Book Review: Eiger Dreams by Jon Krakauer

Eiger Dreams original cover

Eiger Dreams: Ventures Among Men and Mountains” was first published in 1990. Well before the cultural zeitgeist embraced the outdoors as the hippest, healthiest place to play, and long before #adventure became chic, Krakauer began his book with this epigraph:

“Having an adventure shows that someone is incompetent, that something has gone wrong. An adventure is interesting enough in retrospect, especially to the person who didn’t have it; at the time it happens it usually constitutes an exceedingly disagreeable experience.”

There’s something to be said here about the wisdom of your elders, but considering the name of this website, I’ll leave it hanging.

A collection of climbing and mountaineering essays and articles written for Outside Magazine and others, “Eiger Dreams” was the first book ever released by author Jon Krakauer, who would later go on to find literary fame with two heavy hitters: “Into The Wild” and “Into Thin Air.” By nature of being an essay collection, “Eiger Dreams” doesn’t demonstrate the thematic and narrative tightness of those later books; some essays are worth reading, others will likely have you skipping ahead to see how much longer until the next one.

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