Into Thin Air (1996)
By: Jon Krakauer
Here’s a new occasional segment, for any Cat Fancy contributor that wants to discuss any literature they feel compelled to talk about, I call it “Bookin’ It” I bet you’d never thought you’d see on the Cat Fancy Blog, a book review. That’s right, it wasn’t any school assignment or anything, I willingly like to read when I can find the time and just recently, I finished Jon Krakauer’s “Into Thin Air” This non- fiction book by Seattle author Jon Krakauer recalls the chilling and tragic ascent of Mt. Everest in 1996 (Of which Krakauer was a part of) where the most recorded death’s on Everest took place. (This being 15 deaths for the season and 8 of which took place on May 11th) Naturally I originally knew Krakauer as the author of “Into the Wild” but decided to start with one of his other novels. “Into Thin Air” tells of Krakauer’s personal experiences while climbing Mt. Everest and is as well a chilling portrayal of survival in one of the harshest environments in the world. This catastrophic event brought on by storms and other complications led not only to the death of a handful of clients and experienced sherpas but as well two very experienced guides. This including notable American climber Scott Fischer and New Zealand mountaineer Rob Hall.
The book begins as journalist/author Jon Krakauer is given the chance by “Outside Magazine” to accompany an ascent of Everest led by the highly skilled climber Rob Hall. Krakauer being an experienced climber agreed to accompany the group and in the Spring of 96′ set out towards the summit of Mt. Everest. Along the way of this brutal expedition, Krakauer tells us about some of the history behind Everest, the people involved in commercial climbing, and the many conditions that the human body goes through in the ascent of a mountain. From the the tolls it takes on a person’s mental stability to the agony it puts the human body through, we learn what it’s truly like to be on Everest. Not to mention the severe consequences that can come with the great task. “Into Thin Air” (as dark and solemn as it is) is as well an informative and compelling novel told with great detail and complete honesty. Chalked full of defintions and explantions of everything you need to know about mountain climbing, “Into Thin Air” is a powerful story and certainly had me absorbed for a good month.