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Sisältää nimen: Joe Simpson

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Joe Simpson's famous book 'Touching the Void' is the story of the time he was cut from his climbing partner, fell into a glacier and was left for dead while climbing in South America. This companion book tells a wider story about his life before the fall, and his life afterwards. Touching the Void is extraordinary enough, but I found this wider perspective even more fascinating. From the time the rock ledge he was bivvying on collapsed into space leaving him suspended by a thread with nothing to do but wait, to the unexpected fame the book brought, campaigning for Greenpeace, living guilt free on the dole, all the painful rehabilitation after the injury... The quote on the back of my book says 'confused with no easy conclusions', and I can't argue with that, but it's very interesting!… (lisätietoja)
 
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atreic | 4 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Jan 26, 2024 |
And I think my fingers get cold carrying groceries home...
 
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Local_Decoy | 69 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Jan 22, 2024 |
This is my third Joe Simpson book, and probably my last; no reflection on the quality of his writing (which is once again superb), but I feel I've probably read the best of him now, and there are only so many more mountains left to climb with him.

As touched on to an extent in This Game of Ghosts, Simpson is now seriously considering giving up climbing. The tally of friends lost to the mountains grows every year, and despite his climbing ability improving year-on-year, the danger and fragility of climbing expeditions is more and more at the forefront of his mind. In the first half of the book, he jumps between a number of climbs which seem there to serve one main purpose - a back-story so yet another friend's death could be written about. Perhaps because he'd already covered some of this ground in This Game of Ghosts it rubbed me up the wrong way a little in The Beckoning Silence, feeling included for the sake of sensationalism and selling books.

In the second half of the book, Simpson is talked into tackling the north face of the Eiger by a climbing friend, and at this point I really settled into the book, absorbed as always by his ability to make the mountains come alive. I've skied in Grindelwald, the closest town to the Eiger, so for that reason this account particularly hooked me in as I could visualise the areas he was talking about. Simpson also delves into some of the history of the doomed Eiger climbers of the 1930s who paved the way for other climbers, and I really enjoyed his retelling of their stories (which were new to me) and the fantastic photos included. Sadly, there's yet more tragedy on the mountain at the same time that Simpson and his friend are climbing, yet somehow his writing is so immersive that I found myself torn between wondering why anyone ever climbs mountains this difficult and desperately wanting to experience it for myself. It's not too hard to guess which sentiment will ultimately win me over, but it's testament to Simpson's writing skill that he does leave you with a great pull for the mountains.

4 stars - an incredibly skilled writer, but probably with little more to say that's new and shocking by the time you've read a few of his titles.
… (lisätietoja)
 
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AlisonY | 6 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Apr 30, 2023 |
A gripping and horrifying mountaineering story, but there were a few things that didn't make it as exciting for me as [b:Into Thin Air: A Personal Account of the Mount Everest Disaster|1898|Into Thin Air A Personal Account of the Mount Everest Disaster|Jon Krakauer|https://i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1463384482l/1898._SX50_.jpg|1816662], which remains my favorite of the genre.

The best part of the writing in this particular book is how Joe relates his inner voice as he attempts to save himself from a desperate situation. At the end of the book, he states, " . . .however painful readers may think our experiences were, for me this book still falls short of articulating just how dreadful were some of those lonely days. I simply could not find the words to express the utter desolation of the experience." Well, he did a pretty good job. I don't know how he didn't just give up or go mad.

However, there were a few things that kept this book from being five star worthy for me. First, Joe describes the terrain a lot, but he is using mountaineering terms to do so, and even after looking them up, I still had trouble picturing the issue some of the time. I think it would have been nice if he used some analogies or something to help me picture the daunting terrain.

Second, by virtue of the fact that the author is the protagonist, the suspense is somewhat lessened. We know he ends up at least okay because he lived to write the book. Into Thin Air was written by a journalist, so while you are reading, you aren't sure of the fate of the many climbers in the story, and that added suspense for me that this book couldn't really have in the same way.


Once again, I marvel at how people are willing to risk their lives to attempt these challenges, and then return to mountain climbing after these near death experiences. I never get bored reading about this topic for whatever reason.
… (lisätietoja)
 
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Anita_Pomerantz | 69 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Mar 23, 2023 |

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