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The gripping articles in Classic Krakauer, originally published in periodicals such as The New Yorker, Outside, and Smithsonian, display the singular investigative reporting that made Jon Krakauer famous—and show why he is considered a standard-bearer of modern journalism.

Spanning an extraordinary range of subjects and locations, these articles take us from a horrifying avalanche on Mt. Everest to a volcano poised to obliterate a big chunk of greater Seattle at any moment; from a wilderness teen-therapy program run by apparent sadists to an otherworldly cave in New Mexico, studied by NASA to better understand Mars; from the notebook of one Fred Beckey, who catalogued the greatest unclimbed mountaineering routes on the planet, to the last days of legendary surfer Mark Foo.

Rigorously researched and vividly written, marked by an unerring instinct for storytelling and scoop, the pieces in Classic Krakauer are unified by the author’s ambivalent love affair with unruly landscapes and his relentless search for truth. 

Title : Classic Krakauer: Essays on Wilderness and Risk
Author : Jon Krakauer
Format : eARC
Page Count : 190
Genre : eARC
Publisher : Knopf Doubleday
Release Date : October 29, 2019

Reviewer : Micky
Rating : ★ ★ ★ ★.5

Micky’s 4.5 star review

Please amuse me for a moment as I thrust a non-fiction read under your nose. I have been and still am to some extent, an avid reader of climbing, mountaineering and expedition non-fiction. With a love of the mountains myself and some amateur climbing in my back pocket, I do love to read about the big, adrenaline-edge climbs. Jon Kraukauer has journaled and recorded his way through some amazing experiences, and his INTO THIN AIR is one of my favourite books.

This collection of his articles and essays on wilderness and risk were a great read and my favourites were those that featured mountain peaks and extreme conditions. However, these essays feature extreme surfing, predicting eruptions and lahars with a doomsday feel, the ethics and liability of high alititude climbing, caving and much more. Those I favoured include: Living Under the Volcano, After the Fall, Loving them to Death

Krakauer narrates this stories with balance and seeming accuracy but there is also a thread of challenge and investigation through many of these stories which I really appreciated. He had a way of drawing you into these stories, bringing a human lens to extreme achievements, disasters and tragedy. His narrative was always engaging. Some stories made me feel a rightful anger such as Loving Them to Death, told with factual narrative of bullying and gaslighting a young person to their demise, elicting such emotion in this reader.

If you’ve never read Jon Krakauer, this is a good starting place to dip your toe into. There are such a range of topics to these essays that some and probably most will appeal to you, as they did to me. If you’re a fan already, you’ll love this.

Many thanks to Knopf Doubleday for this early review copy.

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