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review 2017-06-18 08:30
Das Drama am Mount Everest
In eisige Höhen: Das Drama am Mount Everest - Jon Krakauer,Christian Brückner

1996 hat sich am Mount Everest eine Tragödie ereignet, die mehrere Todesopfer gefordert hat. Journalist und Bergsteiger Jon Krakauer war live dabei und verarbeitet in diesem Buch  seine traumatische Erfahrung. Er zeigt, dass nicht der Mount Everest von Bergsteigern sondern die Höhenbegeisterten nach wie vor vom Berg bezwungen werden.

Es handelt sich hierbei um ein Sachbuch mit subjektiven Tönen, weil Autor und Journalist Jon Krakauer die Ereignisse aus erster Hand schildert. Er beschreibt seine Erlebnisse, seine Sicht der Begebenheiten und geht auch darauf ein, dass es aufgrund des Sauerstoffmangels zu unterschiedlichen Wahrnehmungen der Ereignisse kommen kann. Daher ist es schwierig in diesem Zusammenhang von der einen absoluten Wahrheit zu sprechen.

Die Wahrheit ist, dass der Mount Everest als höchster Berg der Welt nicht nur die größte Herausforderung für geübte Bergsteiger ist, sondern bereits jahrzehntelang als kommerzielles Ziel für wohlhabende Touristen herhalten muss. Dieser Entwicklung und ihren Folgen gibt der Autor genauso viel Raum, wie den Ereignissen von 1996. Dabei geht er auf die Problematik ein, dass sich Expeditionsführer in einer Zwickmühle befinden. Einerseits kann es keine Garantie für die Eroberung des Gipfels geben, andrerseits möchten sie natürlich zufriedene Kunden haben, weil ihr wirtschaftliches Überleben davon abhängig ist. So wird manches Risiko vielleicht schneller eingegangen, als es vernünftig ist. Dabei darf man nicht vergessen, dass viele dieser Everest-Touristen keine versierten Bergsteiger sind.

Jon Krakauer hingegen sind Berge nicht fremd. Zwar hätte er nicht gedacht, dass er eines Tages am Everest stehen wird, dennoch bringt er Gipfelerfahrung mit. Dadurch hat er einen sachverständigen Blick auf den Ablauf und das Drama von 1996. Gleichzeitig geht er auf die Geschichte des Everest, große Namen und die Gier nach dem Gipfel ein, die kaum jemanden kurz vorm Ziel zur Umkehr bewegt.

Der Mount Everest ist eine Herausforderung, der man sich bestimmt nicht oft im Leben stellt. Den Gipfel der Welt zu erklimmen, ist für viele Bergsteiger ein Traum, den es sich hart zu erkämpfen gilt. Krakauer schildert minutiös welchen Strapazen der menschliche Körper ausgesetzt ist. Es ist nicht nur Muskelarbeit, die hier gefordert wird, sondern man muss sich als Ganzes auf die Höhenluft einstellen. Übelkeit, Erbrechen, Durchfallerkrankungen, schneidende Kälte, brütende Hitze, Schlaflosigkeit und permanenter Sauerstoffmangel sind nur einige Widrigkeiten, die es auf dem Weg zum Gipfel zu überwinden gilt. All dies beschreibt Jon Krakauer und geht anschließend auf die unglücklichen Umstände ein, die 1996 etliche Todesopfer am Mount Everest gefordert haben.

Einziger Kritikpunkt ist, dass Krakauer über Bergsteiger und -führer namentlich richtig herzieht. Er beschreibt sexuelle Eskapaden oder unnötige Luxusgüter, die von Sherpas mitgeschleppt werden müssen und geht auf - seiner Meinung nach - mangelnde Vorbereitung mancher Bergführer ein. Es ist vollkommen in Ordnung, Schuldzuweisungen und Mutmaßungen auszusprechen, allerdings hätte er etwas subtiler vorgehen können.

Sprecher Christian Brückner leiht auch Robert De Niro seine deutsche Stimme und so hatte ich das Bild dieses berühmten Schauspielers vor Augen, was doch recht passend ist. Die Tonqualität ist etwas merkwürdig, weil es klingt, als ob Jon Krakauer bei sich im Wohnzimmer sitzt und seine Erfahrungen auf Tonband spricht. Es hört sich wie eine alte Aufnahme auf Kassette an, was der Erzählung meiner Meinung nach hohe Authentizität verleiht.

Für mich ist „In eisige Höhen“ ein authentischer Blick auf den Mount Everest. Ich habe mit hohem Interesse und großer Faszination den Begebenheiten rund um Gipfelstürmern, dem Berg und letztendlich dem Drama von 1996 gelauscht, mir dabei die Sonne ins Gesicht scheinen lassen, die Scherpas bewundert und den Kopf über manch risikofreudigen Expeditionstrupp geschüttelt. 

Meiner Meinung nach ist es ein absolutes Must-Read-Buch für jeden, der sich für den Gipfel der Welt interessiert und aus erster Hand erfahren will, wie sich dieses Drama ereignet hat.

Source: zeit-fuer-neue-genres.blogspot.co.at
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review 2017-02-22 21:39
Book Review: Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer
Into Thin Air: A Personal Account of the Mt. Everest Disaster - Jon Krakauer

Into Thin Air is both thrilling and terrifying. Not that I was considering it, but I will now never take mountain climbing as a hobby — especially mountains where high-altitude sickness is a problem. Krakauer includes the history of Mount Everest along with the day-to-day events of his expedition, which added an interesting, enjoyable element to the novel. Not only was I reading a great story, I felt like I was learning a lot too.

 

Into Thin Air is a tragic story that is wonderfully told. The level of detail included in the descriptions is remarkable. I felt like I was climbing Everest with the author, going through the same psychological and physical torture. I also got to know those who climbed with him, sharing in their successes and failures. I want to note that there is a controversy as to whether the events happened like Krakauer said they happened; I am sure, with all that was going on at the time, that there are discrepancies with events, but I doubt that they are serious since he also interviewed multiple people who were there as well.

 

I would recommend this book for anyone who is at all interested in adventure or memoirs. If you’re squeamish, you should maybe stay away, since there are descriptions of some pretty awful sights and diseases (I got queasy more than a few times). However, I think that Into Thin Air is a novel most people will find a worthwhile read.

Source: www.purplereaders.com/?p=2214
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review 2016-12-17 00:00
Into the Wild
Into the Wild - Jon Krakauer ~*Full review on The Bent Bookworm!*~
“He read a lot. Used a lot of big words. I think maybe part of what got him into trouble was that he did too much thinking. Sometimes he tried too hard to make sense of the world, to figure out why people were bad to each other so often…he always had to know the absolute right answer before he could go on to the next thing.” – Wayne Westerberg, referring to Chris (Alex) McCandless

First of all, this is not just a biography of Chris McCandless. Yes, it tells his story, but then it goes off on several trails of OTHER wilderness-loving solitaries (some of which survived, and some didn’t).
image
More people have seen the movie than read the book, and from what I can tell the movie is more streamlined. My DH really enjoyed it and has been asking me to watch it with him for at least a couple of years, but I’m very resistant to watching a movie before the book that inspired it. (Don’t even get me started on how I felt about going to see Fantastic Beasts in theatre.) When a friend mentioned he had a copy just lying around, I jumped on the chance. Surprised by how it small it was, I sat down and devoured it…in about 4 hours. Quite a long time for my usual reading speed.

The first couple of chapters are a brief narrative of the events leading up to Chris’ journey “into the wild,” and then the events surrounding the discovery of his body. I was really shocked that part was over so quickly! I was expecting more of a lead-up. But as soon as all the bare facts are out (maybe the result of the Outside article that originally ran on McCandless?), Krakauer goes back in time to dig through McCandless’ early life, then his hobo life after college. I was eerily struck by how similar some of the descriptions of his known thoughts and behaviors were to my own. An introvert, a reader, a thinker – someone who lived inside his own head for long stretches of time – these were all things with which I can easily identify. It was creepy.

McCandless was either a visionary or a reckless idiot. It’s obvious that Krakauer feels he was the former, but I think the judgment could go either way. For someone SO intelligent, McCandless’ intentional self-sabatoge (throwing away the maps, refusing to take advice from seasoned hunters and hikers) is just ABSURD. No matter how pretty his prose, there is no way to explain that part of his adventure away. On the other hand, he made it 113 days, and from the photos and journal he left behind, he was actually doing pretty well until some infected berries made his body turn on itself.

Maybe he was both. The most intelligent people are often noted for their decided lack of common sense. He formed his views on wilderness at least partially from fiction – an extremely dangerous concept.
McCandless read and reread [b:The Call of the Wild|1852|The Call of the Wild|Jack London|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1452291694s/1852.jpg|3252320] and [b:White Fang|43035|White Fang|Jack London|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1475878443s/43035.jpg|2949952]. He was so enthralled by these tales that he seemed to forget they were works of fiction, constructions of the imagination that had more to do with London’s romantic sensibilities than with the actualities of life in the subartic wilderness.

The middle portion of the book delves a lot into other wilderness personalities. I found them interesting, but while in some ways similar to McCandless they are all different enough to warrant their own tales. They feel a bit like filler. Interesting filler, but filler nonetheless.

McCandless’ backstory is filled with drama between himself and his family. He seemed to be more than capable of making friends, yet has a nonexistent relationship with his parents. While purportedly close to one sister…he leaves her without any sort of goodbye. Loner, indeed. Again, I can relate…but cutting off one’s family entirely is almost never a good thing (cases of abuse and intolerance exempted of course). Like Ken Sleight, the biographer of another wilderness disappearing act, Everett Ruess, says:
“Everett was a loner; but he liked people too damn much to stay down there and live in secret the rest of his life. A lot of us are like that…we like companionship, see, but we can’t stand to be around people for very long. So we get ourselves lost, come back for a while, then get the hell out again.”

Again, that quandary is one I feel and have felt very often. Unlike McCandless, I’ve never felt strongly enough about any of it to just chuck my entire life and go off into the woods. Perhaps that’s a lack of backbone on my part. Or perhaps it just shows that I have one.

One of McCandless’ last journal entries:
I have lived through much, and now I think I have found what is needed for happiness. A quiet secluded life in the country, with the possibility of being useful to people to whom it is easy to do good, and who are not accustomed to have it done to them; then work which one hopes may be of some use; then rest, nature, books , music, love for one’s neighbor – such is my idea of happiness. And then, on top of all that, you for a mate, and children, perhaps – what more can the heart of a man desire?

Still a bit on the melodramatic side. What, exactly, had he lived through? A spoiled white child from doting parents that GAVE AWAY his livelihood to wander like an outcast? At the same time…it rings a note of truth there that makes my heart ache. He seems to echo Oscar Wilde:
With freedom, books, flowers, and the moon, who could not be happy?

I’m giving 5/5 stars, based solely on how I felt immediately after finishing the book. Looking at it now I would probably say 4 because of all the extraneous information and meandering.

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text 2016-06-30 20:18
June 2016 Reading Wrap Up
The Heiress Effect - Courtney Milan
If the Shoe Kills - Lynn Cahoon
Dressed To Kill (A Tourist Trap Mystery Book 4) - Lynn Cahoon
The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine - Michael Lewis
Flash Boys: A Wall Street Revolt - Michael Lewis
Missoula: Rape and the Justice System in a College Town - Jon Krakauer
Fun Home - Alison Bechdel
Let It Shine - Alyssa B. Cole
The Giver - Lois Lowry,Ron Rifkin
Superman/Wonder Woman Volume 1: Power Couple TP by Charles Soule (2015-04-02) - Charles Soule

 

Courtney Milan Challenge (4/7 books in series read; 70% of challenge completed)

1. The Heiress Effect (Brothers Sinister #2) - 5 stars

 

Regency Box Set

2. His Jilted Bride (Banks Brothers Brides #3)  by Rose Gordon - currently reading

 

Non-Fiction Challenge (22/50, 44% of challenge completed)

3. Flash Boys by Michael Lewis - 5 stars

4. Missoula by Jon Krakaur - 5 stars

5. High Tech Trash by Elizabeth Grossman - 2 stars

6. Bad Money by Kevin Phillips - DNF

7. The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine by Michael Lewis - 5 stars

 

Partial Reads

7. Easter 1916 - Read chapters 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8 (55% completed)

8. At the Duke's Wedding (Anthology) by Various Authors (50% completed)

9. Summer Rain (Anthology) by Various Authors - DNF

 

LGBTQ+ Cultural and Heritage Month (US observation)

10. Fun Home by Alison Bechdel - 3 stars

11. Are You My Mother? by Alison Bechdel - 0 stars

 

*Loving Day - June 12th

12. Let It Shine by Alyssa Cole - 4 stars

 

TBR Pile Read Down

13. The Bride Wore Blue (Brides of Bath #1) by Cheryl Bolen - DNF

14. If the Shoe Kills (Tourist Trap Mystery #3) by Lynn Cahoon - 4 stars

15. That Scandalous Summer (Rules of the Reckless #1) by Meredith Duran - 1 star

16. Summer of Dreams (From this Moment On novella) by Elizabeth Camden - 2 stars

17. That Summer in Cornwall by Ciji Ware - DNF

18. Summer of My German Soldier by Bette Greene (Summer Bingo) - 0 stars

19. The Giver (The Giver Quartet #1) by Lois Lowry (Summer Bingo) - 4 stars

20. Fever 1793 by Laurie Halse Anderson (Summer Bingo) - 4 stars

21. Side Effects by Amy Goldman Koss - 4 stars

22. Dressed to Kill (Tourist Trap Mystery #4) by Lynn Cahoon - 4 stars

23. Superman/Wonder Woman, Volume 1: Power Couple by Charles Soule and Tony S. Daniel - 4 stars 

 

Events

COYER Summer Vacation Challenge started June 18th.

Moonlight Reader's Summer Bingo Challenge

DoD Summer Reading Program started June 20th.

 

Reading Challenge: 88 out of 150 books (58% completed)

 

Stats

# non-fiction books: 4

# fiction books: 11

# DNF: 4

average total rating: 3.7

average non-fiction rating: 4.25 stars

average fiction rating: 3.2

 

Wrap Up

Getting better at hitting the DNF button. For the most part, those extra books for the bingo came in handy for bumping up the rating and giving me some enjoyable reading hours. Thanks Moonlight Reader for making me broaden my reading horizons :) !

 

Romance genre (save for Milan and Cole) didn't show me any love this month. I'm so tired of inaccurate historical details and NA characters in ball gowns. And as usual, contemporary romance failed me, with half of my DNFs coming from that genre.

 

Thankfully, I have cozy mysteries to keep turning pages. And the Apple settlement credit to my NOOK account helped keep me in cozy mysteries into the autumn months. YA and MG books helped to turn pages too. I found the other three books in The Giver Quartet on Overdrive, so I will probably work through the series next year. Not sure if I am up to seeing the movie though.

 

Non-fiction this month was great, just falling further behind on my goal of 50 non-fiction books for the year. I will be working through Lewis' and Krakaur's backlists next year. Biggest accomplishment this month is getting to the halfway mark on the historical account of the Easter Uprising of 1916 after not touching the book since the end of March.

 

The month of July includes one of my favorite holidays (Happy Independence Day to my American BL friends! Happy Getting Rid of Those Pesky Colonists Day to my British BL friends!) and two family trips (one to LEGOLAND, one to Brighton), so I am very excited to get some reading done while sunning myself on a beach or near a pool (June was straight up soggy as hell).

 

Happy Reading!

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review 2016-06-27 17:08
Re-read after watching the movie Everest
Into Thin Air: A Personal Account of the Mt. Everest Disaster - Jon Krakauer

Re-read June 2016

I have a suspicion that Krakauer might be a bit of a jerk in real life, and I will admit I sometimes wonder why many of his books have a strong me bit. Yet, he is an immensely talented writer. He took some heat for this book. I should note that I read the earlier addition, the paperback version of the book that came out in about year after the events, so the later afterword is not present. In this version at least, Krakauer doesn't seem too harsh about the socialite, noting that despite her attitude her fellow climbers, in particular man who he respects, respected her. Does she look like a saint? No, but I wouldn't call it a hatch job. He isn't particularly nice about describing some of his fellow climbers' skills, yet I think this is a human failing. He is as harsh about himself. And one does get the feeling that he blames himself. At the very least, the book is a good starting point for a discussion involving clients and climbers and whether that should even be an option for mountains like this one.

I got this book intending to give it to my brother, then I started it. I couldn't put it down.

Added 12/19/12 - Engrossing. Krakauer took some heat (too put it mildly) for his article. Also deals with the question of reporter and subject. Krakauer blames himself as much as anyone, so it does feel like a brutally honest book.

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