Customer Review

17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars incredible story that is well-written, 12 Jun 2005
This review is from: Alive: The True Story of the Andes Survivors (Paperback)
I read this book soon after watching the 1993 movie, Alive. The novel is a well written account of the survival of 16 Uruguayan boys from a plane crash in the Andes in October, 1972. The author didn't dramatise or sensationalise the despair of the group and the bravery of some (it was unnecessary), instead it comes across as an objective account of the people involved in the plane crash. I enjoyed the parts about Uruguayan culture -- how family and religion are predominant, how their parents (the fathers organizing more searches and mothers seeking clairvoyants and religious miracles) were involved in the rescue long after the governments of Chile and Uruguay had given up. The movie did not show this side of the story at all.
The boys themselves had their own sort of society in that valley in the Andes -- not everyone was helpful or had the instinct for survival and none of them had ever been through this kind of hardship, but they made it work and their system kept 16 of them alive for 72 days. They had their share of so much bad luck (not knowing where they were, the expeditionaries took a longer/harder route to civilisation; their parents had the right idea of their location a few times but looked elsewhere) and some good luck (they did not lose a single boy in their many expeditions). What got them through was a mixture of hope, love for their families, resourcefulness and extreme stubborness -- all of which are admirable qualities and make their story worth telling.
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 17 Aug 2010 11:24:52 BDT
M. M. Martin says:
I read this book when it first came out in the 70's - excellent I thought. Has any one ready Piers Paul Read - who killed Hanratty - another brilliant book.

In reply to an earlier post on 21 Feb 2012 10:37:16 GMT
Re: the "The novel is a well written account...", no, just to clarify, this is NOT a novel. It is a non-fiction account. To quote Piers Paul Read: "I was given a free hand in writing this book by both the publisher and the sixteen survivors. At times I was tempted to fictionalize certain parts of the story because this might have added to their dramatic impact but in the end I decided that the bare facts were sufficient to sustain the narrative..."

In reply to an earlier post on 21 Nov 2012 16:01:11 GMT
Try his A Married Man. Superb
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