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POINTS UNKNOWN: A CENTURY OF GREAT EXPLORATION 2000 1st ed Hardcover DJ Fine SIGNED by David Roberts 2 Copies Available
By Roberts, David
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New York, Norton, 2000, 1st edition. 608 pp. Hardcover with dust jacket. Fine.

SIGNED by David Roberts


This superb collection of adventure writings takes from the best stories and climbers in the literature: Hornbein, Boardman, Shipton, Shackleton, Thesiger, Krakauer, Tilman, etc. This collection of adventure writing ranges from Robert Falcon Scott's final journal entry to Jon Krakauer's reckless solo climb of the Devil's Thumb to Tom Wolfe's brilliant portrayal of Chuck Yeager shattering the sound barrier in 'The Right Stuff'. A frigid winter ascent of Mount McKinley; the vastness of Arabia's Empty Quarter; the impossibly thin air at Everest's summit; the deadly black pressure of an underwater cave; a desperate escape through a Norwegian winter - these stories recount the minutes, hours, and days of lives pushed to the brink. 

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—these 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.

David Roberts continues to write award-winning books and articles that are published worldwide. He made several pioneering, significant first ascents in Alaska including the Wickersham Wall on Mt McKinley, Kachatna Spire, East Face of Mt Dickey, etc. 

He co-authored with Bradford Washburn the magnificent book, Mount McKinley, The Conquest of Denali, co-authored (ie, ghost wrote) Conrad Anker's Mallory Book, and ghost wrote three books for Ed Viesturs on his 8000 meter climbs.


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