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Eiger Dreams: Ventures among men and mountains [Paperback]

Jon Krakauer
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
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Book Description

1 July 2011

No one writes about mountaineering and its attendant victories and hardships more brilliantly than Jon Krakauer. In this collection of his finest essays and reporting, Krakauer writes of mountains from the memorable perspective of one who has himself struggled with solo madness to scale Alaska's notorious Devils Thumb.

In Pakistan, the fearsome K2 kills thirteen of the world's most experienced mountain climbers in one horrific summer. In Valdez, Alaska, two men scale a frozen waterfall over a four-hundred-foot drop. In France, a hip international crowd of rock climbers, bungee jumpers, and paragliders figure out new ways to risk their lives on the towering peaks of Mont Blanc. Why do they do it? How do they do it? In this extraordinary book, Krakauer presents an unusual fraternity of daredevils, athletes, and misfits stretching the limits of the possible.

From the paranoid confines of a snowbound tent, to the thunderous, suffocating terror of a white-out on Mount McKinley, Eiger Dreams spins tales of driven lives, sudden deaths, and incredible victories. This is a stirring, vivid book about one of the most compelling and dangerous of all human pursuits.

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Frequently Bought Together

Eiger Dreams: Ventures among men and mountains + The White Spider + Into Thin Air: A personal account of the Everest disaster  - updated 2nd edition
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Product details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Pan; New Ed edition (1 July 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0330370006
  • ISBN-13: 978-0330370004
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 37,211 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Jon Krakauer is the author of Eiger Dreams, Into The Wild, Into Thin Air, and Under the Banner of Heaven and is the editor of the Modern Library Exploration series.

Product Description


The author of "Into Thin Air" "has taken the literature of mountains onto a higher ledge." --"New York Times Book Review """ "Armchair adventurers can't ask for better entertainment than this tour of the legendary locations of mountaineering and the eccentric climbers who gather there." --"Publisher's Weekly"

About the Author

Jon Krakauer is the author of Eiger Dreams, Into the Wild, which was on the New York Times bestseller list for over a year and was made into a film in 2008, Into Thin Air, Iceland, Under the Banner of Heaven and Where Men Win Glory. He is also the editor of the Modern Library Exploration Series.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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First Sentence
IN THE EARLY MOMENTS OF The Eiger Sanction, CLINT EASTWOOD saunters into the dimly lit headquarters of C-2 to find out who he is supposed to assassinate next. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
A series of very well written short stories by the master of mountain writing. Funny, moving, scary and above all accessable. Dont expect great long epis, this looks at the lighter side of mountaineering.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great short stories 6 Mar 2003
By p. donk
A wonderful collection of short stories. Crazy ,likeable characters in, to say the least ,unusual & challenging situations.All written with great humour, Mr. Krakauer knows how to tell a good story. The account of the Mt.McKinley climb is probably one of the best & funniest short stories I ever read. Maybe even more enjoyable for non-climbers ( I am not), just to find out about the mad men of the mountains.Well recommended.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
This collection of essays by climber and journalist Jon Krakauer is a real eye-opener. It shows just how diverse the world of mountaineering has become. The subjects range from accounts of some of Krakauer's own exploits, including an aborted attempt on the north face of the Eiger, to humorous portraits of the pilots who fly mountaineers onto glaciers.
What makes the book such an entertaining read is Krakauer's disarming honesty and his knack for getting under the skin of his subject and understanding what makes people tick.
Recommended reading for all armchair mountaineers.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Climbing Culture 17 Jun 2009
The author of this mountaineering miscellany, Jon Krakauer, is an American mountaineer and writer probably best known for his public condemnation of commercialism linked to Mount Everest and his book `Into Thin Air' presenting an investigative account of the 1996 tragedies on the mountain. Though criticised by other mountaineers, Jon Krakauer has mixed easily with many of the world's top climbers and mountaineers, he writes first hand accounts with frankness, he understands the culture of the climbing world and he has direct experience of what motivates mountaineers. As a journalistic writer Krakauer uses knowledge of his own and the achievements and epics of contemporary mountaineers and others to produce narrative in readable and humorous style, though perhaps he makes light of some events and in places for a `Brit' the humour may be too intentionally injected. Furthermore when he relies on quotes it can be irritating to have explanations of how non-American mountaineers have `gotten' into or `gotten' out of various situations. Apart from its final chapter `Eiger Dreams' is a collection of articles previously published between 1982 and 1989 in magazines and journals. Krakauer associates tales with well known mountains of Eiger, K2 and Mount McKinley; together with commentaries on well known individuals like boulderer John Gill, ice climbers of Valdez, maverick mountaineers Alan and Adrian Burgess, and historical perspectives on `A Mountain Higher Than Everest'. Also he delves into the psyche of mountaineers with chapters `On Being Tentbound' and `Chamonix', plus insights to related sports as `Canyoneering'. The final chapter `The Devils Thumb' is a revealing story of Jon Krakauer's early epic solo of a new route in Alaska to somehow seek a "glorious transformation". `Eiger Dreams' allows awareness and apprehension of what compels climbers and mountaineers to accept risks to achieve dreams.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
I have read a few climbing books, and apart from the fact that I still don't quite know why these guys do it, I find most modern writers on the subject vaguely stimulating. More often than not, I read the first 50 pages or so, but then I get bored. Not so with John Krakauer's work here. His style very is well placed, he obviously knows what he's talking about, and his own ideas seem to come through a little. I just wish that other authors on the same subject could lighten up a bit.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Living Your Challenging Dreams 5 Feb 2008
People have always pushed to accomplish more. When one of my best friends took up mountain climbing well into his fifties after he back wasn't up to golf any more, I began to wonder what the sport was all about. Having remembered that Jon Krakauer is both a wonderful writer and an adventuresome climber, it seemed like I might learn the answers by reading this book. I was more than amply rewarded for my curiosity.

Knowing that adventures are better heard as a story rather than read, I also opted for Philip Franklin's reading for Books on Tape. This was a stunningly good choice. Mr. Franklin makes you feel like you are right there as you look down from dizzying heights of thousands of feet while being held up by a small patch of crumbling ice.

The diversity of the stories is remarkable, from those who want to set records for getting up dangerous new routes to those who want to set records for speed in sport climbing (lots of strength and technique but not much risk). I was very surprised by some of the stories, including the ones about climbing "impossible" boulders that might be only 30 feet high and tall columns of crumbling frozen water . . . unattached to any nearby rock.

Mr. Krakauer has a wonderful ability to bring you into the stories by recounting his own fearful beginnings as a climber and the ways that he has sought release from humdrum cares by climbing. You'll find yourself chilled to the bone in places, even though you may be sitting in front of a roaring fire. It's a great trip!

I don't think I'll take up climbing, but I am indebted to this brilliant exposition of climbing's appeal.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good,
Krakauer has written another interesting book.
Most of the essays are engaging and interesting. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Christos Markou
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic book
Started reading Krakauer after watching Into The Wild and have found all his books to be a fantastic read. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Dan Grove
5.0 out of 5 stars GREAT BOOK
Great book a plus, thank you but not for making me write additional words for no reason. Get stuffed Amazon
Published 10 months ago by Pluto83
4.0 out of 5 stars A great read
This book does much to show the humility of climbing. Where many books in this genre tend to focus on dominating peaks or scaling summits, Jon Krakauer shows us that climbing big... Read more
Published 14 months ago by Simon Partington
3.0 out of 5 stars An interesting set of mountaineering tales
Eiger Dreams is a collated set of articles and tales written by the author. The stories explore a wide-range of mountaineering-related disciplines from climbs in the Himalayan... Read more
Published on 7 Mar 2012 by aus_books
3.0 out of 5 stars Eiger Dreams
A selection of articles written I believe for a US mountaineering magazine, some are more interesting than others. Read more
Published on 2 Jan 2012 by Justin O'Connell
5.0 out of 5 stars A great mountaineering book!
I am hooked on books about mountaineering! And Jon Krakauer is the best writer I have read threee of his books all very good and spellbound. Read more
Published on 13 Mar 2011 by breizhcopfan
4.0 out of 5 stars Climbing Tasters
This book is a collection of articles written and previously published by Jon Krakauer (with one chapter a joint written one) and it's worth noting that most of it isn't actually... Read more
Published on 8 July 2010 by Alison
3.0 out of 5 stars An entertaining collection
Written by Jon Krakauer of "Into Thin Air" fame this book didnt live up to my expectations.Its a little book containing twelve short essays on various aspects of... Read more
Published on 3 Oct 2008 by Foxylock
5.0 out of 5 stars Eiger Dreams
Krakauer does it again with 'Eiger Dreams', a book of gripping climbing articles with his highly readable and captivating style. Read more
Published on 25 Mar 2008 by Spider Monkey
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