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Touching the Void: The True Story of One Man's Miraculous Survivalby Joe Simpson
Synopses & Reviews
Joe Simpson and his climbing partner, Simon Yates, had just reached the top of a 21,000-foot peak in the Andes when disaster struck. Simpson plunged off the vertical face of an ice ledge, breaking his leg. In the hours that followed, darkness fell and a blizzard raged as Yates tried to lower his friend to safety. Finally, Yates was forced to cut the rope, moments before he would have been pulled to his own death.
The next three days were an impossibly grueling ordeal for both men. Yates, certain that Simpson was dead, returned to base camp consumed with grief and guilt over abandoning him. Miraculously, Simpson had survived the fall, but crippled, starving, and severely frostbitten was trapped in a deep crevasse. Summoning vast reserves of physical and spiritual strength, Simpson crawled over the cliffs and canyons of the Andes, reaching base camp hours before Yates had planned to leave.
How both men overcame the torments of those harrowing days is an epic tale of fear, suffering, and survival, and a poignant testament to unshakable courage and friendship.
"Told with lyrical quality and stunning immediacy, Touching the Void transcends its genre and becomes accessible to readers who have never had any desire to climb a glacier." New York Newsday
"A gripping narrative that should excite armchair adventurers everywhere." Cleveland Plain Dealer
"Simpson touches a nerve of the mountaineering community and the hearts of others." Los Angeles Times
"Riveting, even compulsive reading." Minneapolis Star Tribune
"A truly astounding account of suffering and fortitude." The Times (London)
While climbing in the Peruvian Andes, Joe Simpson and Simon Yates came face to face with disaster. Simpson fell and broke his leg and then was lost. As his partner Yates was starting to break camp four days later, Simpson crawled in through a blizzard. How both men overcame those four harrowing days is an epic chronicle of fear and friendship.
Reaching 20,320 feet into and above the clouds, the peak of Denali is the highest and coldest summit in North America. In this novel of adventure, adversity, and ambition by renowned mountaineer and writer Nicholas O’Connell, four men set out to conquer it. Among the sharply drawn team members is narrator John Walker, a family man trying to choose between domestic stability and mountaineering’s uncertain glory. In the course of their ascent the group battles avalanches, fierce winds, and mind-numbing cold before their bond begins to splinter, leading inexorably to tragedy.
Throughout the book, the author’s first-hand experience lends vivid reality to the formidable challenges of the mountain and to the bonds formed and broken in the pursuit of its summit. Beyond the physical tolls, O’Connell presents in stark relief the internal debate about the price of success—all the more urgent at the earth’s extremes.
About the Author
Joe Simpson is the author of several bestselling books, of which the first, Touching the Void, won both the NCR Award and the Boardman Tasker Award. His later books are This Game of Ghosts, Storms of Silence, Dark Shadows Falling, The Beckoning Silence and a novel, The Water People.
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