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The Beckoning Silence av Joe Simpson
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The Beckoning Silence (utgåvan 2003)

av Joe Simpson

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
327658,259 (3.87)2
Joe Simpson has experienced a life filled with adventure but marred by death. He has endured the painful attrition of climbing friends in accidents, calling into question the perilously exhilarating activity to which he has devoted his life. Probability is inexorably closing in. The tragic loss of a close friend forces a momentous decision upon him. It is time to turn his back on the mountains that he has loved. Never more alive than when most at risk, he has come to see a last climb on the hooded, mile-high North Face of the Eiger as the cathartic finale. In a narrative which takes the reader through extreme experiences, from an avalanche in Bolivia, ice-climbing in the Alps and Colorado and paragliding in Spain - before his final confrontation with the Eiger - Simpson reveals the inner truth of climbing, exploring both the power of the mind and the frailties of the body. The subject of his new book is the siren song of fear and his struggle to come to terms with it.… (mer)
Medlem:Walnuttree
Titel:The Beckoning Silence
Författare:Joe Simpson
Info:Mountaineers Books (2003), Paperback, 315 pages
Samlingar:Ditt bibliotek
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Taggar:Ingen/inga

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The Beckoning Silence av Joe Simpson

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I read this after reading Touching the Void earlier this year and being completely blown away by it, and decided to read more books about climbing because something about it seems to resonate with me even though I'm not a climber myself and I don't even know anybody who is!

This book was an interesting combination of Joe talking about various different experiences while climbing, some personal experiences from his own life, and also accounts of earlier climbers who attempted the north face of the Eiger, which all built up to Joe's decision on whether to climb the face, and also his feelings about climbing and whether to continue. At times it was almost a little strange to read about such personal feelings- almost like reading somebody's diary that would usually be private, but I admire Joe's honesty and the combination of both a pragmatic attitude to climbing mistakes, paired with some beautiful descriptions of the emotions evoked by climbing- of which I think Joe's description of being caught in a storm on the south face of Les Drus was one of the most stunning.

This book, and others like it, raise all sorts of interesting questions- such as how to balance the desire to do something potentially life threatening with the fact that family and friends want you to be safe, along with weirdness of sometimes feeling most alive when close to death, which Joe mentions on a few occasions. I think this is one of the reasons I enjoyed this book so much- because human emotions seem to make so much more sense in these more extreme environments, and you can see that in many ways we're designed for coping with the immediate risk and dangers that activities like climbing throw at us, whereas in the "real world" everything is so drawn out, anxiety goes on for hours, days, weeks, months over risks that aren't life and death they are just ongoing worries. It is uplifting and life affirming to read about emotions in such a different environment- the powerful descriptions of ecstatic joy at achieving a goal tinged with sadness when it is over, the fear and awe and respect for the mountains, the enjoyment and absorption in the climbing.

I guess this book might not be for you if you prefer one long "story" rather than a collection of different experiences, but for me (perhaps because I have a background in psychology!) reading about Joe's feelings towards climbing and whether or not it is worth the risks was a really rewarding experience and I think that for anyone who is troubled with asking what life is for or why we are here I feel like the answer is hidden inside books like this, and inside people who follow their dreams to the very end. ( )
  LKChapman | Jul 16, 2016 |
SkyRider says it very well here. Simpson is a writer of considerable talent. This is a loose narrative, stories strung together following a very slowly evolving decision to give up climbing, but only after just a 'few more' routes. That the last (in this book at least) is the north face of the Eiger suggests a certain lack of commitment to the notion of the quiet life. Simpson seeks his silence in the higher places, although after reading the toll of dead he recounts, one wonders whether the silence he speaks of is death itself. Anyone who has an interest in mountaineering, or who has read any of Simpson's other books will enjoy this. Highly recommended. ( )
  nandadevi | Dec 2, 2013 |
In my opinion, “The Beckoning Silence” is not as good as “Touching the Void”, but it's still an enjoyable read for anyone who enjoys mountaineering books. It contains a sobering discussion of the dangers of serious climbing and the reasons why people choose to continue even knowing the risks. ( )
  cazfrancis | Jul 17, 2011 |
That Joe Simpson writes well. I shall have to go and read Touching the Void again now. Fascinating to see how age tames climbers and they feel the risks are less worth it, indeed they see the risks where they didn't before. MInd you, having seen paragliders at the Alps, I'm not exactly sure that is a less risky way to get your adrenaline rush. Looks pretty scary to me. How on earth do they avoid hitting each other? Anyway, very well written and I will look to make sure I have read or re-read all his others. ( )
  JulietLegg | Mar 7, 2009 |
Compared to the previous two books I've read by him, I was seriously underwhelmed by this one. Bit of a trek to make it to the end... ( )
  fojxl1 | Jun 19, 2008 |
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Climb if you will, but remember that courage and strength are nought without prudence, and that a momentary negligence may destroy the happiness of a lifetime. Do nothing in haste; look well to each step; and from the beginning think what may be the end. (Edward Whymper, 'Scrambles Amongst the Alps')
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To Ian 'Tat' Tattersall. 'We miss you, kid.'
In memory of Matthew Hayes and Philip O'Sullivan whose dream stretched to the very end.
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The ice was thin and loosely attached to the rock.
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Joe Simpson has experienced a life filled with adventure but marred by death. He has endured the painful attrition of climbing friends in accidents, calling into question the perilously exhilarating activity to which he has devoted his life. Probability is inexorably closing in. The tragic loss of a close friend forces a momentous decision upon him. It is time to turn his back on the mountains that he has loved. Never more alive than when most at risk, he has come to see a last climb on the hooded, mile-high North Face of the Eiger as the cathartic finale. In a narrative which takes the reader through extreme experiences, from an avalanche in Bolivia, ice-climbing in the Alps and Colorado and paragliding in Spain - before his final confrontation with the Eiger - Simpson reveals the inner truth of climbing, exploring both the power of the mind and the frailties of the body. The subject of his new book is the siren song of fear and his struggle to come to terms with it.

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