Sunday, September 30, 2007

Reading Section 1: Into Thin Air


The story begins on the summit of Mount Everest. Jon Krakauer takes photographs of his team on the top of Everest as he recalls that they had found 6 dead bodies. His team begins their descent with very little oxygen. He waited as more climbers passed by him. Andy Harris, teammate, tried to turn off Krakauer's oxygen mask so Jon could save oxygen, but instead turns the valve the wrong way till he has no more oxygen in his mask. Begins talking about the history of Everest. Edward Norton was only 900 feet from the summit before collapsing and would have been the first to climb it. People are unsure if Mallory was the first to reach the summit. A British team began their journey in 1953. Hillary and Tenzing were the firsts to reach the summit in 1953. Hornbeing and Unsoeld, 2 Americans, reached the summit by the West Ridge. They were Jon's heroes, they made him want to climb Everest. Later on he describes how he lost interest in climbing it. In 1995, Krakauer was offered a story to write while being at the base camp. He turned down the offer and instead suggested to climb it a year later. About one year later, Jon arrived in Kathmandu from Bangkok to begin his trek. He meets Andy Harris, one of his guides, as they wait for another climber in the airport. Jon meets his guide to the summit of Everest, Rob Hall. He writes about Hall's experience as a climber and how he met his best close friend and fellow climber, Gary Ball. They both scaled the highest mountains in the seven continents in seven months. Hall later had two things that left him ashamed and sad after having a very successful trip to the summit of Everest. First, Sir Edmund Hillary criticized him for charging so much money to guide people on top of the mountain. Second, during a climb in 1993 his close friend, Ball, died in his arms. Jon Krakauer boards a helicopter that will lead him close by Everest. He introduces his team that he will be climbing with. He talks about his instant connection with Doug Hansen. Krakauer describes how important trust is for climbing. How one small thing can affect the whole team.


I think that these pages are very descriptive. I think Krakauer is trying to open the setting of the story and lead us to the actual story. In these pages, the reader meets lots of people that in some way are important to the memoir.
I like the story so far, he really has done a good job setting up the real action. He uses some foreshadow to indicate a little bit of what's to come.

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