Wednesday, November 3, 2010

James M. Tabor's 'Blind Descent' - Cadillac

I first read Tabor's 'Forever on the Mountain' about a summit of Denali gone horribly, horribly wrong. I've been on a bit of a tear with adventure literature over the past few years (while not blogging) after reading Krakauer's 'Into Thin Air,' picked up used for pennies in India. 'Forever on the Mountain' is at the top of the canon, so I knew I had to check out his 'Blind Descent.'

The premise is simple - the race to find the deepest cave on earth by two very different yet similarly driven speleologists, one from the Ukraine, and one from the U.S.A. It's as herculean a task as summiting Everest, but in reverse, with the hardest push coming on the return trip (climb) out. I was fascinated by the scope of the supercaves being explored, the image that Tabor painted of the environments, and the passions and personalities of those driven to make the last great terrestrial discovery at very great effort and cost.

While not as compelling as 'Forever on the Mountain', it's a unique context for adventure and discovery, and a very solid 'Cadillac' at that...

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