Eiger Dreams: Ventures Among Men and Mountains

Eiger Dreams: Ventures Among Men and Mountains

3.7 33
by Jon Krakauer
     
 

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No one writes about mountaineering and its attendant hardships and victories more brilliantly than critically acclaimed author Jon Krakauer. In this collection of his finest work from such magazines as Outside and Smithsonian, he explores the subject from the unique and memorable perspective of one who has battled peaks like K2, Denali, Everest, and,

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Overview

No one writes about mountaineering and its attendant hardships and victories more brilliantly than critically acclaimed author Jon Krakauer. In this collection of his finest work from such magazines as Outside and Smithsonian, he explores the subject from the unique and memorable perspective of one who has battled peaks like K2, Denali, Everest, and, of course, the Eiger. Always with a keen eye, an open heart, and a hunger for the ultimate experience, he gives us unerring portraits of the mountaineering experience.

Yet Eiger Dreams is more about people than about rock and ice—people with that odd, sometimes maniacal obsession with mountain summits that sets them apart from other men and women. Here we meet Adrian the Romanian, determined to be the first of his countrymen to solo Denali; John Gill, climber not of great mountains but of house-sized boulders so difficult to surmount that even demanding alpine climbs seem easy; and many more compelling and colorful characters. In the most intimate piece, “The Devils Thumb,” Krakauer recounts his own near-fatal, ultimately triumphant struggle with solo-madness as he scales Alaska's Devils Thumb. Eiger Dreams is stirring, vivid writing about one of the most compelling and dangerous of all human pursuits.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In the closed community of mountaineering there are legendary figures unknown to those outside. Krakauer, who writes about climbing for Smithsonian magazine, introduces some eccentrics and the places they gather. John Gill's reputation rests on ascents less than 30 feet high--he climbs boulders. The hard-drinking, pugnacious Burgess twins from Yorkshire are first-rate climbers and con men; they haven't held a job since 1975, yet manage to wander the globe bagging difficult peaks. Others climb frozen waterfalls in Valdez, Alaska, or attempt hazardous hang-gliding and bungee-jumping in Chamonix, where nearly 6000 people climb Mont Blanc every year. After taking us to Mt. McKinley (Denali), which has claimed more lives than the Eiger, Krakauer also describes canyoneering in the Mogollon Rim of Arizona and recounts his own nearly fatal solo climb of the Devil's Thumb in Alaska. Armchair adventurers can't ask for better entertainment. (Apr.)
Library Journal
Climber-turned-journalist Krakauer circles around the question of why a climber climbs by writing of various aspects of that culture. Revising pieces that appeared in Outside and Smithsonian magazines, he describes being tent-bound in a storm, and the competition among bush pilots flying climbers to Denali. Fresh material discusses related sports: frozen waterwall climbing and box canyon exploration. The obligatory chapters on particular climbs--an aborted attempt on the Eiger Nordwand, a lone ascent of the Devil's Thumb--are less successful in revealing to nonclimbers the emotions that drive a climber. Entertaining but not memorable.-- Paula M. Strain, M.L.S., Rockville, Md.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781599217703
Publisher:
Falcon Guides
Publication date:
02/10/2009
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
208
Sales rank:
96,735
File size:
484 KB

Meet the Author

Jon Krakauer is the author of the best-selling Into the Wild, Under the Banner of Heaven, and Into Thin Air, and is the editor of the Modern Library Exploration series. His writings have been published in Outside, GEO, Architecture Digest, Rolling Stone, TIME, the Washington Post, the New York Times, and the National Geographic.

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Eiger Dreams: Ventures Among Men and Mountains 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 33 reviews.
tjs83 More than 1 year ago
Eiger Dreams is a collection of short stories and is not as good as Krakauer's other books. Some of the stories are very entertaining, while others are kind of boring. A good read if you like outdoor books though.
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