The Limits of Adventure
By Peter Stark
(Ballantine Books, Paperback, 9780345441515, 320pp.)
Publication Date: October 1, 2002
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“Forget the edge of your seat. Last Breath takes you to the edge of your life, for a pulse-pounding glimpse into the Great Beyond. There are many ways to risk your life in the out-of-doors, and Stark has captured them in exquisite and harrowing detail.”
Author of A Symphony in the Brain
An enthralling blend of adventure and science, Last Breath re-creates in heart-stopping detail what happens to our bodies and our minds in the perilous last moments of life when an extreme adventure goes awry.
Combining the adrenaline high of extreme sports with the startling facts of physiological reality, veteran travel and outdoor sports writer Peter Stark narrates a series of adventure stories in which thrill can cross the line to mortal peril. Each death or brush with death is at once a suspense story, a cautionary tale, and a medical thriller. Will they survive, or will they succumb? Readers will shiver with a man lost in the snowy woods, suffering from hypothermia and tearsing off his clothes as he’s burning up from the cold; they will hallucinate with a young woman stranded at the top of Annapurna as she experiences a cerebral edema; and while a kayaker tumbles helplessly underwater for two minutes, five minutes, ten minutes, readers, too, will gasp for their last breath.
Peter Stark is a contributor to Outside, Smithsonian, and The New Yorker magazines. His article for Outside, "As Freezing Persons Recollect the Snow"-- the inspiration for this book-- was cited as a notable essay in Best American Essays (1997). He has been nominated for a National Magazine Award and has published a collection of essays, Driving to Greenland. He is also the editor of an anthology of writing about the Arctic, Ring of Ice. He lives in Missoula, Montana.
"Un-put-downable stories of outdoor catastrophe and death, carefully and vividly told; they make us, unexpectedly, happy to be alive."
“STARK’S MASTERFUL PACING AND USE OF DETAILS KEEP THE READER’S STOMACH TURNED IN SUSPENSE.”
“A FASCINATING BLEND OF STORYTELLING AND SCIENCE.”
–New York Daily News