Monday, May 12, 2008
( 11:04 PM ) teahouse
Different Points of View
While upstate 2 weeks ago, I picked up and read a copy of Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer. It was an account of the 1996 Everest disaster, in which several people died while returning from the summit of Mount Everest.
I immediately became fascinated by the story.
I'm now reading The Climb, by Anatoli Boukreev, which offers an account of the events that differs significantly from that of Krakauer.
In his book, Krakauer was extremely critical of Boukreev's actions on the mountain. Boukreev's book is in part a response to Krakauer's allegations.
I confess that reading both books, I find Boukreev to be a lot more (and I mean a HELLUVA lot more) believable.
And the more I read, the more disgusted I am with Jon Krakauer. He's accusatory, judgmental, arrogant and doesn't check his facts. And the popularity of his book basically helped him to destroy Boukreev's reputation. For no reason.
I have now resolved not to read any more of Jon Krakauer's books. Including that one about the guy who dies in the bus in the wilderness.
On Tuesday night, Frontline is doing a 2-hour special on the events leading up to the Everest disaster. I'm interested to see how they're going to present these differing accounts.
Boukreev is no longer here to defend himself; he died in an avalanche in 1997. I hope Frontline presents a balanced view.
If not, I'm immediately withdrawing my financial support of PBS and diverting it to the Anatoli Boukreev Memorial Fund. #