I wanted to talk about Left for Dead: My Journey Home from Everest before the big movie comes out in a few weeks. What movie you ask? Everest, which actually came out in September. The reason I didn’t write this then was because I wasn’t doing this type of post back them. I don’t suspect many people saw the movie, at least few people I know saw it. From what I saw on IMDB, it didn’t even make back its budget.
I decided to wait for DVD to see this. I have read 2 of the books it was based on. There are about 3 books written by survivors. Of the 2 I have read, Weather’s was, from the way I read it, the most injured (and still alive), possibly the least prepared, and certainly the most visible. He speaks about his experience on Everest often.
After reading his book I have no desire to ever climb Mount Everest. Forget the climb and the possibility of death. It seems disgusting because assholes have made it disgusting. Did you know humans are typically assholes? We are and the way we treat Mount Everest is further proof. Also, Weathers doesn’t write himself in a very nice light. He comes off as naive and a douche all at the same time. I didn’t think that was possible.
Another reason to never climb Everest: I hate snow
I know, this is a problem for me as I live in Massachusetts: snow hell of the east coast. I like the cold, I don’t like snow. I am working to solve my problems…
The other two books:
- The Climb: Tragic Ambitions on Everest – This is the one I haven’t read yet, but is on my TBR shelf.
- Into Thin Air: A Personal Account of the Mount Everest Disaster – Krakauer was sent on this climb as a journalist and was one of the more experienced climbers. He approaches his book as a journalist and is critical of the impact of climbers on the mountain. He also has a lot to say about non-climbers who pay to “climb” the mountain. He was critical of Weather’s experience and it was a nice counterpoint after reading Left for Dead. I don’t think I read Weathers incorrectly.
Other books about surviving extreme cold:
- The Call of the Wild -not one of my personal favorites, but then dog POV isn’t something I actually like.
- The Birthday Boys– SOUTH POLE BITCHES! No, seriously, the South Pole seems worse than Everest. Penguins don’t even seem to make it any better. So neither are really on my bucket list. To be clear, neither is the North Pole… I like the cold, but I am not that kind of crazy.
- Smilla’s Sense of Snow – a murder mystery! I read this forever ago and the snow is a major character. PS- there is a descent movie to go with it.
- Full Tilt: Ireland to India with a Bicycle is my suggestion for a true adventure story that involves a little bit of Everest, but doesn’t end in a tragedy that almost kills everyone. Plus, it’s by a woman who rode a bike from Ireland to India in the 80s and had nothing mean to really say about anyone she met in the Middle East. I love this book. Now you read it!