Eiger Dreams

Eiger Dreams : Ventures Among Men and Mountains

3.96 (14,528 ratings by Goodreads)
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No one writes about mountaineering and its attendant victories and hardships more brilliantly than Jon Krakauer. In this collection of his finest essays and reporting, Krakauer writes of mountains from the memorable perspective of one who has himself struggled with solo madness to scale Alaska's notorious Devils Thumb. In Pakistan, the fearsome K2 kills thirteen of the world's most experienced mountain climbers in one horrific summer. In Valdez, Alaska, two men scale a frozen waterfall over a four-hundred-foot drop. In France, a hip international crowd of rock climbers, bungee jumpers, and paragliders figure out new ways to risk their lives on the towering peaks of Mont Blanc. Why do they do it? How do they do it? In this extraordinary book, Krakauer presents an unusual fraternity of daredevils, athletes, and misfits stretching the limits of the possible. From the paranoid confines of a snowbound tent, to the thunderous, suffocating terror of a white-out on Mount McKinley, "Eiger Dreams" spins tales of driven lives, sudden deaths, and incredible victories. This is a stirring, vivid book about one of the most compelling and dangerous of all human pursuits.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 208 pages
  • 130 x 196 x 18mm | 160g
  • Pan MacMillan
  • Pan Books
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0330370006
  • 9780330370004
  • 26,918

Review Text

Twelve entertaining essays on mountaineering, all but one culled from Outside, Smithsonian, etc. Krakauer, a Seattle-based free-lance writer and "part-time mountaineer," confesses that by the age of eight "climbing was the only thing I cared about." Not exactly an ace climber - the occasional humor in these pieces tends to derive from his failures on the slopes - Krakauer conveys well the formidable, even terrifying aspects of the sport, The title piece tells of his aborted attempt to mount a deadly Swiss peak; "Club Denali" similarly recounts his unsuccessful assault on Mt. McKinley (although he did hang out with a group of climbers - "The Throbbing Members" - who reached the top). "Gill" reports on John Gill, a mathematician who works his way up boulders; "Canyoneering" describes ascents in the wild backcountry of Arizona; "The Burgess Brothers" celebrates a legendary mountain-climbing set of identical twins. Other essays examine K2, Chamonix, glacier flying, frozen-waterfall ascents, the issue of which mountain is the tallest (it's still Everest), and a harrowing climb that Krakauer made as a young man. A solid if not towering debut, likely to please not only mountain maniacs but adventure-buffs in general. (Kirkus Reviews)show more

Review quote

The author of "Into Thin Air" "has taken the literature of mountains onto a higher ledge." --"New York Times Book Review """ "Armchair adventurers can't ask for better entertainment than this tour of the legendary locations of mountaineering and the eccentric climbers who gather there." --"Publisher's Weekly"show more

Rating details

14,528 ratings
3.96 out of 5 stars
5 29% (4,184)
4 43% (6,295)
3 24% (3,501)
2 3% (446)
1 1% (102)
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