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Touching the Void: The True Story of One Man's Miraculous Survival
by Joe Simpson

Published: 2004-02-03
Paperback : 218 pages
2 members reading this now
6 clubs reading this now
4 members have read this book
Recommended to book clubs by 1 of 2 members

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 ...

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Introduction

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.

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Excerpt

Beneath the Mountain Lakes

I was lying in my sleeping bag, staring at the light filtering through the red and green fabric of the dome tent. Simon was snoring loudly, occasionally twitching in his dream world. We could have been anywhere. There is a peculiar anonymity about being in tents. Once the zip is closed and the outside world barred from sight, all sense of location disappears. Scotland, the French Alps, the Karakoram, it was always the same. The sounds of rustling, of fabric flapping in the wind, or of rainfall, the feel of hard lumps under the ground sheet, the smell of rancid socks and sweat - these are universals, as comforting as the warmth of the down sleeping bag. ... view entire excerpt...

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  "Touchiing the Void "by nbaker (see profile) 02/28/18

I don't know when I have read a book that left me so emotionally exhausted. And knowing (or worrying about) the fact that my resting heart rate only averages around 50, yet while reading thi... (read more)

 
  "This was really hard to read"by chkahn12 (see profile) 05/16/10

No one in our book club liked it. It was a "guys book" and we also don't like memoirs.

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