Classic Krakauer is an appropriate title in two ways. These collected articles are classic in that they exemplify what I love about Krakauer’s entire oeuvre: his ability to make me care about subjects I otherwise would not have read about, the compassionate lens with which he views his subjects, and the richness of detail that can make topics like surfing and mountaineering feel more exhilarating on the page than in actuality. And they’re classic in another way: though they span Krakauer’s early career, they still feel as fresh and relevant today as when they were written.
— Joe Michon-Huneau
Spanning an extraordinary range of subjects and locations, these ten gripping essays show why Jon Krakauer is considered a standard-bearer of modern journalism.
His pieces take us from a horrifying avalanche on Mount Everest to a volcano poised to obliterate a big chunk of Seattle; from a wilderness teen-therapy program run by apparent sadists to an otherworldly cave in New Mexico, studied by NASA to better understand Mars; from the notebook of one Fred Beckey, who catalogued the greatest unclimbed mountaineering routes on the planet, to the last days of legendary surfer Mark Foo. Bringing together work originally published in such magazines as The New Yorker, Outside, and Smithsonian—all rigorously researched, vividly written, and marked by an unerring instinct for storytelling and scoop—Classic Krakauer powerfully demonstrates the author’s ambivalent love affair with unruly landscapes and his relentless search for truth.
About the Author
Jon Krakauer is the author of eight books and has received an Academy Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. According to the award citation, “Krakauer combines the tenacity and courage of the finest tradition of investigative journalism with the stylish subtlety and profound insight of the born writer.”
“Krakauer is a masterly writer and reporter.” —The New York Times Book Review
"A first-rate journalist." —San Francisco Chronicle
"Krakauer is an extremely gifted storyteller as well as a relentlessly honest and evenhanded journalist." —Elle
"Jon Krakauer has made a name for himself by writing about impassioned individuals and the incredible lengths to which they go in pursuit of their goals." —San Jose Mercury News