Magazine to report on the growing commercialization of the mountain, Krakauer, an accomplished climber, went to the Himalayas as a client of Rob Hall, the most respected high-altitude guide in the world. A rangy, thirty-five-year-old New Zealander, Hall had summited Everest four times between 1990 and 1995 and had led thirty-nine climbers to the top. Ascending the mountain in close proximity to Hall's team was a guided expedition led by Scott Fischer, a forty-year-old American with legendary strength and drive who had climbed the peak without supplemental oxygen in 1994. But neither Hall nor Fischer survived the rogue storm that struck in May 1996.

Krakauer examines what it 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.

Into the Wild is available on audio, read by actor Campbell Scott.

Author: Jon Krakauer
Publisher: Villard Books
Published: 04/22/1997
Pages: 320
Binding Type: Hardcover
Weight: 1.35lbs
Size: 9.51h x 6.56w x 1.06d
ISBN: 9780679457527

Accelerated Reader:
Reading Level: 8.9
Point Value: 17
Interest Level: Upper Grade
Quiz #/Name: 19789 / Into Thin Air: A Personal Account of the Mount Everest Disaster

Award: Book Sense Book of the Year Award - Nominee
Award: National Book Critics Circle Award - Nominee
Award: Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association Award - Winner
Award: ALA Notable Books - Winner
Award: Black-Eyed Susan Award - Nominee
Award: Alex Awards - Winner

Review Citation(s):
Kirkus Reviews 03/01/1997 pg. 357
Publishers Weekly 03/17/1997 pg. 63
Booklist 04/01/1997 pg. 1276
Library Journal Prepub Alert 01/01/1997 pg. 72
Library Journal 04/01/1997 pg. 117
New York Times 05/18/1997 pg. 11
New York Times 06/01/1997 pg. 39
School Library Journal 11/01/1997 pg. 150
New York Times 12/07/1997 pg. 12
Booklist 04/01/1998 pg. 1310
ALA Best Books Young Adults 01/01/1998 pg. 1211
Library Journal 01/01/1997
School Library Journal 12/01/1997
Outside 10/01/2007 pg. 66
Entertainment Weekly 06/27/2008 pg. 98
Entertainment Weekly 06/03/2011 pg. 116

About the Author
Jon Krakauer, author of three books, including the acclaimed bestseller Into the Wild, is a contributing editor of Outside Magazine. He and his wife live in Seattle.

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