Customer Reviews for

Touching the Void: The True Story of One Man's Miraculous Survival

Average Rating 4.5
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

Gripping story of a man's survival **Spoiler**

Touching the Void was a book full of suppense. The story gave a great look at truly how dangerous and mind-boggling ice climbing can be. It was full of descriptive words, that at somepoints made it hard to understand, but there was a glossary in the back to help with th...
Touching the Void was a book full of suppense. The story gave a great look at truly how dangerous and mind-boggling ice climbing can be. It was full of descriptive words, that at somepoints made it hard to understand, but there was a glossary in the back to help with the climbing phrases and mountain areas. The book starts with Joe Simpson and 2 of his friends at base camp. He tells a story of a previous attempt to summit. During this attempt they end up being rescued after one of their snow cave collapses and all of their gear is lost down the mountain. Now during the current story Joe Simpson and Simon Yates are attempting the same summit. They reach the top but on the way down disaster strikes. Joe falls off an edge and ends up breaking multiple spots in his leg. Joe and Simon are able to come up with a way to get both of them down when Joe falls off the edge sliding down. He ends up falling, while Simon is still at the top. Simon not knowing if Joe was alive had to cut the rope. Joe wakes up at the bottom and has to find his way back to base camp on his own. There are a few parts in the book told from Simons point of view but it is mainly from Joe's point of view. To me the book was mainly about his fall but that was not the only part that made the book great. The fact that Joe Simpson's friend Simon Yates were so close and even with Joe's first injury they never left eachother. After Joe's fall he was still concerned about the life of his friend and whether or not he was ok. This book showed the courage of Joe Simpson through his whole journey and how even when something has gone wrong in the past he still goes on with the adventure. This book was very suspenseful and very hard to put down. I would definitly recomend this book!!

posted by 11148337 on February 26, 2012

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Most Helpful Critical Review

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

Touching The void a slow but good read

The book Touching the Void was an interesting novel. It was very suspenseful and had some interesting pictures. The author went into a lot of detail sometimes too much detail. I liked how he let both of the men be narrators. But sometimes with the narrators swapping i...
The book Touching the Void was an interesting novel. It was very suspenseful and had some interesting pictures. The author went into a lot of detail sometimes too much detail. I liked how he let both of the men be narrators. But sometimes with the narrators swapping it could get confusing. When he got his leg broken the book slowed down a lot. It got just to be too slow. The author was on the same subject way too long. The rest of the book after him breaking his leg was too slow. The last half of the book was bad.

posted by Anonymous on December 10, 2007

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 16, 2008

    Great Book!

    I'm a fan of survival stories, and this one is one of the best I've read. Well written, and suspenseful, does a good job of portraying the thoughts, feelings, actions of each of the men. Would definitely recommend.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 27, 2005

    great story

    ¿Touching the Void¿ written by Joe Simpson is a great, intense story about two climbers and their story of survival. The story is about two men that want to reach the top of a 21,000 foot mountain in the Andes. They are on their way to the top when Joe Simpson falls and he brakes his leg. Thus is when his partner climber is forced to cut the rope and return back to camp without Joe. It takes Joe several days to crawl back with his broken leg to camp before Simon packs up and leaves. ¿Touching the Void¿ is a great story of survival; and it is based on a true, miraculous story. The author, Joe Simpson, tells the story in first person because he is the one that is actually in the story. The theme of the story is never had given up even if there is no hope. If Joe gave up and not made it he would have died a horrible death.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 10, 2004

    Love True Life

    This was a great story, and was extremely well written. It did drag in parts, but then it was also very difficult to put the book down. The introduction to the book (on the flap of the cover) gave too much away. You could just read it, and skip reading the book. Not knowing what happened in the end would keep your interest more. This man showed the kind of courage that I know I could never draw forth. It was amazing how he kept struggling to survive. I turly admire him.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 17, 2004

    A gripping read and a parable of hope

    A terrific book to read by the fire with a bottle of whisky. Simpson's writing is very plain and direct, and the tone is one of remove. It's almost the story is being told by someone who read it in a book.... and that works for me. I also agree with other reviewers that for a more intense literary read, and a hallucinogenic experience, Peter hillary's In The Ghost Country is an absolute treat.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 12, 2004

    Amazing that either of them survived

    Simpson brings the reader into the depths of despair with him, and then slowly, brings them back from the brink of death. His story and writing are superb and the book reads very quickly. Even though you know he survived the ordeal, every fall leaves the reader with a sense of dread and anticipation for what will happen next. Great story. Read it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 20, 2003

    A Riveting Experience

    Joe Simpson¿s Touching the Void is a compelling first person narrative of one mans miraculous survival. Joe and Simon are looking to become the first known people to climb the west face of the Suila Grande. They ascend their way to the peak, but a storm moves in, catching them off guard. The two continue with their journey down tied together by a rope. A cornice breaks off of the mountain sending Joe down with it, but the safety rope stops his fall. Reunited, the two continue their trek until the come to a huge gap in the snow and ice. Joe searches for a way around the detour and while peering over the edge loses his footing and breaks his knee on the wall. Joe wants Simon to go on without him, but Simon notices a ledge not far down and begins lowering Joe and himself. You¿ll never guess what happens next. If you like adventure and surprises, this is a book for you. Simpson puts you on the edge of your seat guessing what¿s going to happen next.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 20, 2003

    Touching The Void

    If you like adventure, danger and the great outdoors this is the book for you. Touching The Void is a very compelling story about mans determination and will to survive no matter what Mother Nature dishes out. Joe Simpson gives an excellent narrative that grabs the reader and gets them asking for more. Touching The Void takes place high in the Andes Mountains. Joe Simpson and his climbing partner Simon Yates Just reached the top of a 21,000-foot summit when disaster strikes. Everything was going great for the two climbers. They were both overjoyed with their accomplishment when all of a sudden their world fell apart both literally and figuratively. This was a good book definitely worth reading.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 20, 2003

    Read this one

    Can you imagine trying to descend from the top of a twenty-one thousand foot peak in the Andes, with a broken leg? Touching The Void, a book written by Joe Simpson, is a harrowing first person account of one man's miraculous survival. Simpson and his climbing partner, Simon Yates, finally reached the top of a twenty-one thousand foot peak when Simpson plunged off a vertical ice edge and broke his leg. Touching the void has constant, breathtaking events as you are walked through Joe Simpson's journey. Each chapter is filled with obstacles that Simpson and his climbing partner must overcome. I recommend buying this book and finding out what happens; it's worth the money. Touching the void will keep you on the edge of your seat. If you're into action and suspense, this is a book for you.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 3, 2002

    I read it in one sitting!

    I opended the book, with the intent to look at the pictures. I wound up sitting down to read it, and didn't go to bed until I was finished. The book is written in the first person by a climber who is left for dead on the mountain. So, it doesn't ruin the ending to tell you he survived. Turns out, he is also quite a good writer, as well. The book isn't loaded with climbing jargon. But, there is a glossary in the back to help you out with a few terms. Don't miss this one!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 20, 2000

    Harrowing Tale of Incredible Survival in the Andes

    Joe Simpson is very lucky to be alive. I've read many mountaineering and adventure books. His book is the best descriptive tale of survival on a mountaineering adventure gone wrong. His description of being lowered down the mountainside with a rope is reminiscant of the scene from the movie 'K2' after the character Harold broke his leg. It is a fairly short book that I read from cover to cover in 2-days. His way of describing his adventures is similar to the way TJ Burr wrote in 'Rocky Mountain Adventure Collection.' They both wrote so the lay person could relate to their experiences.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 11, 2000

    This is a great adventure book

    For people who liked 'Into Thin Air', you will love this book. It is another disaster high on the mountains. Excellent from the start to the finish. I definetly recomend it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 16, 2000

    Touching The Void

    This is an amazing tale, told from the rare , first person perspective. Not only is this man an amazing climber, and able to show great courage in fighting for his life. But he is quite capable of conveying that sense of fear and courage to the reader without intimidating them by the sometimes techical jargon that alipine climbing exists in. This book really brings you into this journey. It is a HIGHLY recommended read

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    Posted May 16, 2010

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    Posted March 29, 2010

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    Posted December 23, 2009

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    Posted September 4, 2009

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    Posted February 14, 2010

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    Posted November 5, 2009

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    Posted November 23, 2008

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