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Beck Weathers trained as a medical doctor and now lectures across the United States. His co-writer, Stephen G. Michaud, is a former editor at NEWSWEEK and the co-author of eight books.
A survivor of the disastrous Mt. Everest expedition described in Jon Krakauer's bestseller Into Thin Air, Weathers is the climber many readers will remember from searing media photos of a man with heavily bandaged hands and a face so badly frostbitten it scarcely seemed human. In fact, Weathers had been abandoned by his fellow mountaineers as dead and spent some 18 hours on the mountain in subzero temperatures before miraculously regaining his senses and staggering into camp. Back in the U.S., Weathers, who is a physician, lost both hands and underwent extensive facial reconstruction. But there were other wounds to heal: he had neglected his family so much in pursuit of his hobby that his wife had decided to end the marriage once he returned. Co-written with Michaud (The Evil That Men Do; The Only Living Witness), this book deals in part with the climb but mainly with Weathers's life before and after the catastrophe. The man who wrote this book doesn't seem any less self-absorbed than the one who climbed Mt. Everest. In the years before the disaster, Weathers spent every spare moment pursuing his own interests as his wife and children became strangers to him. Now he claims to have rediscovered his family, but, unfortunately, the reader learns very little about them. Ultimately, this engrossing tale depicts the difficulty of a man's struggle to reform his life. Photos not seen by PW. Author tour. (Apr.) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
'An engaging memoir . . . Candid [and] moving . . . Weathers' upbeat attitude perhaps yields the biggest clue about how he got home from Everest' NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW
When a blizzard trapped the author and dozens of other climbers near the summit of Mount Everest in 1996, much of the world closely followed the tragedy, in which nine died. Weathers, a Dallas-area pathologist who paid $65,000 to climb the mountain, was given up for dead only to amaze everyone, himself included, when he survived the seemingly impossible conditions. The author begins this work with the tragedy on Everest, chronicled in Jon Krakauer's best-selling Into Thin Air (LJ 4/1/97) as well as David Breashears's High Exposure (LJ 6/1/99). He then spends the majority of the book examining his reasons for pushing himself to climb tall mountains and explaining how the experience has changed him and his family. A deeply moving account of a person coming to terms with his shortcomings and his response when given a second chance, this book is highly recommended for all collections. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 1/00.]DTim Markus, Evergreen State Coll. Lib., Olympia, WA Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.