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Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer ****

Into Thin Air is a very good book. I really liked that I was able to have a picture of Everest painted in my head since I am unfamiliar with Everest altogether. Krakauer did a really good job in my eyes of getting the actual difficulty of climbing Everest across to the reader. I didn’t necessarily hate anything about Into Thin Air but it presented some challenges to me. The main challenge was the amount of characters you have to keep up with. The characters are constantly moving up and down the mountain and at different points of the climb. This could frustrate readers but I really recommend pushing through because when it picks up it will become very exciting.

I recommend this book to patient readers. The start of the book is really slow, it takes a lot of time for them to actually get to each summit. However it really does pick up and read fast when the storm hits later in the book. If you’re patient enough it will pay off. This book would also be good for readers that like the adventurous genres or books about climbing. There is a lot of excitement in this book during the descent of Everest. Jon Krakauer does a very good job I think of explaining what is going on with each climber and each group on the mountain. He does this to show each individual scenario during certain parts of the storm and I really liked to know what was going on in each area.

Everest let me know a few things about the real world. First off is that people are going to chase their dreams no matter the cost. Those climbers that passed away on May 10th all knew the risks of climbing Everest and did not care one bit. I now know that if someone is preparing to climb Everest they need to be not only in the best physical climbing shape possible but also need to be equally mentally strong. The mountain will take everything from you until there is nothing left and even sometimes will take your life. It also taught me about how money hungry the world is over there. Nepal is willing to grant expeditions up the mountain to anyone as long as you pay the fee. I don’t’ think that should be the case, I feel there should be some guidelines you have to meet in order to climb because this could help prevent casualties.
My favorite character was Jon. He was the narrator and a big part of the group. Also he was one of the two survivors in his group. He kept a calm composure even in the worst of situations. That was my favorite part he kept composed and didn’t let his mental and physical exhaustion lead him to his death. There were times when he was passive though like instead of trying to help people stuck on the mountain he stayed in his tent. This could be seen as a smart move or a cowardly act. Overall the I really like the way he wrote and told the story as well as his calm personality trait.

I would change the title to A Mountain the Murders. The reasoning behind this title is because of the amount of lives this mountain takes and specifically took on the expedition that takes place in the book. People don’t realize how deadly this mountain is or at least I never did. I did not even know about this tragedy until I read this book and I feel more people should learn about what took place that day in 1996.

Megan Hughes is in her third year as publications adviser at Park Hill South High School. She currently advises the View newsmagazine, South Paw yearbook and LitMag.