Into Thin Air
By: Jon Krakauer
Into thin air, this compassionate story of survival brings you into a benumbing scenario with almost no hope of living through a living nightmare. Option calls it “A searing book” while Elle states “Into Thin Air is being billed as ‘one of the most memorable adventure sagas of all time,’ and is likely to earn that accolade . . . Krakauer makes one excellent decision after another about how to tell it.” Being a New York Times best seller, this book is not one to be overlooked and is a great investment of time.
Jon Krakauer is an ordinary man who is tasked with the job of describing the commercialism on Mount Everest. Jon thinks to him self “What better way to do this then climb the mountain myself?” So that he does. Before climbing up the mountain however, he realizes it’s not an easy task so he joins the climbing industry with the name of Adventure Consultants who assigns him a group of hiker companions as well as a leader under the name of Robert Hall.
Throughout the trip Jon begins writing down his experience, hoping to be able to share the experience after. As the hikers and he gain altitude, they begin to succumb to the wide array of effects that come with hiking such as weight lose, sickness, and drowsiness. From the inexperienced hikers to the veterans, all people begin slowly bringing themselves to their unaware endings that will soon befall them.
The turning point in the story is when Robert signals for a turning point in the trip. For those unaware, turning point is a given time where everyone must head back to their campground to risk death. In this case it is 2:00pm. As the hike returning down ensues. Several members of the trip die from blizzards and oxygen depletion in the unforgiving terrain. Miraculously, Jon survives.
Without a doubt, the most heart grabbing character in this story would have to be Robert. This is for the sole reason of his skills of a leader. In one instance he risks his life to save others from a terrifying blizzard that had come over the mountain.
I feel as though people could learn the importance of teamwork and good planning, as well as never expect the best luck. I doubt any of the hikers anticipated there hike going to hell in such a high degree, but with teamwork, some managed to overcome nature.
I can wholeheartedly say that this is one of the greatest books I’ve ever read. My favorite form of reading is a man verses nature type theme, and the fact that this actually happened to people fueled my excitement even more. Although there were some flaws with the book grabbing my attention, the most notable of course being that for a while in the beginning I was bored out of my mind. being there wasn’t much of my interest. I liked that it strengthened itself content wise greatly during the middle and ended very strong.
Being a real experience to somebody, changing something would drastically alter the storyline as everything affects it in some way. It would be rather entertaining to put this in a desert scenario though. Rather than a blizzard it would be a sandstorm, or perhaps dehydration replacing reduced oxygen levels.
I don’t find myself relating to any characters in this book. I have never leaded any organization nor have I been put in a near death scenario. I obviously have not ever died as well.
I’m sure some of the survivors left to die felt alone, scared and like they had no God or master looking over them. I’ve felt this way in some cases, although not in their scenario. Overall, I could relate to this book in very few ways. I just do not find myself relating to a situation where the temperature is far below freezing in a blizzard and I have no means of survival.
I would say anybody who enjoys a great story about survival through teamwork as well as luck, or just anybody looking for a great booking renowned for its content.
January 10th, 2011