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High Crimes Paperback – 11 Jun 2009


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Frequently Bought Together

High Crimes + Dark Summit: The Extraordinary True Story of Everest's Most Controversial Season + Death Zone: Climbing Everest Through the Killer Storm
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Product details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: HYPERION (11 Jun. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1401309844
  • ISBN-13: 978-1401309848
  • Product Dimensions: 13.3 x 2.5 x 20.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 181,259 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Foxylock on 3 Feb. 2009
Format: Hardcover
Michael Kodas is more than qualified to spill the beans on the avarice that has engulfed the worlds tallest mountain. Working on a pulitzer prize winning team of journalists at the Hartford Courant Kodas has two unsuccessful summit attempts of Everest under his belt.

In 2004 Kodas and his wife decided to taste first hand the exhilaration associated with climbing Mount Everest, but instead of camaraderie and new friendships he found intimidation,deceit and death. He joined a team that used him for financial gain and abandoned him on the mountain during a crisis, but this was only the beginning.

Kodas exposes the trickery employed by uncertified guides to use wealthy clients to fund their own personal summit ambitions. We see first hand the utter disregard for human life on the mountain with climbers literally stepping over injured and dying people in an attempt to ease their own summit fever. We get an in depth account of Nils Antezana who died on the mountain after being abandoned by his guide and Sherpas and the disgusting behaviour of these individuals who sought " tips " from the dead mans family afterwards. Kodas paints a pretty dim picture of violence, corruption and intimidation among the Himalayas where theft of vital equipment and black market resale is an everyday and almost accepted behaviour. The farcical mountain cleanups and the much maligned charity climbs are mentioned here too with some particularly distressing evidence for the latter, where a climber announces an Everest climb for charity and then uses the money raised to fund the expedition !

This book although factual reads like a novel, it's well written and I had difficulty putting it down. Anyone with a romantic view of mountaineering should read this book , it will not disappoint and may even educate. I certainly learned a lot from it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Brian on 15 Nov. 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
With the ever increasing popularity of the huge Himalayan mountains, we shouldn't be surprised at the greed and avarice that is creeping into the industry of guiding and climbing. Once commercialism rears its ugly head in any enterprise, social ethics are cast aside. Not to mention safety as we see how the desire to get as many clients on the summit as possible clouds judgement and even a leaders own rules.
The author has obviously done a lot of homework to uncover the story behind many of the issues and incidents that have occured particularly in the last 15 or so years and the unfolding of these incidents.
This book, like every other mountain climbing book I have read, kept me reading well into many nights.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Andrew on 20 Aug. 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a very well written book even for those who like me don't use english as their native language. I'm not going to say I loved every single part of it but I'd rather say is an ok book to bring along for an intercontinental flight. The author keeps the "crime" thing at a minimun and focuses a lot more on the "romantic" part of the story. Towards the end the book starts finally to get more interesting as the true stories of greed,robberies and deaths starts to pop out but until then it's more or less a bunch of names followed by their own more or less romantic or tragic adventures. Bottom line an ok read but if you're looking for the "wow" factor or the "head nod " factor look elsewhere.
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Format: Paperback
I could not put this book down from start to finish. It gives a frank insight into the corruption, thievery, banditry and wanton waste of life on Mount Everest among some expeditions attempting to climb the world's highest peak. Excellent stuff.
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Format: Paperback
If summiting Everest is on your list of "100 Things to do Before I Die" you should read this compelling, if somewhat disheartening, look at the dark side of climbing the world's tallest mountain.

High Crimes explores the corruption of one of the purest places on earth, Mount Everest, and the author doesn't pull any punches pointing the finger and naming names of those who indulge in dishonest and outright criminal behaviour putting others’ lives at risk….and worse.

The author compares Everest Base Camp to a Wild West boomtown… with no sheriff.

He is especially critical of the Everest peak baggers who pay thousands of dollars to unscrupulous commercial operators to be dragged to the top and back down again (if they are lucky), "climbers" who have as much business being on the mountain as I do.

The structure of the novel is a little distracting, as the author tells his own summit attempted with the wife beating climbing team from Hell and the heart-breaking story of Dr. Nils Antezana, both threads running through the book pulling it all together.

Fascinating stuff
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Big Jim TOP 50 REVIEWER on 2 Oct. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
It has taken me a while to get round to reading this book but once i'd started it was very difficult to put it down. The author certainly pulls no punches, names names and is forthright in his allegations. This is all good. I don't know how many mountaineers or those interested in the mountains themselves will get out of this book though. It is mainly about the personalities concerned rather than a "hard" climbing book so this needs to be borne in mind if choosing to purchase it. I did also find the author's trait of jumping the narrative back and forth in time, and between different viewpoints sometimes a bit irritating. Perhaps a straight forward chronological account would have suited me better but nevertheless this is still a very informative and valuable book.
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