Into Thin Air Review

Review by Shannon

One in four people who attempt to climb to the summit of Mount Everest die at some point during the attempt. They die in avalanches; they fall into crevasses, or off the side of the mountain; they die from pulmonary or cerebral edema, their bodies unable to function at the cruising altitude of a 747; they literally freeze to death. And yet every summer, hundreds of people journey to Nepal and to China, to climb the tallest mountain on Earth – because it’s there.
In 1996, journalist and avid climber Jon Krakauer was hired by Outside magazine to join a New Zealand-led group attempting to summit Everest, and to write an article about the experience. Little did he know that he was going to be part of one of the deadliest single days ever to occur since Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay first climbed to the top. Into Thin Air is an engrossing read. Background into Everest and previous climbing expeditions provide rich history and context, and Krakauer writes with a sharp, clear eye, never excusing his own actions and how they may have contributed to the disaster. When he describes the dark clouds rolling up the mountain, the fierce storm that is about to strand a dozen climbers, you can almost feel the chill.

Find Into Thin Air: A Personal Account of the Mount Everest Disaster by Jon Krakauer at one of our branches.