Comments: 9
Lillelara 2 years ago
It´s been a long time since I read Into Thin Air, but with all the other books I have read so far about mountaineering as a background, I would downrate Into Thin Air considerable. Krakauer is completely full of himself and he acts like he knows everything better.
Btw, throughout his book he basically absolves Rob Hall from any blame whatsoever and tries to find faults in people left and right. Like he is doing here with the Sherpas or later on with Boukreev.
BrokenTune 2 years ago
I know I need to read Into Thin Air for balance and in order to make reference to it, but I really cannot stand Krakauer and from every other book I've read about the event, most of the other authors seem to have issues with his account.

I mean, earlier in The Climb, Boukreev and DeWalt make reference to K.'s account of the "dysfunction" of the South African expedition and how they had refused to help the rescue efforts or some such thing but here's the thing - here Krakauer seems to fall foul of his own stance that no one who was not there could have known, because for much of the account of K's criticism relayed by B. and DeW. in this book, Krakauer seems to be talking about things he could not have known.

As much as I could not trust Cathy O'Dowd's narrative (she seemed to have a very clear agenda), she can't have made up all of the facts she claims in her book, and I don't remember seeing too many accounts contradicting hers.

K. on the other hand... Gee.

And then I had a peek on the GR reviews for The Climb yesterday, which seems to be filled with people who have only read Into Thin Air and who seem to lash out at the Boukreev. So weird, and yet another reason I dislike GR.
Lillelara 2 years ago
I´m actually considering of rereading Into Thin Air (I have it on my shelves) exactly for the reason of clarifying whether or not he is full of BS (which he is, as far as I can remember). Krakauer just wants to put blame on a specific person, while Boukreevs account is much more balanced.
What I gather from this book is that basically everyone is responsible for the outcome of the climb in some way or another and everyone is to blame, not just one single person who Krakauer is picking out of the line up.
Lillelara 2 years ago
I peeked on the Goodreads reviews as well and I was, too, irritated by the ardent Krakauer fanboys / fangirls.
BrokenTune 2 years ago
If you ever do want to re-read K's book, let me know. Reading as a BR might be the only way I can read this without throwing the book at a seagull. Repeatedly.
It would also be fun to fact-check some of the events across several books.
Lillelara 2 years ago
Actually, you get a pretty good gist of what Krakauer is doing in one of the last chapters of this book. He is such an a...hole. I´m sorry, but he totally is.
BrokenTune 2 years ago
I completely agree. I got that impression when I read Into the Wild, and nothing I have read by or about him since has changed this.
I rather like that DeWalt has summarised the exchanges with K and others and the he went through the trouble of setting out K. criticisms one by one and responding to them.

It really makes no sense that he criticises B for not using oxygen for example when, in the end, it was B who was the only one able to get back out there in the middle of a storm and perform a rescue mission. WTF, K.?
Lillelara 2 years ago
That didn´t make sense at all. But in his mind it probably made for a compelling story and that´s enough for him to tamper a bit with the details.
Btw, what I found highly enlightening in this book are the explanations about acclimatization and that you basically destroy your efforts at acclimatization as soon as you use oxygen. So it made perfectly sense for Boukreev not to use the oxygen, because overall he would be stronger climber for a longer amount of time. The death toll would definitely have been higher if he would have stayed up on the mountain with the others.
BrokenTune 2 years ago
Yes! Exactly. I believe Messner discussed the same thing in his Everest book, so this wasn't exactly new but it really does explain a whole lot. Including why he was so upset at the decision to take short-cuts with the teams acclimatisation exercise at the beginning, when Fisher decided to not go to Lukla.