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49 Reviews
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46 of 48 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars K2 story
The book is very well written (by a journalist) and reads like an investigative report into what happened during the 2008 K2 disaster. The story and characters come alive through reconstructed conversations and once I started reading it, I struggled to put it down. It describes not only the events, but also the individual characters, their personalities and feelings...
Published on 25 July 2010 by N. Jensen

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45 of 54 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars My mother was 5'2". My lunch was a stir-fry. I quite like snow.
Do you know those books, invariably by tabloid reporters, that seem to come out within days of a massacre, or the arrest of a serial killer? The ones I've seen are mostly padding, full of irrelevant information that is useful only to up the word count. This book is similar to them in that respect, and it's maddening to read.

We learn the nickname of a...
Published on 19 Aug 2010 by monica


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46 of 48 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars K2 story, 25 July 2010
By 
N. Jensen - See all my reviews
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The book is very well written (by a journalist) and reads like an investigative report into what happened during the 2008 K2 disaster. The story and characters come alive through reconstructed conversations and once I started reading it, I struggled to put it down. It describes not only the events, but also the individual characters, their personalities and feelings towards eachother and how cooperation among different teams broke down.

The bits I did not like were in the Epilogue where he questions climbers motivations for climbing, the moral issues of climbing and the impact on the climbers families. While those questions are all relevant, I found his comments too superficial to do justice to a complex subject. Would have preferred if he had kept those questions out, and focused the story purely on what happened.

Overall, I really liked the book and can highly recommend it.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars NO WAY DOWN, 27 Aug 2010
By 
Judda17 "Jigsawfanatic" (Middlesborough, Cleveland, UK) - See all my reviews
I have read many books on climbing but never anything about K2. I never realised just how difficult and dangerous this mountain could be.

The author, Graham Bowley, has obviously been very painstaking in interviews with the survivors and it shows in the sheer excellence of his writing. I felt as though I had climbed and descended the mountain myself by the end of the book. The story of the tragedy does not pull any punches so be prepared for sudden shocks en-route.

Also very helpful were the excellent photographs taken and included in the book. Do not miss out on a first class read if you enjoy climbing!
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Would recommend but it's far from "Into Thin Air", 2 Aug 2010
I bought this book based on the description and favorable reviews given by other authors.

What is missing from the reviews and the description (and what was slightly disappointing) is the fact that the book was written not by a witness/survivor of the events but by a journalist who investigated the story.

In my opinion it is misleading to call it "an Into Thin Air for a new century" as Doug Stanton put it.
Into Thin Air was also written by a journalist, but actually a member of the expedition and a climber which makes a huge difference when you read the book.

Therefore, to me the book although well written feels more like a dry reportage of the facts and events that were recreated by the author based on the interviews with the survivors and families of the deceased. It lacks the first hand experience/ feelings of a witness unlike in Into Thin Air.

That's the main reason it gets 4 stars from me.

The parts describing actual climbing or descending are very short and concentrated more on the result.
At the same time you will find a lot of information on the history of K2 ascends and plenty of details about the people who took part in 2008 expedition and their families. Sometimes I thought such detailed information was slightly distracting from the main story.

Very well written book, gives an objective report of the tragic events on K2 in 2008.
Has colour photos inside that were taken by members of the expedition.

Would recommend to read.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Non Stop Reading., 7 Mar 2011
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I received this book while I was reading another, (Into Thin Air) and found I couldn't stop. Normally when I get to bed I read 2 pages and that's it. With this book I was still reading at midnight and had to force myself to turn out the light. One of the best books I have read in a long long time.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not "Into Thin Air" but a scary riveting read, 14 Aug 2010
This is not "Into Thin Air" for a new century but since purchasing this book on Monday I have read it page to page within five days. It is a shame that the story was not put together by a survivor but there was a lot of contradiction and disagreement in regards to "Into Thin Air" while this book is a collection of accounts from those that did survive. The timing and locations of the events within the book become difficult to track but that is due to the nature of this unfortunate tradegy and the fact that it all occured within a hellish 48 hours.

What it does reveal is that while the commercial style ascents of Everest within "non-qualified" clients was blamed for the "Into Thin Air" disaster, the K2 2008 disaster was a number of expedition with various but "qualified" mountaineers and although a lack of judgement ultimately led to numerous deaths on the mountain it is easy to be an armchair mountaineer and judge others. Unless you are there and on the mountain, facing that situation with an oxygen starved brain, it is not really our place to judge.

Great book but a very sad story - I feel for the families who may read this detailed account of events.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The way of the mountaineer described by an excellent journalist. Better then the other K2 books on that year!, 10 Jun 2013
By 
E. H. Dissen (The Netherlands) - See all my reviews
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Compelling and moving stories of the teams heading for the top and the people that did not return. You really can skip the book that climbers wrote, especially that of the Dutch team.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Book, 21 Oct 2010
By 
Mr. A. Daniels (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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An excellent book about the incident on K2 and just as good a read as Into Thin Air or Dark Summit.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars No way down, 18 Aug 2010
I climb hills in Scotland and don't do extreme sports but I was intruiged by the Financial Times review of this book and bought it immediately.
Its a fascinating insight into the different teams of people and individuals from Serbia, Holland, USA, South Korea, Norway, France, Nepal and Pakistan who attempt to climb K2 together during a weather window of opportunity during the beginning of August 2008.
What happens next is slow but terrible. Despite agreed timescales, nearly all arrive at the top far too late. Then on the descent, getting dark, the ropes are swept away in an Avalanche (hence the title "no way down"). A tragic mixture of falls, further avalanches, darkness and mistakes takes one life after another.
Its an incredible read, made even more incredible by those who survive against the odds - lost, exhausted, delirious and frostbitten - but alive.
The most poignant part of the book is the pictures taken at the top - so many who are ecstatic at the achievement are dead within an hour of the pictures being taken.
I had respect for the hills before this read but now, I am in awe.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, 25 Feb 2013
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I enjoyed this book so much, I had it read in 3 days. I just couldn't put it down. It is a grueling read, it is so sad to read of such loss of life but it gives you such an appreciation for what mountain climbers go through to get to the greatest peaks.
I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a good true story book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Respectful and sensitive account of a disaster, 2 Feb 2011
Many of the other reviewers comment negatively on the fact that the author is a journalist and wasn't a member of one of the many expeditions on K2 when these deaths occurred. I felt that that Bowley's journalism background ensured that not only is the book well written, it is fair, balanced, respectful and sensitive. I've enjoyed many other books on climbing, such as Into Thin Air, The Death Zone, Touching the Void, and many others by Krakauer and Simpson. Krakauer was at his best, I felt, when he wrote Into the Wild, an account of events in which Krakauer did not participate. He showed in this excellent book that it's not necessary to have "been there" to write a gripping story.

Bowley's book does not explore the moral issues involved in climbing, or at least does not comment on them; and unlike Into Thin Air, there is no attempt to apportion blame for the events leading to the 11 deaths. This, I feel, is appropriate for a journalist with no personal experience of climbing. It is entirely correct for experienced climber-writers like Jon Krakauer or Matt Dickinson [The Death Zone] to comment and criticise on mistakes; but not for a non-climber such as Bowley.

In summary, I found this a sympathetic, balanced, and very well-structured book.
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