» Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King's new novella questions mankind's ability to trust others.
[02.21.2011 by Bridget Doyle]


 » The Top 30 Albums of 2010 - Fashionably, fabulously late, our favorite music (and believe me, there was a LOT) of 2010, the year that some have called the best year for music ever. And only some of those fools work here. Plenty of usual suspects, lots of ties and a few surprises that I won't spoil, including our unexpected #1.
[12.24.2010 by The LAS Staff]


 » Live: Surfer Blood/The Drums at Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL - Remember when Weezer used to put together records that you could sing along to and rock out to? That's what Surfer Blood's show was like!
[11.04.2010 by Cory Tendering]

Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
Halcyon Digest
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Fat Possum
John Krakaur
Into Thin Air

Rating: 8/10 ?

June 23, 1999
Like his last book, Into the Wild, Krakaur stumbled into Into Thin Air while developing an article for Outside magazine. Both books began as unassuming journalism assignments and both eventually ended up on the New York Times' Best Seller list.

Into Thin Air is a personal account of the devastating tragedy on Mount Everest that claimed the lives of nine climbers in May of 1996. All of the dead were either clients or guides for one of the prosperous guided ascent tours that sprung up a few years ago on Everest, a phenomenon that Krakaur was sent to report on. The assignment was inspired, ironically, by an increasing number of reports that these guided tours were a disaster waiting to happen. Those reports, as Krakaur would later learn first hand, couldn't have been more accurate.

A monster of a book, this 370+ page (small print) documentary rocketed to #1 on the Best Seller list immediately upon release. A large part of the buzz around this book stemmed from the article Krakaur wrote for Outside after his near death on the slopes of Everest. Hastily composed, the article was riddled with errors about everything from what time what happened to who died when and where, errors which had, as Krakaur puts it "a devastating impact on the friends and family of one of the victims." After a mind-clearing rest and some backtracking research Krakaur set out to correct his previous errors (and make a few million bucks) with the book.

One needn't be a climber or avid outdoorsman to appreciate the gravity of the disaster Krakaur survived - through a combination of luck and experience - or to make sense of the book. Everything from the climbing gear to the physiological affects are laid out in layman's terms for easy reading, a process that invariably becomes tedious a few hundred pages in. If there is one drawback to Into Thin Air it is Krakaur's attention to detail, which can - especially for anyone already familiar with the basics of mountaineering - become painfully overbearing.

Reviewed by Eric J Herboth
Eric J. Herboth is the founder, publisher and Managing Editor of LAS magazine. He is a magazine editor, freelance writer, bike mechanic, commercial pilot, graphic designer, International Scout enthusiast and giver of the benefit of the doubt. He currently lives in rural central Germany with his two best friends, dog Awahni and cat Scout.

See other reviews by Eric J Herboth



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