True Books | Book Review | Chicago Reader

Arts & Culture » Book Review

True Books



LEFT FOR DEAD: MY JOURNEY HOME FROM EVEREST, by Beck Weathers with Stephen G. Michaud (Villard, $24.95).

SYNOPSIS: An Everest climber caught in the '96 blizzard that killed nine people returns home, losing his nose, hands, and various other body parts but discovering the love of family. The results of severe frostbite are recounted in humorous detail.

REPRESENTATIVE QUOTE: "There were some grimly funny moments. I remember sitting in a chair when a big chunk of my right eyebrow, hair included, fell off in my hand. Later, as I was walking down the hall, my left big toe broke off and went skittering away."

NOTEWORTHY FLAW: He claims to be glad. "Even if I knew exactly everything that was going to happen to me on Mount Everest, I would do it again. That day on the mountain I traded my hands for my family and for my future. It was a bargain I readily accept."


SYNOPSIS: After his son Chris falls to his death from a mountain, the 65-year-old author is inspired to take up mountaineering.

REPRESENTATIVE QUOTE: "Throughout all of our time living together, Chris spent long and regular visits with his mother who had also remarried. His times with her were happy ones and the close relationship he maintained with his mother was always a positive and meaningful part of his existence. In fact, when Janey's new husband found a job in Botswana...''

NOTEWORTHY FLAW: Author doesn't visit the Bangkok massage parlor until after 197 pages of this.

TWO FOR THE SUMMIT: MY DAUGHTER, THE MOUNTAINS, AND ME, by Geoffrey Norman (Dutton, $22.95).

SYNOPSIS: The author and his 15-year-old daughter brave the two-day climb up the Grand Teton in Wyoming. When they get down, the book continues for another 100 pages, including a trip to Miami.

REPRESENTATIVE QUOTE: "We flew to Miami, where we had a long layover. We passed the time in the American Airlines Admiral's Club (I fly a lot), where we watched the Super Bowl. While we were there, Marcus Allen came in and took a seat at the bar and watched the game with professional detachment. 'You know who that is?' I said to Brooke. 'No.' 'Well, he starred in one of these things a few years ago. I think he still holds the record for the most yards gained in a Super Bowl by a running back.' 'No kidding.' 'Nope.'"

NOTEWORTHY FLAW: They continue on in this vein about Marcus Allen.

Support Independent Chicago Journalism: Join the Reader Revolution

We speak Chicago to Chicagoans, but we couldn’t do it without your help. Every dollar you give helps us continue to explore and report on the diverse happenings of our city. Our reporters scour Chicago in search of what’s new, what’s now, and what’s next. Stay connected to our city’s pulse by joining the Reader Revolution.

Are you in?

  Reader Revolutionary $35/month →  
  Rabble Rouser $25/month →  
  Reader Radical $15/month →  
  Reader Rebel  $5/month  → 

Not ready to commit? Send us what you can!

 One-time donation  →