This title probably gets overlooked a lot in Krakauer's oeuvre, thanks to the popularity of some of his other books like Into the Wild. But I think it's one of his most interesting. It's also one of his most personal: a collection of essays that detail his life as a climber, ranging from early visions of exploration and beginner climbs, to later adventures on progressively more challenging peaks, including an account of a harrowing journey onto an Alaskan glacier to solo a remote spire. As a writer, Krakauer's talent for observation, structure, and insight are clear in all of his work but to me, as a climber, what's particularly interesting here is that he gives readers a view into some of the mountain experiences that shaped his interests and honed his eye and voice into what they are. Whether you're a climber, a fan of 'adventure' writing, or just appreciative of well-written essays, Eiger Dreams is an engaging and inspiring read.
— Jason, Vroman's
No one writes about mountaineering and its attendant hardships and victories more brilliantly than critically acclaimed author Jon Krakauer. In this collection of his finest work from such magazines as Outside and Smithsonian, he explores the subject from the unique and memorable perspective of one who has battled peaks like K2, Denali, Everest, and, of course, the Eiger. Always with a keen eye, an open heart, and a hunger for the ultimate experience, he gives us unerring portraits of the mountaineering experience. Yet Eiger Dreams is more about people than about rock and ice people with that odd, sometimes maniacal obsession with mountain summits that sets them apart from other men and women. Here we meet Adrian the Romanian, determined to be the first of his countrymen to solo Denali; John Gill, climber not of great mountains but of house-sized boulders so difficult to surmount that even demanding alpine climbs seem easy; and many more compelling and colorful characters. In the most intimate piece, The Devils Thumb, Krakauer recounts his own near-fatal, ultimately triumphant struggle with solo-madness as he scales Alaska's Devils Thumb. Eiger Dreams is stirring, vivid writing about one of the most compelling and dangerous of all human pursuits.
About the Author
Jon Krakauer is the author of the best-selling Into the Wild, Under the Banner of Heaven, and Into Thin Air, and is the editor of the Modern Library Exploration series. His writings have been published in Outside, GEO, Architecture Digest, Rolling Stone, TIME, the Washington Post, the New York Times, and the National Geographic.
The author of Into Thin Air "has taken the literature of mountains onto a higher ledge." --New York Times Book Review
"Armchair adventurers can't ask for better entertainment than this tour of the legendary locations of mountaineering and the eccentric climbers who gather there." --Publisher's Weekly