High Crimes - The Fate Of Mount Everest In An Age Of Greed - By Michael Kodas

Reviews for High Crimes

“Like Jon Krakauer’s Into Thin Air, High Crimes, an account of an Everest ascent, effectively strips the journey of all sentiment…Kodas forever dispels whatever romantic ideas readers may hold about the great Himalayan peak. A Minus” — Entertainment Weekly

“Gripping. . . . Kodas' absorbing description of the narrow moral compass governing human interaction at the top of the world is bound to shock both armchair adventurers and seasoned mountaineers. . . . As Kodas' account makes clear, drastic action is needed urgently if more deaths - there have been 59 since the 1996 disaster chronicled by Krakauer - and environmental havoc are to be avoided.” — Associated Press

“The book is as juicy as a gossip tabloid…But the work is philosophical at root, revealing how an endeavor as seemingly straightforward as a climb to the top of the mountain can devolve into a series of grueling human battles not unlike those one might encounter on the most harrowing of city streets.” — Mother Jones

“an “important, brave, and yes, shocking book.”” — The Hartford Courant

“Kodas’s writing is clear and forceful, and he creates several gripping moments of suspense. In the end, there’s no getting around his conclusion: Everest, now more than ever, is a place any sane person would avoid.” — Outside magazine

“Prize–winning journalist Kodas finds avarice, theft and worse on the slopes of Mount Everest during a troubled 2004 expedition. On assignment for the Hartford Courant, Kodas went with his wife and six others on an Everest expedition that quickly dissolved in acrimony…The author’s cautionary tale paints a grim picture of Everest mountaineering today. Poorly trained climbers, eager for the status of an Everest summit, routinely pay exorbitant fees to guides who inflate their resumes to make a quick buck, then often abandon their clients when they falter in the high-altitude “Death Zone.” Increasingly, these wealthy novices are taxing the manpower and resources of able climbers and guides, who are reluctant to leave their own well-paying ascents to rescue them. Meanwhile, Kodas finds the slopes of Everest rampant with crime, from the disappearance of vital equipment to drug use and prostitution. He points to one outfitter who routinely sold substandard oxygen tanks, threatening the lives of climbers who used them. Even steroids have apparently found their way to Everest, as climbers look for that extra boost to get them to the top. A clear-eyed, riveting narrative. (A starred review.)” — Kirkus Reviews

“Kodas, a veteran newspaper journalist and avid climber, knows his subject. . . . There are plenty of books about the allure and the danger of Everest, but this may be the first to explore the mountain’s criminal element: the fraudulent commercial guides; the thieves and scoundrels who loot other climbers’ camps, stealing vital supplies that can be sold at a profit; the violence among climbers. . . . A strongly written, passionate plea for sanity before it’s too late.” — Booklist

“Kodas does an excellent job exposing the ways in which money and ego have corrupted the traditional cultures of both mountaineers and their Sherpa guides. He also brings a painful focus to the delusions, misunderstandings and indifference that allow climbers to literally step over the bodies of dying people on their way to the top…his narrative is as hard to turn away from as a slow motion train wreck.” — Publishers Weekly

Copyright © 2008 Michael Kodas. All rights reserved. Published by Hyperion. Available wherever books are sold.