Goto Chockstone Home

  Tech Tips

      Sponsored By

    For All Your Climbing Gear!

Black Diamond: SET of 6 "C4" Cams and 6 matching wire Gates. Camalots sizes .4, .5, .75, 1, 2 & 3 and "Neutrino" 6 Pack. N/B Comes with a FREE carry bag.  $565.00
19% Off

Climbing Media Reviewed
[ Books | Movies | Screen Shots | Best Stuff | Aussie Titles | Latest Reviews | Reviewed Only | All ]

Touching the Void
The Harrowing First Person Account Of One Man's Miraculous Survival

Format Book Category Narratives
Title Touching the Void  Pages 207 
Author Joe Simpson  RRP $24.95 AUD 
Publisher Vintage/Ebury  Reviews
Edition Paperback Reprint (March 1998)  Ave Rating ***** (4.50 of 5)


User Comments

Phil Box
I would highly recommend this book to anyone who is interested in what goes on inside your head when things go bad. Truly, I tell you that the hackles rose on the back of my head whilst reading this rivetting book. This is one of this centuries great survival stories and should certainly be read by anyone who has a penchant for dangerous pursuits or who may be placed in any sort of survival situation. Reading parts of this story transported me to right beside the writer, I was there right beside him. I felt his emotions chill my spine. A fantastic read. Go get it, now, you`ll be doing yourself a favour.
...Phil Box... 
Is this the most famous climbing book of all time? Deservedly so. 
Touching the Void (1988) Joe Simpson

The real cliffhanger

The Essential Gist: The escape-from-certain-death book to end all escape-from-certain-death books.

60-second summary: Simpson’s gripping account of his astonishing survival after falling into an Andean crevasse and left for dead rates as one of the most ripping climbing yarns ever told. So it’s no coincidence that it is also that rarest of literary beasts – the mountaineering book which became a best-seller (translated into 13 languages). The story which launched Simpson from dosser doley, to literary luminary, is so powerful that it continues to hold readers in its thrall 15 years after it all happened. Don’t start reading it at 11pm if you’ve got work to go to next morning. Allow at least 7 hours of continuous free time– most people have found it impossible to stop once embarked on this rollercoaster of a read. The story has everything beloved of a summer action movie blockbuster – so much so that the film rights were at one time flogged to Beverley Hills and Tom Cruise was interested in taking the leading role. There’s spectacular scenery, big falls, blood, gore, despair, hope, and the most improbable triumph of the human spirit against all odds. In fact, everything but explosions and babes with guns – but we expect Hollywood will soon sort that out. Read the original now before the Americans ruin it forever.

Characteristic excerpt: ‘Silent ice mountains gleamed white around me. I felt watched. Something in the crescent of summits and ridges looked down on me and waited. I was about to die; I knew it, and they knew it’.

Accolades? Winner of the 1985 NCR Non-fiction prize

Like this? Try these….A Slender Thread, Stephen Venables.
Fantastic account of a man's survival. Great book and a lot of fun to read. Hard to set it down. I enjoyed the story and am thoroughly amazed that Joe Simpson managed to survive. 

Just finished reading it last night. Even though I knew the plot and what the end result would be, I found it difficult to put the book down. Basically polished it off in two late nights. (It's not a thick book). Riveting stuff. Makes you cringe in sympathy for Joe's struggle and pain. The crawl from the crevasse back to camp is written in great detail. Each time he crawls that bit further I was thinking "come on, we can make it, not far now". The book is so well written it makes you think you're the one doing the crawling. Can't put the book down now and leave us so near death. Keep reading!

I also found the detailed lead up to the rope cutting incident to be very enjoyable and perhaps even educational in that it illustrated the light and fast alpine style ascent they were undertaking. The anecdotes about other relevant climbing mishaps were memorable as well. Hearing about that pillar collapse from under their bivi, now that was scary stuff.

I'm now starting the sequel, This Game Of Ghosts, which takes off right where Touching The Void ends and goes on to detail many more epics in Joes career. Should be another great read. 
Classic! The ultimate in mountain survival. 
for someone not familiar with climbing this book really gives you an insight to the struggles and the pain that a climber can go through.

I found this a hard book to put down and i puer joy to read

steal it then read it 

Further Reading:
Yahoo Books - Details on purchasing
Dymocks - Details on purchasing, from Dymocks Books etc.
Amazon - Details, Purchasing, Reviews, etc.


Home | Guide | Gallery | Tech Tips | Articles | Reviews | Dictionary | Forum | Links | About | Search
Chockstone Photography | Landscape Photography Australia | Australian Landscape Photography

Please read the full disclaimer before using any information contained on these pages.
All text, images and video on this site are copyright. Unauthorised use is strictly prohibited.