I guess I keep looking for another Into Thin Air. I remember the experience of reading it for the first time, of literally being unable to put it down, ignoring a large pile of end of term marking and staying up all night. The natural human drama combines with Krakauer's storytelling to form a masterpiece. And I keep hoping for that literary rush again. Unfortunately The Other Side of Everest did not provide me that rush. It is no Into Thin Air. That said, I did enjoy reading it. Knowing the story of 1996 on the south side inside and out, it was interesting to see things from the north side. I also quite liked Matt Dickinson; he wasn't always likable and respectful, but I appreciated his honesty. He is also very British (if that makes sense), and I like that I sense his personality so strongly in his writing. I also appreciate that he is self-depreciating. One of the things that let me down, however, is that he focused quite a bit in the beginning on his relationship with his wife and his motivation. I was waiting for him, after the Everest climb, to complete his commentary on these subjects: How had the climb affected his marriage? How had his attitude towards increasingly more dangerous adventures been altered by his experience? He just seemed to gloss over these points, as if his editor said, "Hey, Matt, you set your reader up with these questions, now you need to answer them." The response was a quick paragraph paying lip-service to these issues. But the meat of the book, the disaster and the climb, was enjoyable. I guess I'm just fascinated by the people who do stuff like this, so I want more insight into their makeup.
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