What is "Into Thin Air" written by Jon Krakauer about in depth?

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mizzwillie's profile pic

mizzwillie | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Senior Educator

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Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer is about climbing Mount Everest and the results of this particular climb.  In this description of this climb, Krakauer has the assignment of documenting what happens as part of his work for a magazine.  Krakauer is very blunt about the commercial aspects of guides taking novice climbers up a mountain for which they are not prepared simply because of the money.  He talks about the literal traffic jams of groups waiting for other groups to move by the necessary trail up to the top.  Many of his group make it to the top only to be hit by a fierce storm which makes the climb down deadly.  Several of the climbers and guides lose their lives which Krakauer documents amid the difficulties of trying to return to safety further down the mountain.  The book has become a discussion point about regulating who can climb despite having the money to pay for a trip, should the climbers and guides be coordinated through one agency so that the traffic jams don't occur, and should the climb be allowed at all when conditions are not optimal.  Krakauer's book became the central focus of the general discussion about mountain climbing and its dangers.

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yamaguchit | Student | (Level 1) Honors

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One of my favorite books Into Thin Air, by one of my favorite authors in John Krakauer. This novel is a great example of how a book should be written to show passion, dedication, and most notably: heart. Through this story told through the eyes of the author himself, readers get an inside and real look at the climb up the highest mountain in the world: Mt. Everest. Standing at nearly 30,000 feet, the tallest mountain in the world is certainly no easy task to climb. Many climbers attempt the challenge, and sadly fail or die by the end of the journey.

One of the successors to this climb, John Krakauer details everything he witnesses in this novel. Whether he is commenting on the disgusting and over priced bathrooms in what of the lodges up the mountain, or speaks on behalf of seeing climbers in his group suffer and eventually die, Into Thin Airhas all the imagery and detail you can imagine. 

If you are looking for a novel that is about survival, making the most with what little you have, or expressing true heart and desire in an uphill (literally) challenge, then this is the book for you. Trust me when I say, you won't be disappointed by reading and finding out for yourself what exactly the book is about. 


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