Saturday, July 5, 2014
Blind Descent Book Review
From the publisher's website: "Former Navy rescue swimmer Brian Dickinson was roughly 1,000 feet from the summit of Mount Everest—also known as “the death zone”—when his Sherpa became ill and had to turn back, leaving Brian with a difficult decision: should he continue to push for the summit, or head back down the mountain? After carefully weighing the options, Brian decided to continue toward the summit—alone. Four hours later, Brian solo summited the highest peak in the world. But the celebration was short-lived. After taking a few pictures, Brian radioed his team to let them know he had summited safely, and got ready to begin his descent. Suddenly, his vision became blurry, his eyes started to burn, and within seconds, he was rendered almost completely blind. All alone at 29,035 feet, low on oxygen, and stricken with snow blindness, Brian was forced to inch his way back down the mountain relying only on his Navy survival training, his gut instinct, and his faith. In Blind Descent, Brian recounts—in fantastic detail—his extraordinary experience on Everest, demonstrating that no matter how dire our circumstances, there is no challenge too big for God."
When I first start reading this book, I wasn't sure if I would enjoy it or not. It was a well-written and compelling story. I especially liked the format he used in telling the story. A lot of authors, when penning their memoirs, will begin the story of the most compelling part or experience and then backtrack and tell their entire life story until that point. While those books are still enjoyable, I really enjoyed the way Mr. Dickinson weaved his background throughout the Mt. Everest climbing story. What an experience he had and what a testimony as well. One criticism that I have is that while he does explain a few of the terms and procedures of mountain climbing, he doesn't explain all. And for someone like me, who has little to no experiences with these terms and procedures, doesn't understand everything that he describes. With that said, it took nothing away from his incredible story and imagery of the climbing of Mt. Everest.