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45 of 45 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspirational, moving and thought-provoking, 22 Sep 2004
By 
J. Megarry (Scotland) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
To write a great autobiographical book, you have to have lived a great life. Before he was 30 years old, the author had already experienced more hardship and tragedy than most people can imagine. Yet this book is, above all, one of inspiration. As a survival story, it is even more arresting than "Touching the Void".
Jamie Andrew tells the story of the 1999 mountaineering ordeal in which his friend died without a trace of self-pity, even with humour. He describes factually his own subsequent surgery - the amputation of both hands and feet because of extreme frostbite. But the way in which he subsequently rebuilt his life is the author's main message. What matters is not what happens to you, it is how you cope. Jamie Andrew's response to his "disability" has been consistently heroic.
As a quadruple amputee, he has run a marathon, climbed Ben Nevis and more recently Kilimanjaro, fathered a child and written a moving book about his experiences. There is a marvellous passage about the many ways we use our hands - forms of expression now closed to him. There are tributes to the bravery of the helicopter and surgical teams who saved his life but could not save his friend's. And there are excellent photographs to illustrate his extraordinary story.
If you have ever felt hungry, thirsty, cold or tired while walking or climbing, read this book and you will never feel sorry for yourself again. If you have had illness or surgery, read this book and discover new ways of coping with challenges. If you fit neither of these categories, read it anyway, as a well-written and gripping story. The book has already been nominated for the Boardman Tasker Prize for mountain literature, and it is clearly destined to become a classic.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent book - unputdownable!!, 29 July 2005
This review is from: Life And Limb: A true story of tragedy and survival (Paperback)
The book was excellent, unputdownable, and you feel gripped by his struggle from start to finish. It begins with an absolute fight to stay alive on a mountain top in a severe storm, the death of his climbing partner, and his incredible resuce. Then the story really starts. Frostbite claims both his hands and feet and the fight moves to adapting to everyday life again. Not only does he succeed in every challenge but returns to mountaineering again. It's not just an amazing book, but one which will move you and put tears in your eyes. Of all the mountaineering books I've read, many of which include accidents and fights for survival, this one I would recommend the most.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding and truly inspiring., 24 Sep 2004
Jamie Andrew's account of what happened to him and his friend Jamie Fisher on the mountain is truly riveting. I am not a bookworm and have not read a book since high school, I found myself unable to put this down. Jamie's descriptions are fantastic and I was truly moved and inspired by his experiences. Jamie Andrew's character shines through and I highly recommend this book to anyone. I just loved it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A superb read - enthralling, moving and inspiring, 15 Jan 2007
By 
A. Mason "Tony M" (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Life And Limb: A true story of tragedy and survival (Paperback)
It says everything about the quality of the writing of this book that even though you broadly know what is going to happen next you are still turning the pages as if you were reading the most exciting fiction bestseller, always wanting to know what happens next. Of course it is not fiction. Jamie is a real person in extraordinary circumstances. Although it may not make us able to climb the Alpine mountains he so loves, his tale certainly makes you think about how our own attitudes might help us better climb the hills we face in our own lives.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible and Inspirational, 13 Jun 2011
By 
D. Elliott (Ulverston, Cumbria) - See all my reviews
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Sandwiched between comments on the Cosmiques ArÍte there are a number of parts to `Life and Limb'. The first recounts Jamie Andrew's competent ascent of the North Face of Les Droites with his friend Jamie Fisher, and secondly the incredible helicopter rescue after being trapped for 5 nights on the summit ridge. His friend died of hypothermia and though Jamie Andrew lived he lost both hands and feet due to severe frostbite. His hospital treatment and then rehabilitation is harrowingly described together with inspirational accounts of how he overcame his disabilities.

Normally I am not much impressed by so-called motivational characters but Jamie Andrew is in a league of his own. Without over or under-playing circumstances and events he presents matter of fact explanations on his injuries and amputations together with details of prosthetic devices and reliance on everyday items with minimal modification. Since the Les Droites episode he persevered with experimental endeavours to regain normality and succeeded to an inconceivable degree at an incredible pace. He undertook rigorous exercising and training regimes and participated in numerous sporting activities, but a return to mountaineering provided the greatest challenge. With experiences in the Western Alps, Dolomites and Yosemite as well as throughout Britain Jamie Andrew was a proficient mountaineer and climbing had always been what he refers to as "that special ingredient which made my life unique to me and helped me shape my personal identity". He set about ensuring this continued, and in doing so he defines his own physical and emotional limits, but also he motivates others to conquer their handicaps and not to dwell on what might have been. The climbing parts of `Life and Limb' are enthralling in their own right, but most significant and influencing are its hugely uplifting and unsurpassed inspirational elements.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Jamie's Life and Limb's., 16 Jan 2006
By 
s a innes (Kent, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Life And Limb: A true story of tragedy and survival (Paperback)
Can't say much more then the reviewers above have said. The book is Brilliant! It is a modern day 'Touching the Void' (sorry to compare the two). Jamie has a serious talent for writing that I hope he continues to use. Not sure of the direction book two will take (or if Jamie intends to write it even), but kicking off where Life and Limb finished would make a very interesting start. The transition from climbing book to covering how Jamie rebuilt his life was superb, and held my interest to the very end.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best books I've read Ever !!, 25 Jan 2005
By 
E. Gilchrist "Emma" (New Forest) - See all my reviews
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A book I simply could not put down. This is one of the best books I have read in years. The story pulls you in from the very first page and does not let go to the very last page.
An amazing story very well told, if you only read one book this year make sure its this one !!!!!!!!
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5.0 out of 5 stars The holiday started with good friends in France, 4 July 2014
The holiday started with good friends in France. Was there a mountain to climb? Of course there was. A great ascent of the North Face of Les Droites was the perfect challenge. And all was well until the weather broke. The snow fell and it was so cold. Everything had changed. And by the time Jamie Andrew was rescued Jamie Fisher was dead.
Life and Limb describes the end of Jamie Andrew's old life and the beginning of the rest of his life. At first there was despair. How had his best friend been taken? Why had he survived? He would never smile or laugh ever again.
But that was the past. No one could change the past. It had been awful and it would never be forgotten but Jamie had such a battle ahead of him to try to become the best new man he could.
Jamie lost part of each arm and leg. What had he done to himself? There was anger and some disbelief, and then calm. Things would get better and he had life. He began to take his old life to pieces. There was so little left. Could he build a new life actually worth building?
But Jamie thrived on doing the impossible. The road to a new life began. He left the hospital in Chamonix and returned to the Princess Margaret Rose Hospital near Edinburgh. He started by learning to feed himself. He settled into a routine although it was not greatly fulfilling. He was impatient. There was so much to learn. He had to be ingenious, and he was. Soon he could hold things, he could push and pull things and use the television remote control. He brushed his teeth by holding the brush still and shaking his head up and down and from side to side.
And there was Anna who gave her life to him. Anna who supported as he took each giant step back to where he wanted to be.
Life slowly returned. A pair of legs arrived and Jamie took his first steps back on Earth although it felt like he was walking on the moon. Any practical problem could be solved and Jamie's amazing team of inventive supporters made everything that he wished for ... and more! He returned to work. It was not easy at first but it was not too long before it became an important part of his life, and it paid bills! He went caving with the team from work. He rubbed his stumps raw. He ached for a week but he was jubilant. If trips with friends and lots of fun meant pain ... then bring on the pain!
Jamie pushed beyond his physical and emotional limits, a good sign that the old Jamie was still there.
Jamie and Anna married in July 2000 and threw a huge party to say thanks to all who had helped. What a day! They talked and ate and drank and danced until, delirious with excitement and precious memories, they collapsed into bed.
Jamie knew that he must climb again and Anna knew it before Jamie did!
Jamie had suffered this awful fall in his life but the only way he knew to cope was to climb back up!
There would always be questions in life and some of the answers would never be found.
Life was remarkable ... and Jamie was determined to find out just how remarkable it could be.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 29 Jun 2014
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This review is from: Life And Limb: A true story of tragedy and survival (Paperback)
bought for my son who is a mountaineir
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5.0 out of 5 stars excellent read, 11 Jan 2014
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This review is from: Life And Limb: A true story of tragedy and survival (Paperback)
I loved this book, very inspirational. It is a book I could not put down. Very easy to read, not too technical for non mountain climbers, which can get boring if too much detail is put in, it was just the right amount needed when necessary to get the feel of 'being there'.
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Life And Limb: A true story of tragedy and survival
Life And Limb: A true story of tragedy and survival by Jamie Andrew (Paperback - 24 Feb 2005)
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