Points Unknown

Points Unknown

A Century of Great Exploration

Book - 2000
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From Robert Falcon Scott's final journal entry to Jon Krakauer's daring solo climb of the Devils Thumb to Tom Wolfe's brilliant portrayal of Chuck Yeager shattering the sound barrier, David Roberts and the editors of Outside magazine have gathered the most enduring adventure literature of the century into one heart-stopping volume. A frigid winter ascent of Mount McKinley; the vastness of Arabia's Empty Quarter; the "Death Zone" near Everest's summit; the fatal black pressure of an underwater cave; a desperate escape through a Norwegian winter?hese and thirty-six other stories recount the minutes, hours, and days of lives pushed to the brink. Many are timeless first-person accounts brought back from the edge of the grim circumstances their authors lived to retell. Such reports open a window into the soul of adventure, the impulse that drives men to reach into the unknown. They also remind us that for the improbable and unbelievable, reality outstrips fiction every time. But there is more to adventure than hair-breadth escapes. Points Unknown includes inner passages: soul-searing quests across deserts, vividly evocative idylls, startling first encounters with primitive peoples, a poignant report of North America's last "wild" Native American, and even a few whimsical stories that reveal the spontaneity at the heart of adventure. As Roberts writes in his introduction, "an inordinate number of the excerpts in this book spring from dire predicaments their authors would just as soon have avoided. . . . Just as it takes interpersonal conflict to animate a novel, so danger and failure often give the spark to a journey that turns it into a memorable adventure." By turns charming and tragic, whimsical and nerve-racking, this extraordinary collection gets to the bottom of why adventure stories enthrall us. Selections include works by Edward Abbey, Tim Cahill, Edward Hoagland, Sebastian Junger, Jon Krakauer, Eric Newby, Ernest Shackleton, Freya Stark, and Wilfred Thesiger. As this stunning collection makes plain, exploration and the prose it inspires are alive and well at the turn of the new century.
Publisher: New York : Norton, c2000
ISBN: 9780393050004
0393050009
Branch Call Number: 910.92 P75r
Characteristics: 608 p. ; 25 cm
Additional Contributors: Roberts, David 1943-

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