Into Thin Air, by Jon KrakauerRead about another book on the list.
Jon Krakauer’s newest book, Missoula, investigates sexual assaults on college campuses, but it’s his 1997 Mount Everest narrative Into Thin Air that climbed its way into readers’ hearts and bookshelves. Into Thin Air is often included in high school English curriculums, telling the story of how an ordinary man—Krakauer himself—decides to summit Everest and finds himself in the middle of a life-or-death storm several of his climbing companions don’t survive.
Why is Into Thin Air so popular? Perhaps because it pits will against nature, man against the mountain, and reveals how much of our fate is based on chance. Or it could be because a lot of us read it in high school, and found it much more compelling than Ethan Frome or The Scarlet Letter. Either way, look for the upcoming September film adaptation Everest, starring House of Cards’ Michael Kelly as Krakauer and Jake Gyllenhaal as expedition leader Scott Fischer. And look for new editions of Into Thin Air to start turning up on commutes and lunch breaks everywhere.
Into Thin Air is among James Mustich's five top books about mountaineering and Ed Douglas's ten best survival stories.