Eiger Dreams by Jon Krakauer
Rating: 4 out of 5
Indeed, Jon Krakauer is the master of the literature of Adventure...
I always hated literature. They are always boring. But Jon has his way in literature. It is completely impossible for me to write so many worlds about a mountain. A mountain is a mountain for me. But for Jon, it is more like a book of words. I am pretty sure, make him walk a tiny hill, in the outskirts of your town and he could write a book about it. That too, very interesting one. Hats off to him.
About this book:
The description of the book claims to reveal answer for the most significant question - why would a normal person want to do this stuff (adventure stuff)? I, myself, several times, wondered the same. Why would anyone want to do something so dangerous, so life threatening; which doesn't earn a penny. So that is why I picked up this book.
But the book doesn't give you the answer!
If I am not wrong (if I haven't missed the story), there isn't an instance in the whole book, I felt that I found the answer. Instead, the book is a collection of 12 stories - 11 published by author in different magazines and newspapers, and the last one - THE DEVILS THUMB - is exclusive for the book.
About the stories:
It is a collection of stories related to the many climbers who tried to climb the mountain - The Eiger - when the author, himself, tried to summit it.
Personally, I enjoyed this story very much. It introduced me to the whole new new concept of 'bouldering'. The whole story revolves around John Gill, the person who first started 'Bouldering' and the concept of 'Bouldering'.
The story is about a small town in Alaska named, Valdez. It discusses about climbing huge, frozen waterfalls and the town itself.
ON BEING TENTBOUND
This story is all about spending time in the tent. It discusses how it feels to be caught in a rough whether, prisoned inside a nylon prison - the tent; how choosing the wrong partners to share the tent has a bad effect; how to choose the best partners for tripping and so on.
THE FLYBOYS OF TALKEETNA
This story is about the life of the flyboys, living in the a cultural hub of Alaska's upper Sisitna valley, named Talkeetna. The flyboys over there can leave you anywhere, accessible on the Mt. McKinley!
This story is about Mt. McKinely and various stories of the people who tried to summit it, in the same year as the author.
It is about paragliding and some random stories related to the town, Chamonix.
This is another story which I enjoyed reading. It introduces to a new concept, at least for me, 'Canyoneering'.
A MOUNTAIN HIGHER THAN EVEREST?
The name says it all. It is the tale of selecting the highest mountain in the world. Even after the Mt. Everest was declared the highest mountain in the world, there were many conspiracies claiming to see a peak about 30,000 mts. So the story deals with the unfought battle, of the mountains, for the title, 'World's Highest Mountain'.
THE BURGESS BOYS
It deals with the lives of two twins, namely Adrian and Alan Burgess- together known as Burgess Boys. They are also known as 'Bad boys of Himalaya'. Different, yet funny, story.
A BAD SUMMER ON K2
Stories of many climber, including the author, who tried to summit K2 in the summer of 1986, which, author, claims to be a very bad summer in the history of K2.
THE DEVILS THUMB
It is the story of the author, when he tried to summit Devils Thumb. It has a lot of emotions and adventure in itself. My third favorite story in the book.
So the book is not, just, about mountaineering. It is like a encyclopedia of adventure.
Finest collection stories of adventures...