Publish date: 1997
Length: 337 pages
"A bank of clouds was assembling on the not-so-distant horizon, but journalist-mountaineer Jon Krakauer, standing on the summit of Mt. Everest, saw nothing that "suggested that a murderous storm was bearing down." He was wrong. The storm, which claimed five lives and left countless more--including Krakauer's--in guilt-ridden disarray, would also provide the impetus for Into Thin Air, Krakauer's epic account of the May 1996 disaster." (Goodreads)
Into Thin Air might seem like an odd book for someone like me to read, as a person who reads mostly YA and not a lot of nonfiction, but I read one of his other novels, Into the Wild, a few years ago and really enjoyed it. I read it because I was going to teach it, but I was pleasantly surprised with how much I actually enjoyed it. I'd meant to read Into Thin Air ever since then, but didn't pick it up until recently when I was trudging through a book I needed to read for my student book club, but was not enjoying it at all. I look through the ebooks my library had available, saw Into Thin Air, and promptly downloaded it. I read it over 3 days and loved it!
Into Thin Air is about the May 1996 disaster on Mt. Everest in which 5 people died. Jon Krakauer was one of the climbers, but he was actually sent as a journalist (who actually had a lot of mountain climbing experience) to write a story about the expedition. I have zero desire to climb a mountain (I mean, it's interesting and I'm interested in it, but not in actually doing it), but I still found this book so intriguing and satisfying.
Jon Krakauer writes the kind of nonfiction that I just greedily gobble up. I love how much research he pours into everything he writes: everyone's backstories, lots of historical information, scientific information, and just lots of honesty in everything. I also love his writing style itself. It's so compelling that it reads just like fiction and a very exciting piece of fiction at that. I never wanted to put this down!
There were some afterwords added to this that I appreciated a lot. Some people on the expedition didn't like how Krakauer explained this, so they told their side to people and the afterwords were basically explanations of that. If you plan on reading this book, definitely read everything included!
I highly recommend Krakauer's work, especially Into Thin Air. Even if you think you don't like nonfiction or stories about mountain climbing, I would still give this a shot.