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Breathing thin air again

Everest These days we don't have much time to read books more than once. We're lucky to get through one twice, what with all the other things we have to do. (Although I do know a person who has read each of the Twilight books something like four times, a serious ailment that will probably result in deadly consequences.)

But I just finished listening to Jon Krakauer's Into Thin Air on audiobook, and though I read the book - about the ill-fated Mount Everest expedition in May of 1996 - in the late '90s when it first came out, I have to admit it's every bit as compelling to listen to it again. It won't make you want to climb Everest any time soon - I admit it, I wouldn't survive base camp for long - but it's the sort of storytelling that sticks with you.

Air_2 It also makes me want to investigate Michael Kodas' High Crimes: The Fate of Everest in an Age of Greed, published earlier this year, in which he revisits the subject Krakauer wrote about: the fact that climbing Everest is big business now, which means more inexperienced climbers exposed to the dangers of the mountain. He also encountered a vast array of thieves, prostitutes and con men there. Sounds like the perfect follow-up to Krakauer's riveting account of a perfect storm.

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