All SCCLD locations will be CLOSED Tuesday, March 31 for César Chávez Day.

Into Thin Air

A Personal Account of the Mount Everest Disaster

Krakauer, Jon

Book - 1997
Average Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5.
Into Thin Air

Publisher: New York : Villard, c1997
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780679457527
Characteristics: xx, 293 p. :,ill., maps ;,25 cm


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment

Dec 27, 2014
  • nat_cyr0 rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Second time around reading this book, and it still gives me chills. It really makes you aware of the dangers that climbing a mountain like Everest, and the risks that people take. There is a great documentary called Storm Over Everest, that contains interviews with many of the people involved in this tragedy.

Nov 13, 2014
  • WVMLStaffPicks rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Krakauer, a climber and journalist for Outside magazine describes how competition, storms and bad luck led to the deaths of twelve mountaineers in May 1996. A work of nonfiction that's as good as anything a novelist could make up.

Aug 20, 2014

This is one of the best books on mountaineering I have ever read. I could not put it down, had to continue reading even while walking, on the subway, late into the night etc. It is, in my view, an extremely open and honest account of the terrible events which occurred on Everest back in 1996. I also sincerely hope writing it helped the author at least a little bit to get over the tragedy. However, it raises the question of whether "normal", untrained people should attempt the peak and put in danger the lives of many others.

Mar 12, 2013
  • BeccaBB rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

Krakauer starts his story well before he gets on the mountain. He gives you the background on the mountain: the people who have climbed it in the past, or failed to, the politics of who can climb and which side they could climb, a small background on all the people on the mountain with him. I liked having a context to put his story into. And it is easier to care about the people you are reading about if you know something about them. Of course, in this case, that might not be a good thing. You follow all these people as they climb and face all of the perils along the way. There are some gut wrenching moments when you feel the dread of the moment. When you feel the pull of the circumstances that they feel powerless to change. In many ways it is a horrible story because you know it does not end well but it pulls you in and gets you involved and you can’t look away. There are a lot of people on the mountain, all with different groups, and Krakauer can’t leave anyone out but it took me a while to sort everyone out and remember who was who. And even though he talked to the other people after the fact you do get a feel that it is a one sided story, you don’t get the point of view of the other people involved but you also never feel that Krakauer is being untruthful or deceitful in any way to make himself look better or excuse decisions that were made. I have never had any desire to climb a mountain myself but I kind of understand why someone would. They were pitting themselves against nature, proving something, accomplishing something. But after having heard this story, told so well it sometimes made me sick to my stomach, I really don’t have any idea why someone would put themselves in that position.

Feb 07, 2013
  • gemini07 rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

My favourite Krakauer book. I have read it twice and was thoroughly engaged both times. So well written that I felt I was a witness to the events.

Dec 06, 2012
  • hiking1957 rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

I found this book interesting and there were many times I really had a hard time putting it down because I wanted to find out what happened. Such a terrible waste though. Sad that so many had to die trying to climb a mountain. I love hiking but have never had a desire to climb a mountain that is covered in ice and snow and so high up that I could die just from lack of oxygen. However, I can understand how that could be appealing to some. From what I read I don't see that it was any one person's fault though. It appeared to be a calamity of errors and just plan bad luck. Just an unfortunate, tragic loss of life.

Nov 09, 2012
  • sess430 rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

I read this book years ago, but just the mere thought of it gives me chills. I just finished reading "Surviving Galeras" which is another account of people (volcanologists) doing dangerous things.

Sep 19, 2012
  • dapperdame rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

To use a cliche phrase: I couldn't put this down. It is incredible to hear just how terribly wrong this expedition went and the lengths people will go to climb Everest. It amazes me that anyone would attempt something so treacherous with little to no training.

Jul 16, 2012
  • cmm740 rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Wow - I only heard about this book recently (even though it was published in the late 90s), and am so happy that I did.

I'm a sucker for a good non-fiction adventure story, and am also fascinated by mountain climbing. This is much more than a story about climbing Everest, though. It's a study of human nature and human will. A really fantastic book.

Jun 26, 2012
  • epltina rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

One of the best books I have read. It had me engaged throughout. Like others have said, it was an amazing technical story about the complexity of climbing that crazy mountain but it was also a very emotional, personal story. Loved every bit of it. Highly recommend.

View All Comments


Add a Summary

Aug 18, 2013
  • yuweizheng rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

Into Thin Air is a novel about a real adventure and the story is told from the point of view of a witness Jon Krakauer, a journalist who is one of the climbers to reach the summit in 1996.

Dec 16, 2010
  • notTom rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

This modern classic of the adventure genre is a first-hand narrative of the storm atop Mount Everest, the highest point on Earth, which led to the death of eight people in May of 1996. Written only months after it happened, Outside magazine journalist and dedicated mountain climber Jon Krakauer relates the tragic journey to the summit of Everest, led by celebrated guide Rob Hall with granite-like resolve. To provide context, Krakauer evokes the storied history of climbing on Everest and the dangerous yet immensely rewarding art of mountain climbing in general. This Pulitzer Prize finalist is filled with gritty power and clear eloquence: it is an account of both grandeur and loss.


Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.


Add a Notice

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Find it at SCCLD


Explore Further

Browse the Shelf
You might also like...

Subject Headings


Related Blog Posts

No Blog Entries have been found about this title

app10 Version produkt Last updated 2015/03/30 12:38