BOOKS

In­cred­i­ble sto­ries of sur­vival in some of the world’s most in­hos­pitable places

Emirates Man - - CONTENTS -

1. MIR­A­CLE IN THE AN­DES, BY NANDO PAR­RADO

Uruguayan Nando Par­rado is one of 16 peo­ple to sur­vive a plane crash in the An­des in Oc­to­ber 1972 and Mir­a­cle is his ac­count of how he and the rest of the pas­sen­gers stayed alive for two months in ex­treme, moun­tain­ous con­di­tions. Par­rado was part of a rugby team on their way to a tour­na­ment, and his sto­ries re­veals how they broke the ul­ti­mate taboo to stay alive by eat­ing the bod­ies of their dead team­mates. He was also one of two sur­vivors who hiked for almost ten days to nd help and be­fore he left, he fa­mously gave the oth­ers per­mis­sion to eat his dead sis­ter and mother. “I don’t want this to be seen as an epic trek of su­per­hu­man be­ings, be­cause I was so afraid, so hu­mil­i­ated by the size of those moun­tains,” he once said. “I had this phys­i­cal fear in my stom­ach. And I was think­ing of me, not of sav­ing the other guys.” Ethan Hawke played Par­rado in the 1993 movie Alive, a lm Par­rado de­scribed once as like a ‘ pic­nic’ com­pared to the real or­deal.

2. INTO THIN AIR: A PER­SONAL AC­COUNT OF THE MT EVER­EST DIS­AS­TER, BY JON KRAKAUER

Moun­taineer and jour­nal­ist Jon Krakauer’s ac­count of the 1996 Mount Ever­est catas­tro­phe is one of the most read, and most con­tro­ver­sial, books about an in­ci­dent in which eight climbers died on the moun­tain dur­ing a storm. Krakauer’s orig­i­nal mag­a­zine as­sign­ment was to climb to basecamp and write a piece on the com­mer­cial­i­sa­tion of the moun­tain range, but he in­stead spent a year train­ing for a hike to the sum­mit. Into Thin Air is par­tic­u­larly crit­i­cal of the res­cue at­tempts made by Rus­sian climber and guide Ana­toli Boukreev, who left the sum­mit be­fore other climbers ( to pre­pare for a res­cue mis­sion), and Krakaur’s ques­tions his judge­ment and use of equip­ment in the book. Re­spected moun­taineers such as Galen Row­ell have slated th­ese claims and Krakauer has been ac­cused of be­ing asleep while Boukreev was res­cu­ing two climbers. The Rus­sian wrote his own book, The Climb, to an­swer the claims made by Krakauer.

3. BE­TWEEN A ROCK AND A HARD PLACE, BY ARON RAL­STON

Back in April 2003, Amer­i­can hiker Aron Ral­ston had to do the un­think­able: hack off his own arm after it got caught un­der­neath an 800lb boulder in Utah. It took Ral­ston six days, who had ven­tured out into the wilder­ness with hardly any food or wa­ter, to do the deed with a blunt mul­ti­tool. He said the pain felt the same as slam­ming your nger in a car door, but con­tin­u­ously for six days. “The ac­tual cut­ting was a dif­fer­ent kind of pain. There are nerve end­ings in cer­tain parts of your arm tis­sue. So when I broke the bone it hurt of course, but for me it was a happy mo­ment be­cause that was what was trap­ping me. It was the rst time I re­alised I would soon be free.” James Franco played Ral­ston in the 2010, Os­car- nom­i­nated movie adap­ta­tion 127 Hours.

4. ADRIFT: SEV­ENTY- SIX DAYS LOST AT SEA, BY STEVEN CAL­LA­HAN

Amer­i­can naval ar­chi­tect and sailor Steven Cal­la­han’s sloop ( a sail­ing boat with a sin­gle

mast) was caught in a storm six days out to sea from the coast of Antigua in 1982, and he was forced to aban­don ship and board a six- per­son inf lat­able life raft. He man­aged to take enough sup­plies with him to last a few days ( in­clud­ing a sleep­ing bag, some food, nav­i­ga­tion charts, a spear gun, and so­lar stills, which he used to make drink­ing wa­ter), but the re­mote­ness of his lo­ca­tion meant res­cue took con­sid­er­ably longer then that. He was forced to live like, “an aquatic cave­man” for 76 days and sur­vived on a diet of mahi- mahi and trig­ger­fish he caught with his spear gun, plus bar­na­cles and birds. Cal­la­han was a con­sul­tant for the 2012 movie Life Of Pi, di­rected by Ang Lee, and is still a keen sailor.

5. THE DAM­AGE DONE: TWELVE YEARS OF HELL IN A BANGKOK PRISON, BY WAR­REN FEL­LOWS

Aus­tralian au­thor War­ren Fel­lows was sentenced to 12 years in Bangkok’s no­to­ri­ous Bang Kwang prison in 1978 on drug smug­gling charges. He wit­nessed mul­ti­ple hu­man rights atroc­i­ties in the prison, com­mit­ted both by fel­low pris­on­ers and by guards. He was tor­tured, had to re­sort to eat­ing rats and was of­ten kept in soli­tary. He tried to com­mit sui­cide sev­eral times and be­came an ad­dict. Fel­lows makes no ex­cuses for his pun­ish­ment and has even claimed since his re­lease that a drug smug­gler be­com­ing ad­dicted was “poetic jus­tice” for his crimes.

All books avail­able at ama­zon. com

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Re­spected moun­taineers such as Galen Row­ell have slated th­ese claims and Krakauer has been ac­cused of be­ing asleep while Boukreev was res­cu­ing two climbers. The Rus­sian wrote his own book, The Climb, to an­swer the claims made by Krakauer.

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