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Thin Air de Michelle Paver
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Thin Air (2016 original; edició 2016)

de Michelle Paver (Autor)

MembresRessenyesPopularitatValoració mitjanaMencions
2212197,696 (3.94)13
The Himalayas, 1935. Kangchenjunga. The sacred mountain. Biggest killer of them all. Five Englishmen set out to conquer it. But courage can only take them so far. And the higher they climb, the darker it gets.
Membre:mappman
Títol:Thin Air
Autors:Michelle Paver (Autor)
Informació:ORION (2016)
Col·leccions:La teva biblioteca
Valoració:*****
Etiquetes:Cap

Informació de l'obra

Thin Air de Michelle Paver (2016)

  1. 00
    The White Road de Sarah Lotz (sturlington)
    sturlington: Ghost stories set in the Himalayas
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Ghosts - or fictional ones, at least - tend to haunt inhabited places, whether houses, churches, castles or hospital wards. So used are we to the traditions of the genre that a description of a decrepit mansion full of dark corners and unexplained creaks is enough to raise in us readers expectations of phantoms and ghouls. In this regard, Michelle Paver's "Thin Air" - much like its predecessor [b:Dark Matter|8350864|Dark Matter|Michelle Paver|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1504563569s/8350864.jpg|13203928] - is not your typical ghostly tale since it is the very remoteness of the haunted spaces which makes the setting particularly eerie. The context of "Thin Air" is a 1935 expedition to the summit of the Kangchenjunga in the Himalayas, the third highest peak in the world. A team of five Englishmen, including narrator Stephen Pearce and his brother "Kits", set off in the footsteps of a disastrous 1907 expedition, made famous through the memoirs of its leader Edmund Lyell. It turns out, however, that Lyell's memoirs might have left out some of the more unsavoury details of that doomed attempt, as our intrepid protagonists will discover to their dismay. Indeed, memories and relics of the Lyell expedition seem to cast a pall over the new climb.

Both the 1907 and the 1935 expeditions described in Paver's book are fictional - but the context is well researched, and the novel contains several references to real life attempts... and tragedies: the Kangchenjunga remains, to date, one of the deadliest peaks for mountaineers. Accordingly, the dangers portrayed in the initial chapters are physical rather than otherwordly. Indeed, the first part of the book has the feel of a vintage "Boys' Own" issue, or a long-lost Conan Doyle novel. There's a sense of male bonhomie and rivalry, typical of that sort of Edwardian and inter-war fiction. The "sahibs" express the same gung-ho "let's beat the Hun" values and there's the same dated, dismissive attitude towards the "coolies" and their "backward superstitions". In a rather apologetic afterword, Paver explains that this is not meant to condone an imperialist worldview but, rather, to authentically reflect the literature of the period. No such justification is needed - there are enough clues along the way to show intelligent readers that Paver does not share the views of her characters. And the male group dynamics, particularly the love-hate relationship between the Pearce siblings, not only give an authentic 'historical' touch, but also provide a nicely developed theme which runs through the novel.

But what about the ghosts, I hear you ask? Initially, the manifestations are few and far between - the storms, the cold, the frostbite, the crevasses are scarier - and frankly more interesting - than the Sherpas' vague mentions of demons and curses. Roughly half-way through the novel, however, Paver starts to ratchet up the tension. Strange calls, half-seen shadows, dogs behaving strangely - we're back in traditional ghost story territory. All this leads to an extended scene in which the narrator spends a night alone and in the dark. I won't give away any details except to state that not since The Blair Witch Project has a backpack exuded such menace.

Thin Air is, all in all, a highly satisfying supernatural read which also works as a piece of well-researched historical fiction. It is original in conception yet retains enough "traditional" elements to appeal to lovers of the "classic ghost story" - not least that lingering doubt that, all along, the hauntings might have been tricks of a mind starved of oxygen... ( )
  JosephCamilleri | Jan 1, 2022 |
Perfekt, einfach nur perfekt!
Schon der Vorgänger "Dark Matter" war ein kleines Meisterwerk des unterkühlten Horrors: die Geschichte einer glücklosen Expedition in die Arktis. Diesmal ist es eine Bergsteiger-Expedition im Himalaja und man hätte fürchten können, dass die Story zu ähnlich ist, ein bloßer zweiter Aufguss. Ja, die Story ist ähnlich, aber so überzeugend und stimmig bis ins kleinste Detail erzählt, dass dies keine Rolle spielt.
Es gibt viele erfolgreiche Schriftsteller,die ihre Leserschaft mit einem nicht enden wollenden Feuerwerk an Ideen fesseln, obwohl ihr schriftstellerisches Handwerk bestenfalls mittelmäßig ist. Und es gibt jene, die ein altes Motiv nehmen (wie hier die Ghost Story) aber durch ihr schieres handwerkliches Können kleine Meisterwerke schaffen. Michelle Paver ist so eine begnadete Handwerkerin.
Verdikt: lesen, bevor es ein anderer tut. ( )
  MrKillick-Read | Apr 4, 2021 |
I really enjoyed this story. It was excellent from start to finish, and the ending packed a good, emotional punch. ( )
  christina.h | Mar 31, 2021 |
Stephen Pearce, a medical doctor, accompanies his older brother Kits and three other gentlemen as a last-minute replacement on an expedition to climb Kangchenjunga in the Himalayas. From their starting point in Darjeeling they follow in the footsteps of a previous expedition, one that ended in tragedy twenty-nine years before. Right from the start the group is beset by bad omens; once they're in the foothills, however, Dr Pearce becomes increasingly convinced that they're not alone on the mountain ...

In my opinion there are just a few too many similarities between this novella and its predecessor, Dark Matter – right down to the loyal dog – to warrant a higher rating. While there's no denying that Michelle Paver once again succeeds in creating atmospheric surroundings (the enormity of the mountain, the harsh conditions and the bone-shaking cold, the deafening silence), I thought the actual ghost story was not quite as successful. She relies on a succession of bad omens (cheap!) to set the initial tone, and it takes quite some time to really take off, but then it does so with a bang.

The sibling rivalry between Stephen and his brother Christopher (Kits) provides a focus point in the novel, and there is added interest because the reader can never be entirely sure whether Stephen's experiences are hallucinations conjured up by a mind deprived of oxygen at high altitude or the result of a haunting. (I believe it's the latter, or at least a mixture of the two, because of one crucial sentence that could be easily missed – good work, Michelle Paver!). ( )
  passion4reading | Jan 23, 2021 |
Thin Air by Michelle Paver is an excellent and chilling ghost story that is set in the Himalayas in 1935. A small expedition prepares to tackle Kangchenjunga, the world’s third highest mountain that had so far not been climbed. They are following in the footsteps of a previous expedition, one that ended tragically many years ago. How tragic that expedition was is slowly revealed during the course of the book.

A troubled doctor, Stephen Pearce, is the narrator of the story, he has joined the expedition as a last minute replacement at the invitation of his older brother Kit. The sibling rivalry between these brothers helps to ground the story as it soon becomes obvious that although they love each other, there are times when they desperately don’t want the other to succeed. As they slowly climb this daunting mountain, Dr. Pearce is soon feeling and then seeing the presence of someone or something else that appears to be shadowing the party.

I had previous read Dark Matter by this author and found it to be an exceeding well done ghost story. The author seems to specialize in setting her haunted stories in inaccessible places that give her books a claustrophobic and dark atmosphere. While I think I was a little more scared while reading Dark Matter, this book was still eerily spooky and kept me anxiously looking over my shoulder. Thin Air has a classic ghost story feel that made it a perfect read for these October nights. ( )
  DeltaQueen50 | Oct 30, 2020 |
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The Himalayas, 1935. Kangchenjunga. The sacred mountain. Biggest killer of them all. Five Englishmen set out to conquer it. But courage can only take them so far. And the higher they climb, the darker it gets.

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