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The Climb: Tragic Ambitions on Everest Paperback – 6 Sep 2002


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Product details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Pan; New Ed edition (6 Sep 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0330488961
  • ISBN-13: 978-0330488969
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 2.5 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (76 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 53,288 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

'Powerful...a breath of brisk, sometimes bitter clarity...Boukreev did the one thing that denies the void. He took action. He chose danger, and he saved lives.' New York Times Book Review; 'The best book l've read this year... The Climb has a story that will grip and haunt you.' Alex Garland, author of The Beach and The Tesseract

About the Author

Anatoli Boukreev was one of the world's foremost high-altitude mountaineers. For his heroic actions in May 1996, he was awarded the American Alpine Club's highest honour, the David A. Sowles Memorial Award. He died in an avalanche whilst climbing in Nepal in 1997. G. Weston Dewalt is a writer and documentary filmmaker.

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First Sentence
A star, one that didn't belong, appeared in the night sky over the Himalaya in March 1996. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

28 of 28 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 21 Aug 2003
Format: Paperback
This is one of the best book I have ever read - in it G.W. DeWalt and Boukreev, one of the legendary climbers of his time, have combined to make this book a gripping, compelling read. It was immensely difficult to tear myself away from it. Having read Into Thin Air by John Krakauer, which gives Krakauer's version of events on that fatal day, this book contrasts heavily to Krakauer's style of writing, in as good a way as possible. G.W. DeWalt has put Boukreev's account forward so well, I am moved to feel for Boukreev - who pulled off one of the most astounding mountaineering rescues of all time without oxygen - because he is unjustly villified over his actions on that fatal day by the media. In reading this, I have been compelled to change my mind over certain things - showing how well his account has been put across.
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37 of 38 people found the following review helpful By Duke on 26 Mar 2004
Format: Paperback
If you are looking for a fair view of what happened on the mountain on that dreadful day 10th May 1996 then this is the book to read, but if you are after a book that takes you on a rollercoaster ride of those fateful hours then i'm afraid you will be very disappointed.
After reading this book I have an awful lot of admiration for Anatoli Bourkreev. The heroic effort he made to rescue as many eople off that mountain must never be forgotten.
The Climb is split into effectively 2 books. The first explains how Antoli was chosen for the expedition, the preparation that was involved and also the detail of what actually happened when the two teams of Rob Hall and Scott Fischer got tangled deep into the death zone.
The 2nd part of the book is spent justifying Anatoli's decisions, and defending the wild and mostly misdirected accusations directed at him by Jon Krakauer. This in it's self is very important, but unfortunately the same accusations are covered time and time again, but only from a different perspective. I found myself willing to get to the end of the book for this reason, which did slightly ruin the whole book for me.
Please make your own mind up, but be warned that the last half of the book can become a little tedious.
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Mark Wood on 23 Jan 2003
Format: Paperback
When i bought this book i had no idea that it would keep my gripped for more than a 24 hours on a flight, reading without a pause but it did. Great book, well written (i am currently reading it for a second time). In addition it also provides a counter view to the contentious views that are expressed in 'into thin air'. A true story of human endurance, bravery, extreme conditions and business competition in a world where the price of failure is death. A truely human story about one of the great mountaineers of all time, who climbed without O2. Great read and everyone i know who has read it say the same, you just can't put it down until the story has been told in full.
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful By John Williams TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 28 July 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Having read Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer, I read The Climb thinking that it would complete the picture and give me a balanced view of what happened on Everest in 1996, when storms hit a number of commercial expeditions resulting in the deaths of eight climbers. It did so to a degree, and the account by Boukreev of the climb and of his rescue of three members of his expedition is certainly gripping, but there were aspects of this book that spoiled it a little for me. The most interesting part of the book is the first part, which describes the expedition and Boukreev's heroic rescue of three of his fellow climbers. The Mountain Madness debriefing transcript at the end is almost as interesting, but in a different way. In between these is sandwiched a lot of argument about Jon Krakauer's account and his criticisms of Boukreev. I found this irritating, distracting, unnecessary and undignified. The Climb is tilting at windmills here. After all, Krakauer is not unreservedly critical of Boukreev. He describes Boukreev's rescue efforts and gives him credit for them. He does also question the wisdom and motives of some of Boukreev's actions, but I think this fair enough; he wrote his account very soon after the events, and admits to the incompleteness of his knowledge. He is also critical of the Everest 'industry' in general, and most of all of himself.

The Climb is not such an engaging read as Into Thin Air. Perhaps this is because Boukreev was not a writer himself and his command of English was poor, so he had to collaborate with someone who could write, but who was not an eyewitness to the events. Krakauer has the advantage of being both a participant, an eyewitness and a good writer, so his account, while his book may have gaps and inaccuracies, is much more compelling.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Lawyeraau HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on 19 Sep 2001
Format: Hardcover
This is the story of the 1996 Everest disaster which saw so many climbers perish on that mountain. It is told from the perspective of Anatoli Boukreev, who was one of the guides on the ill-fated Mountain Madness expedition to Everest. It is written almost as a rebuttal to the perceived criticism of Boukreev's actions on that ill fated climb, criticism that was voiced by author Jon Karakauer in "Into Thin Air", his definitive book about the 1996 Everest expeditions debacle.
This is a poorly written account which is oftentimes confusing. It has none of the clarity of prose found in Krakauer's "Into Thin Air". It is, however, an important chronicle from someone who was on Everest in 1996 and had a pivotal role in the tragic events that unfolded on the mountain. Boukreev provides an insider's view of the Mountain Madness expedition itself and of the preparations that go into such a journey. It is packed with many interesting details, which will delight Everest junkies.
Whether Boukreev's actions on the mountain were irresponsible in that he did not use supplementary oxygen to summit and immediately returned to camp after his successful summit bid, rather than remain with the expedition's clients, or whether he was just following the orders of the expedition leader, Scott Fischer, who himself was one of those who died on Everest in 1996, is an issue that will long be debated in mountaineering circles. There is no doubt, however, that Boukreev did, in fact, singlehandedly rescue three climbers during a raging blizzard; climbers who without his intervention would have died. Given the extreme weather conditions, his solo foray up the mountain to rescue climbers in nothing less than heroic.
Boukreev's is an important voice in the Everest annals, more so now that his voice has been silenced. On Christmas day, 1997, he died in an avalanche on Annapurna. RIP.
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