Shattered Air: A True Account of Catastrophe and Courage on Yosemite's Half Dome

Overview

The compelling account of recklessness, tragedy, courage and rescue, a book whose sobering depiction of Nature's danger is tempered by unforgettable portraits of the triumphant human spirit.

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Shattered Air: A True Account of Catastrophe and Courage on Yosemite's Half Dome

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Overview

The compelling account of recklessness, tragedy, courage and rescue, a book whose sobering depiction of Nature's danger is tempered by unforgettable portraits of the triumphant human spirit.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Madgic claims that "in the annals of hiking tragedies caused by lightning," an ill-fated climb up Yosemite's famed Half Dome mountain by five experienced hikers in 1985 was "one of the most calamitous... of all time." Two of the hikers were killed and three sustained life-altering injuries after they decided to ignore signs of an oncoming thunderstorm and continued climbing a mountain whose peak had been struck by lightning during every month of that year. Madgic, a writer on the outdoors and a Half Dome climbing vet, delivers a well-written and thoroughly investigated account, but his real subject is less the hikers and more the "raw, fearsome power" of lightning. While he provides in-depth profiles of each hiker and their shared enthusiasm for risk taking as a way of conquering "personal fear," he makes it clear from the start that none of them "really knew the capacities, behaviors and dangers of thunderstorms." Madgic provides a fascinating-if somewhat stomach-churning-account of how the walls of a cave the hikers took refuge in conducted the electrical charge that devastated them, and his contribution to the adventure category is at once a terrifying story and an urgent cautionary tale. Photos. (June) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781580801423
  • Publisher: Burford Books
  • Publication date: 3/25/2007
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 264
  • Sales rank: 398,590
  • Product dimensions: 6.06 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.68 (d)

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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 3, 2010

    More Like "Shattered Thoughts"

    This is a good story, interrupted by meaningless facts, about the emotional and physical struggles of three groups of hikers. The book takes place on Half Dome, in Yosemite National Park, during a lighting storm. The book was published in 2007. The theme of this book focuses on the ramifications of stupid decisions made by egotistical middle aged men. The book was written by Bob Madgic. The real story does not start until page 141, anything before that is boring prologue or random anecdotes. Adrian Esteban is one of the main characters. If the author got rid of the nonsensical anecdotes and the interjecting science and/or first aid lessons the real plot might last 110 pages at most. This was one of the most difficult books for me to grind through.

    (If you enjoyed reading this review, with the facts and personal anecdote included, you may enjoy the book. If not I suggest starting on page 140)

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 28, 2008

    I Also Recommend:

    Excellent, compelling read

    I could hardly put this book down. While the background information was a bit slow, it is necessary and leads up to build the reasons for this tragedy. Good statistical information on lighting and other various hazards, it serves to inform as well as entertain. Being an avid hiker who has many times seen those others heading out when weather threatens, it still amazes me how some believe they are invincible and take such risks. This book not only shows the will of the human spirit but the amazing good as well.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 10, 2008

    Scary.

    OK, here's the cliche that will keep them from printing this: couldn't put it down! I actually read a lot, and few books do this to me, but the subject matter and author's extensive research, grabbed me for a great big ride. The background was necessary, but not outstanding. What it did, was build suspense, because you knew what was coming. Heck, it was right on the cover. But starting about 1/3 of the way through, you cannot put this book down. I can't say the writing was scintillating, but the real life story was. I didn't even care much about the characters, but having been to Yosemite several times, it was all too real for me. I don't see how anyone will ever climb up those metal ropes to the top of Half Dome again, after reading this book!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 9, 2011

    A great read for adventurous people!

    This is an exciting book! Accurate in the details of what the climbers faced. Inspiring in the accounts of courage. And kinda painful...not a happy ending for all..

    But if you want to share adventure, read this book!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 6, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews

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