Most helpful critical review
An interesting set of mountaineering tales
on 7 March 2012
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 high-mountains to complex low-height bouldering.
This is an enjoyable book that has some real standout tales that most non-climbers would never hear about; just a few of the stories I'd recommend are 'Gill', The Flyboys, Club Denali, Chamonix and The Devil's Thumb.
Krakauer's writing is particularly compelling to me because he goes beyond simply explaining the tasks involved in attempting/achieving a summit. He also focuses and analyses the psychology of the climbers, exploring their motivations, desires and weaknesses, which help the average reader to better appreciate and comprehend why people willing partake in an undoubtedly high-stakes pursuit.
I note that the book's title is a slight misnomer, since only the first chapter actually deals with Eiger and this wasn't the best story in the book in my opinion. The book has a bit of a nostalgic feel to it given much of it is set in the early to late 80s - I loved the references to Fluro clothing!
So if you like high adventure, I'd recommend this book. Given this is an early (the first?) Krakauer book, some leeway has to be given that it won't have the same impact as Into Thin Air nor Into the Wild, but it is still a worthwhile read.