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4.7 out of 5 stars
Darkness Descending
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on 6 January 2014
Ken's journey from the avalanche on Mt Moldoveanu via Romanian and UK hospitals to learning to walk again then culminating in creating 'The Fan Dance Race' is awe inspiring. He has done this raw material justice in putting it out for all to learn from in a well written book. He makes real the harrowing crawl / hop / walk for three days to safety in a remote Transylvanain hamlet, managing to make me shiver as he described his struggle to survive the soul numbing cold. Then travelling from safety to recovery is even more harrowing and again he captures the emotional suffering all too well. It's perhaps not a book for the squeamish but certainly deserves as wide a readership as possible. I've downloaded it to my Kindle, bought a 'physical' copy on here as well, which I will be passing on, and will be buying my third copy when I will be privileged to meet him at the Old Red Telephone Box later in the month. I can't put it more strongly than that- I've bought in three times. Treat yourself, do it at least once.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on 30 December 2013
An amazing story of what it really takes to survive a catastrophic event and still come out the other side. How he had the determination in such a predicament to keep fighting against every obstacle mother nature could throw is a real testament to the will to live. Its a great read and shows truly what the human spirit is capable of. Enjoyed it immensely.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 9 February 2014
It takes a special kind of person to come back from the brink of death, this book details just such a person. Every time you close the book you'll feel guilty about leaving Ken alone on the mountain, and all the while you'll be asking yourself, "could I have achieved what he did?", probably not will be the answer. People are capable of amazing things when the odds are stacked against them, this book illustrates just what the human mind and body can endure and overcome. Nails!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 13 January 2014
Incredible account of one man's struggle to survive against the odds. A very inspiring and motivational story about the limits of what a man can overcome and achieve.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 18 February 2014
The opening quote from Reinhold Messner ,possibly the greatest climber in history , sets the scene for a book you will not be able to put down.I have had the privilege of meeting the legend that is Ken Jones and have participated in 3 of his Fandance challenges and could not wait for this book to be published.I certainly was not dissapointed .It inspires to the point that you feel that nothing is insurmountable.This is not just an incredible story of triumph in adversity in the hostile mountain enviroment it is an uplifting account of impossible endurance and survival against all odds after.If you never end up reading this book you will surely miss out on an opportunity to understand that everything no matter how impossible it may seem is achievable. Ken I salute you ,you truly are an outsanding man.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 29 January 2014
I picked this up yesterday and couldn't put it down. I just finished it and feel like like I've been on one hell of an adventure myself! A true survival/adventure story was well overdue and this book fills the recent void in the genre, and is up there with the best of them: Touching the Void and White Spider (it's far better than 127 hours...) so I'm glad its been at the top of the Mountaineering genre on Amazon for a while now (searching by genre, by the way, is a great way to find new and old books in areas that interest you).

As a story, it is utterly compelling and even devastating in places. He shares with us the pain he went through and the thoughts he had while making his bid back to safety but one wonders at the true pain and loneliness he must have gone through; surely the written word cannot fully communicate such terrible thoughts as those that come when we face death. But as the written word goes, this is surely as close as it gets and the hardship he endures to make it back safe is nothing short of awe-inspiring. This is a man who stood up to the worst of the elements and nearly died - twice - and not only recovered but returned to an amazingly active lifestyle. The book covers all of this: not just his escape from the mountain, but also his surgery and road to recovery.

I recommend this read to anyone looking for inspiration, and to all those interested in the strength of the human spirit and the endurance of the human body. It's a mountaineering/adventure book par excellence but it would appeal equally to those interested in travel (and especially those who travel off the beaten track). It would appeal to military-types and regular people alike because although one gets a sense of his military background (that's probably why he survived), it is also a very human story that shows weakness and love and not just the 'manly' strength that tends to define the mountaineering/survival genre.

Every so often a story - be it a book or a film - comes along that captures the imagination in a way that is difficult to define: "there's just something about it...". No matter how many times it is told, a true story of a real person who makes mistakes, who takes wrong turns, who is ultimately a fragile human being like you or I, and who survives against all odds to stare death in the face and deny it, is a timeless, captivating theme. And when it's well told you realise you just discovered a rare gem.

Buy it. Read it. Share it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 14 February 2014
I enjoyed this book so much that I read it again within a couple of weeks! It is an incredible story showing such determination and spirit. It's just amazing what adversity can be overcome by Ken's will to live and later with the love of his family and friends. Fantastic!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 8 February 2014
Brillant book, a must read. I found it inspirational It demonstrates the human spirit of survival both when alone and how to overcome difficulties no matter how devastating they are
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 8 February 2014
Ken's story is very interesting in itself as a triumph over a huge amount of suffering but there are many elements to his book that elevate it above much of the survivalist or 'man vs nature' fare. His regular references to his military training (both physical and mental) and how this helped save his life on several occasions are fascinating. Best of all is his humility, and how he candidly highlights all the fear and doubts he has had on his journey.

Highly recommended.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 1 February 2014
The book is very well written and the narrative is so clear that you feel like you are on the mountain with Ken Jones. The tale is one of solitude, exploration, bad luck, highs and lows but above all how mind over body is the key to survival. A great read that I would recommend to everyone.
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