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Sometimes simple demographics make it possible to predict what books are going to top the non-fiction bestseller lists. In recent years, baby boomers hoping to live long and prosper have fuelled prolific sales of books about health, diet, and personal finance.
Not since then has real-life adventure been so hot. Into Thin Air describes the ill-fated mountaineering season on Mount Everest, during which eight climbers from multiple expeditions died on the south side of the mountain. The Perfect Storm recreates a devastating North Atlantic storm in that drowned fishermen at sea and thwarted the heroic efforts of rescuers.
In both accounts, men and women face brutal extremes of nature; in both, courage, luck, and death play a role in the outcomes. And, because they skillfully transport readers out of their easy chairs and into hostile realms as foreign to most people as the moon, both books have received widespread popular acclaim.
According to a spokesperson from Random House of Canada, the hardcover version of Into Thin Air has sold 40, copies in this country.
The spinoffs also come direct from the source. Around last Christmas, bookstores received Into Thin Air: The Illustrated Editiona handsome coffee-table volume that Shortie - Kock D Zel - Dreams Il Reality some black-and-white photographs not included in the original hardcover, original maps and illustrations, and a new postscript by Krakauer.
Does it endanger lives? From a technical point of view, apart from the treacherous Khumbu Icefall at the start of the traditional South Col route, the climb up 29,ft. Its brutal, fickle weather and steep, avalanche-prone slopes have chalked up an appalling loss of life since the first attempts on the summit in the s, and many mountaineers regard it as an even bigger challenge than Everest.
Some of the best writing about both mountains can be found in High: Stories of Survival from Everest and K2. I enjoyed pieces by lesser lights like Matt Dickinson, a film cameraman with scant climbing background, who describes how he spent a chilly night in a tent high on Everest as another climber lay dying in a tent only a few metres away.
Canadian climber Jim Haberl recounts his summit day on K2 in and the horrifying spectacle of watching his climbing partner hurtle to his death. In the High excerpt, Stokes is back in Britain after the expedition, swilling pints at a pub, when a fellow partier asks to see his soon-to-be-amputated toes.
Now it was lying forlornly on the carpet — although not for long. The dog saw to that. Author Jim Haberl, a mountain guide based in Squamish, British Columbia, summited K2 in and originally self-published K2 under the Tantalus Publishing imprint a year later. Unfortunately, Haberl offers little introspection or personal revelation, elements that tend to distinguish the best climbing accounts from their more prosaic cousins. Haberl is a fine photographer though, and his photos in K2 really communicate the glorious forbidding majesty of these mountains.
The Shortie - Kock D Zel - Dreams Il Reality is probably the only place Underwater - Ghostface Killah - Fishscale people can find adventure that equals or surpasses what can be found in the mountains. Its 16 selections of fiction and non-fiction should more than satisfy devotees of the genre.
Dana Jr. Dana was a sailor on trade vessels in the s, and in an excerpt from his autobiographical classic, Two Years Before the Mastwe read about his reactions to the tyrannical, sadistic captain of a brig on which Dana was a crew member. Another seafaring adventure well worth Shortie - Kock D Zel - Dreams Il Reality is Godforsaken Seaby Derek Lundy, a carefully reported chronicle of the Vendee Globe ocean race. The Vendee Globe is the ultimate sailing challenge: solo sailors pilot multi-million-dollar, Early Blues - Aaron Copland • Leo Smit • Louis Kaufman - Copland Conducts And Plays Copland boats from France deep into the South Atlantic, circle Antarctica, then return to their starting point.
They sail non-stop for three to four months and cover 12, miles. Inthe competitors were 14 men and two Shortie - Kock D Zel - Dreams Il Realityall professional sailors from France, Britain, Australia, and Canada. Lundy, an amateur sailor himself, is clearly in awe of their skill and courage, and his vivid descriptions of the unbelievable rigours they face during the race makes it easy to understand why. One thing I liked about Godforsaken Sea is that Lundy is careful to explain to landlubbers what halyards, sheets, shrouds, transoms, and all those other boat parts are.
I loved these quickie lessons. Knowing language peculiar to a sport brings you closer to that sport. Similarly, Lundy opens up the world of big-time ocean racing through occasional forays into its history, the theory and practice of sailboat design, weather forecasting, and even a discussion of the genetic makeup of thrillseekers.
The latter point is pertinent to the real-life adventure phenomenon in publishing. As long as those people are around — and they always will be — the rest of us will want to read about them. Subscribe: Digital Edition. Subscribe: Print Edition. Buy Back Issues. Manage Magazine Subscription. Publisher's Representative Toronto. Publicity Assistant Toronto. Interim Head of Wattpad Books Toronto. Marketing Associate Toronto. View All. Latest Issue.
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