As two experienced climbers gazed upon the majestic snow packed, Peruvian Andes, with the sun glistering off the icy peaks, the possibility of the mountains being their snowy graves never crossed their mind. Touching The Void was written by Joe Simpson; publication of this memoir was by Harper Collins Publishers on February 3, 2004. Not only will young and old adults enjoy this book, anyone with sense of adventure can be captivated with the story. Joe Simpson also wrote The Beckoning Silence, Dark Shadows Falling, Storms of Silence, and The Game of Ghost. The memoir novel, Touching The Void, was a success due to the vast descriptions, courage, and true emotions displayed by the climbers. These elements of the account made the story form in the readers mind as the novel evolved.
Touching The Void’s adventure began with a practice climb up, Rosario Nortel by Joe Simpson. and Simon Yates, in May 1985. If that climb went well Joe and Simon would climb other peaks in the grouping. The main event was to hopefully take place ten days later, the unclimbed west face of the mountain Siula Grande. This was to be their major success. One of their main concerns while waiting to make their first climb was the weather. “By midday banks of cumulus would move in from the east, followed by the inevitable rain. On the high slopes this came as heavy snowfall, and the risk avalanches and liners of retreat cut off would suddenly become a reality” (Simpson 19). The precipitation did not allow them to reach the Summit of Rosaria; however, they did climb 18,000 feet which was a meritorious achievement for both of them.
Over the course of the next few days, Simon and Joe tried reaching the summits of the South Ridge of Cerro Yantauri, and the Sou...
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...to home. All I could think about was the disbelief and criticism I was inevitably going to be confronted with” (Simpson 124). The truth is not the only courageous variable in novel. At one point, Joe contemplates suicide. “I had been tempted, but even in my despair I found that I didn’t have the courage for suicide” (Simpson 130). Actually, Joe portrayed excess valor in not committing suicide and battling for his life.
After reading this novel, the reader realized the mountain was constantly altered from one point in time to another. Life can also be said to be constantly changing. No one should ever take anything for granted. At any point, the reader could reach their own snowy grave and should live life with no regrets.
Simpson, Joe. Touching The Void. New York: Harper Collins, 2004. Print.
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