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To the Edge: A Man, Death Valley, and the Mystery of Endurance

To the Edge: A Man, Death Valley, and the Mystery of Endurance

4.2 7
by Kirk Johnson

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pain-mind-numbing, body-wracking pain. When his beloved older brother commits suicide, Kirk starts running-running to escape, running to understand, running straight into the hell of Badwater, the ultimate test of endurance equal to five consecutive marathons. From the inferno of Death Valley to the freezing summit of Mt. Whitney, alongside a group of dreamers,

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To the Edge: A Man, Death Valley, and the Mystery of Endurance 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
As a person with not much experience in non-fiction books, I was highly impressed by Kirk Johnson's "To the Edge". I too am a runner, which made this book easy to relate to. Kirk begins the book talking about how he ended up running the 135 mile ultra marathon through death valley, and ends the book talking about how he did it. Both the first and second half deal with psychology and Kirk's philosophy, but also have some straight forward facts about running. I like the way the author made the people he met on his journey come to life as characters in his book, at times it felt more like a movie than a non-fiction book. Kirk Johnson is a descriptive writer, which I enjoyed even though at some points, some sentences would turn into tangents.. two pages long. As a runner, I am a little bias because I found his shin splints more fascinating than the average person probably would, but regardless "To the Edge" is a compelling story. -Hannah
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Guest More than 1 year ago
I'm into solo-sports, especially those that require a level of mental as well as physical commitment. This book is written for precisly that athlete, or someone who has respect for that athlete. It's a very readable and motivating tale of why we do such things. If you're already aware of the concept of 'deep play' (where the results of winning or completing a game or sport are seemingly disporportionate to the mental and physical costs of participating) this is a great text all about it, from someone who's been there too. If you're curious, this is a very readable place to start.
Guest More than 1 year ago
A very compelling read -- even for this couch potato who can't run down the block. The story, of course, is a journey into the mind, and the author presents quite travelogue of the journey. The people he meets are fascinating and the reader feels fortunate to have encountered them, if only on the page.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I am not a running and don't plan to be. This is not a running's guide; it is a guide on running your life. I found it inspirational and thought-provoking. I love Johnson's writing style. He made me laugh out loud, when describing the Avon products. He made me cry, when writing about his sibling relationships. Everyone should read this book.
harstan More than 1 year ago
This is an autobiography in which New York Times reporter Kirk Johnson explains why he raced the Badwater, a race that some consider the most dangerous in the world. He chose running across Death valley as a combination homage to his older brother Roger, a suicide victim as well as a need to cleans his own soul as well. The second half of the book deals with the race itself and is not just excellent. It is some of the best non-fictional literature of the year as the audience begins to understand how far a person is willing to go. The first segment seems more introspective and philosophical, which is insightful but after a time requires ultramarathon endurance. Still TO THE EDGE is a strong account that pays homage to the writer and his family and is worth reading by fans of biographies.

Harriet Klausner