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Customer Review

on February 2, 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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