I purchased this book looking for the facts and an account of the Fairchild Andes crash What I got was an account, religiously biased, lacking certain facts when needed.Most of the passengers on the plane were related by being part of or supporting the football team of a religious institution So of course prayer and the talk of miracles would turn up But when selecting a writing to tell the story they selected a fellow catholic I do not believe the author intentionally hid any facts, however where there should have been an exploration of the caloric intake of the survivors and a thorough discussion on geographic locations of the wreckage and that of the attempted rescue, there was a bit too much page space given over to discussion on how religion helped the survivors.The facts that I was after I found on wikipedia.One piece that was especially gratiing was that of the end justification of the use of psychics I would only recommend this book to a reader who was intensely interested in the events and who was christian Anyone else, look for a non biased account of events. I was a little obsessed with the movie Survive , the first version of this story when I was a young girl while my younger brother was appalled I ve also seen documentaries and the newer version of the movie Alive in the 90s Now, finally I ve read the book I m glad I did What a shocking story of survival, courage, endurance, and spirituality This book is tragic but uplifting in many ways as the ordeal in the mountain had changed their attitude towards lifeleft only with what they truly cared for, their families, their novias, their faith in God, and their homeland. On October A Plane Carrying A Team Of Young Rugby Players Crashed Into The Remote, Snow Peaked Andes Out Of The Forty Five Original Passengers And Crew, Only Sixteen Made It Off The Mountain Alive For Ten Excruciating Weeks They Suffered Deprivations Beyond Imagining, Confronting Nature Head On At Its Most Furious And Inhospitable And To Survive, They Were Forced To Do What Would Have Once Been Unthinkable This Is Their Story One Of The Most Astonishing True Adventures Of The Twentieth Century Not gonna lie I read this book because I wanted to read about how they ate the people That is what hooked everyone to this story, isn t it I saw the movie to see how they ate the people It s what everyone remembers and why we remember the Donner party all these years later Dude, they ATE THE PEOPLE In the book, they had already eaten the first people by about page 70 the book is hundreds of pages longer Huh, I thought What are they going to talk about for the rest of the book What they talk about are the other aspects of survival and it is a very compelling read There was an avalanche shortly after the initial crash, there are a couple of treks to find the tail and to see who is hardy enough to attempt a walk for help There are deaths and fights and camaraderie and heartbreaks and survival and yes, they eat the people This of course begs the question of how far any of us would go to survive Would I be able to take a piece of glass and cut the flesh off of a recently dead human being I don t think there is any way to answer that without actually being in that situation which, God willing, I never will be And speaking of God, the boys faith in God is awe inspiring I sometimes snap at God when I get caught in traffic and these boys were faithful throughout although they, understandably, questioned why some lived while others died I will have to remember this story next time I get snappy.The only reason that I didn t give this book 5 stars is that I found the parts describing the parents efforts to find the boys rather dull I don t know if I just anxious to get back onto the mountain with the boys, but I found myself skimming those parts I will say though that the reunions with the families were just amazingI can t imagine what the families went through and how full of awe they were to see their sons again.One other thing I would have liked is to some sort of follow up to tell me what the rest of their lives turned out like, especially the older man who had the 4 kids and the boy whose sister and mother died in the crash or shortly thereafter Nevertheless, this was a compelling readI would suggest reading it in the summer though because parts of it made me feel kinda chilly This was the frightening yet amazing true story of a team of rugby players trying to survive in the mountains against the dangers present Only sixteen survived and were able to tell their story. Haunting, haunting book I read this too long ago to give a proper review but the account itself has stayed with me for years Amazing story of survival against incredible odds Not for the faint hearted but truly gripping.CONTENT WARNING Some strong language and traumatic events And by that I mean, plane crash, avalanche, death and cannibalism I read this when it first came out in PB, so many years ago, mid 70 s I d give it 5 stars because I still remember it so clearly, but I never wanted to re read it It was well done, but pretty gruesome Stranded for 10 weeks with not much else to eat but dead passengers some of them team mates injured, cold They tried a number of things, but finally 2 of them managed to walk out get help It s one of the most incredible stories of survival I ve ever read.I wondered what happened to the kids afterward One of them, Nando Parrado, wrote Miracle in The Andes I wonder if it sheds light on what the rest did I m not really sure I want to know That experience had to scar many of them badly I hope the press was a bit easier on them in those days Likely notThere s a pretty good summary on Wikipedia Famous story of the Uruguayan rugby team that survived ten weeks in the Andes, largely because they ate the dead passengers.This is not a subtle book, nor does it bother with nuance It s a fast, vivid, and compelling read It shows its age mostly in its sexism Women are nurturing and irrational and must be hud and coddled men are brave and active, and when they re irrational, they know better probably it s part of this same gender definition that Read always refers to the survivors as boys, even though the youngest of them was 19, this giving them room to be irrational and weak without compromising their manhood In a book with nuance, there might have been some discussion about gender performance and the fulcrum between the young men s athleticism manly and active and their religious beliefs irrational and emotional and therefore feminine, and the only locus where it was acceptable in the microculture of the survivors to show weakness , but this is not that book Since all of the survivors frame their experience as a religious one, and since Read says the thing he had in common with them was their Roman Catholic beliefs, this is really not a book that s going to pick apart the survivors practice and experience of religion even if it were a book that had that kind of intellectual apparatus at all. The survivors had neither sensationalized nor sentimentalized their own experience and it seemed important for me to tell the reader what they had told me in the same matter of fact manner Piers Paul Read I remember watching the film adaptation of this book when I was quite young, and being so impressed with the resilience of the human spirit, and the desire to live This book surpassed the film, because Read did such a great job of involving the reader in the whole ordeal, including the plane crash survivors, their families, and the efforts others made to keep searching for the victims even when the odds of survival were dismal This edition had interviews with the author and two survivors thirty years after the publication of the book It s really hard for me to believe that Read was only thirty one years old when he was selected for this great project, even though he d previously only written fictional novels I also love that it was extremely fact based Nowhere in this book is the reader told what they should feel about sensitive subject matter, and yet it was told in such a way that I felt involved a spectator and visitor to the stranded fuselage that served as home to the survivors I m glad I read this before I read Nando Parrado s personal memoir about the ordeal, Miracle in The Andes, although it will probably be some time before I can recircle this event It really moved me to the core Definitely a compelling read Inspirational and gut wrenching We all have our own mountains, and it s important to remember that no matter how bad things are, one can always overcome them and so, one must never forget that they can always be worse It s important to value the small things in life Alvaro Mangino, one of the sixteen survivors In October of 1972, a chartered plane carrying 45 passengers and crew left Uruguay to travel to Chile A majority of the passengers were made up of young men who were part of an amateur rugby team going to Chile for a game Others included family and friends Over the rugged Andes, the pilot made a fatal error, and the plane crashed into the side of a mountain, flinging parts of the tail section, fuselage, wing, rudder and even some passengers out over the desolate landscape The survivors were, for the most part, very young men average age around 23 years old On average, they came from priviledged families Most were devout Catholics They enjoyed their cigarettes They loved their mothers and girlfriends They loved the game of rugby and were eager to experience a taste of the world outside their beloved Uruguay.Over the next 70 days, the remaining survivors battled cold, avalanches, injury, fear and hunger To survive, they prayed alot They devised plans for capturing water They made forays into the vast white bleak landscape to search for supplies and a way out They became makeshift doctors and surgeons and helped the wounded They waited for rescue to come from the outside And to fight off starvation, they ate their dead.The story of the 16 remaining Andes survivors makes for riveting reading The first time I read this book I was in my early 20s myself, and I remember the cannibalism being the overriding memory I took away from this book Now I m older, and it s not the cannibalism that captures my attention, but how these very young men kept their sanity, faith and courage in the face of unimaginable horrors Of their cannibalism, they are unapologetic which is as it should be However, they didn t take what they did to survive lightly, and one of the survivors says it bestWhen one awakes in the morning amid the silence of the mountains and sees all around the snow capped peaks it is majestic, sensational, something frightening one feels alone, alone, alone in the world but for the presence of God For I can assure you that God is there We all felt it, inside ourselves, and not because we were the kind of pious youths who are always praying all day long, even though we had a religious education Not at all But there one feels the presence of God One feels, above all, what is called the hand of God, and allows oneself to be guided by itAnd when the moment came when we did not have any food, or anything of that kind, we thought to ourselves that if Jesus at His last supper had shared His flesh and blood with His apostles, then it was a sign to us that we should do the same take the flesh and blood as an intimate communion between us all It was this that helped us to survive, and now we do not want this which was something intimate, intimate to be hackneyed or touched or anything like thatAlive is much much then a survival story It is a glimpse of courage and faith in the midst of death, fear, and hopelessness.
British novelist and non fiction writer Educated at the Benedictines Ampleforth College, and subsequently entered St John s College, University of Cambridge where he received his BA and MA history Artist in Residence at the Ford Foundation in Berlin 1963 4 , Harkness Fellow, Commonwealth Fund, New York 1967 8 , member of the Council of the Institute of Contemporary Arts 1971 5 , member of
- 318 pages
- Alive: The Story of the Andes Survivors
- Piers Paul Read
- 12 April 2019 Piers Paul Read