The Climb: Tragic Ambitions on Everest - Anatoli Boukreev, G. Weston DeWalt I love reading about mountain climbing even though wanting to be the one-thousandth person to climb and having fixed ropes and ladders laid out by underpaid third-world sherpas hardly seems like a valid way to spend $70,000. Now Mallory's attempt is something else entirely. (I'm reading [b:Into the Silence: The Great War, Mallory, and the Conquest of Everest|11602442|Into the Silence The Great War, Mallory, and the Conquest of Everest|Wade Davis||16544751].)I read Jon Krakauer's [b:Into Thin Air: A Personal Account of the Mt. Everest Disaster|1898|Into Thin Air A Personal Account of the Mt. Everest Disaster|Jon Krakauer||1816662] and very much liked it.

This book was presented by some as an alternative, or rebuttal, to Krakauer's account. I have no experience climbing anything larger than small stone and so I have no way to judge the authenticity of either story, but common sense would seem to dictate that both could be right since they are both very personal stories told by the participants, all of whom were under an enormous amount of stress and whose perspective will naturally have been shaped by their very limited personal view of events. Krakauer was sent specifically to record events of that year's climb and was taking notes, so I would tend to give his account the edge. When it comes right down to it, I don't remember any substantial discrepancies between the two books and suspect that much of the controversy is manufactured for PR purposes. Much of that comes from the co-author DeWitt who tells Boukareev's story. In both versions he is portrayed as a hero; DeWitt's account just feels a bit manufactured. Of course, he wasn't there.

Boukreev's account is more measured and reasoned; Krakauer's has an underlying passion that drives it and helps to make it such a wonderful read. Read both of them.