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Item #: BK1474-172
LAST BREATH: CAUTIONARY TALES FROM THE LIMITS OF HUMAN ENDURANCE Peter Stark 2001 1st ed Hardcover DJ Fine
By Stark, Peter
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Detailed Product Description

New York, Ballantine, 2001, 1st edition. 300 pp. Hardcover with dust jacket. Fine

An edge-of-your-seat collection of breathless stories of adventuresome people at the limits of endurance in climbing, snowboarding, skiing, kayaking, more.  Prepare to have some of your greatest fears laid bare in this collection of riveting, and often terrifying, "cautionary tales from the limits of human endurance." Based on interviews with accident survivors and the medical specialists who treat them, veteran outdoor writer Peter Stark offers mostly fictitious accounts (there is one based on a true historical incident) of people caught in life-threatening situations.

In Last Breath, he thoroughly explores what happens to the human body and mind during drowning, a long fall, burial beneath an avalanche, hypothermia, dehydration, mountain sickness, the bends, malaria, scurvy, hyperthermia, and contact with a poisonous jellyfish. Stark packs enough historic and scientific information and page-turning suspense into each chapter to make them all fascinating and useful. And he answers some perplexing questions in the process, such as why those suffering from acute hypothermia often rip off their clothing in an effort to save themselves.

No, Stark does not have some unresolved death wish he readily admits that he fears death. But he also understands that the fine line between life and death actually entices outdoor adventurers to risk everything for the chance to explore their own physical and mental limits. In fact, it is exactly this close proximity to death that makes the experience come alive for certain individuals with the overriding desire "to strip away the superfluous, to remove the protective boundaries between that thing you call a self and something larger." These are the stories of those who crossed the line.  


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