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on 19 May 2017
I remember the story when it was in the news so you know the outcome. Could have been brilliant as a set of memoirs from the survivors, but despite the writer being a journalist, I felt it lacked the finesse of a good 'true story' book. The names of the explorers are difficult to remember and without pictures as you go along to help understand the various descriptions, it can be a struggle for non climbers to plough through. No doubt a Hollywood producer in the future will latch on to this and then you'll get a running commentary as it happened in realtime rather than complete renditions back to back. Disappointing.
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on 1 September 2016
An excellent book, content and style first class. Read in one day, gripping account of tragic accidents on the famous mountain.
One of the better mountaineering stories.
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on 9 October 2016
fascinating read
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on 9 October 2016
Brilliant read
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Good book
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on 27 August 2010
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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on 26 February 2011
Quite an interesting book.
The details have been collected from a number of climbers on this fatal decent of K2.
Not sure if anyone else has written any books on this particular expedition but this book presents it in a reporting style.
I Found it quite good.
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on 25 July 2010
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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on 2 August 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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on 14 August 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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