To the Last Breath

A Memoir of Going to Extremes

By Francis Slakey
(Simon & Schuster, Paperback, 9781439198964, 272pp.)

Publication Date: May 28, 2013

Other Editions of This Title: Hardcover, Compact Disc, MP3 CD, Compact Disc, MP3 CD, Compact Disc, MP3 CD, MP3 CD

Shop Local
Enter your zip code below to find indies closest to you.


Selected by Indie Booksellers for the May 2012 Indie Next List
“This is a splendid and exciting read about the author's transition from self-centered narcissist to world citizen during his 10-year, physically and emotionally rigorous adventure to be the first person to climb the highest summits on every continent and surf all the oceans of the world. Highly recommended!”
-- Gary Colliver, Windows on the World-Books & Art, Mariposa, CA


In 1997, a Georgetown University physics professor set out to scale the highest peak of every continent and surf every ocean. Over the next 12 years, every escape from death brought him closer to life.

About the Author

Francis Slakey is the Upjohn Lecturer on Physics and Public Policy at Georgetown University and an Associate Director of Public Affairs at the American Physical Society, where his focus is the intersection of science and society. The founder and co-director of the Program on Science in the Public Interest, a Lemelson Associate of the Smithsonian Institution, and a MacArthur Scholar, Dr. Slakey has been featured by NPR, National Geographic, and others, and his writing has appeared in The Washington Post, The New York Times, Slate, and Scientific American.

Praise For To the Last Breath

‚eoeIntrepid Francis Slakey scales each continent's highest peak, surfs every ocean, and lives to tell the tale in To The Last Breath, an exhilarating thrill show for armchair adventurers who prefer air conditioning to thin air.‚e ‚e"Vanity Fair

‚eoeWhen a Georgetown physics professor saw his existence becoming mundane, he actually did something about it.† This exciting, moving memoir documents his quest to climb the highest mountains and surf every ocean on earth.‚e ‚e"Entertainment Weekly ‚eoeMust List‚e

‚eoeA dramatic account of summiting Everest, getting ambushed in Indonesia and enduring isolation and spiritual deprivation in Antarctica. . . . To the Last Breath is a moving tale of self-discovery, right to the last word.‚e ‚e"People

‚eoeFrancis Slakey‚e(TM)s exciting, perilous adventures from El Cap to the Indian Ocean are at first just a stunt‚e"the cool, calculated goal of a hardcore scientist.†But when the acts of grace and heroism of others open his heart, To the Last Breath becomes a tribute to the remarkable connectedness that binds the world and its people together.‚e ‚e"Norman Ollestad, New York Times bestselling author of Crazy For The Storm

‚eoeTo The Last Breath†is, in a word, breathtaking. Dr. Slakey†takes you with him as he blasts through blizzards and dangles by frayed lines†to get to the top of the highest mountains. He†also adds†the science of surfing to your body of knowledge. I felt his†transformation as if it were my own: from restrained physics professor who gives his students equations instead of himself, to humane, caring soul, willing to love and to lose and to truly enter the world. Slakey‚e(TM)s story†has the†adrenaline of high adventure, but more importantly, †it delivers the thrill of self-discovery.‚e ‚e"Lucinda Franks, winner of the Pulitzer Prize and author of My Father‚e(TM)s Secret War

‚eoeFrancis Slakey must have nine lives.† In a book that is compelling and insightful from the get-go, Slakey takes the reader along on his adventures as he comes to terms with his mother‚e(TM)s death and learns what really matters in life.‚e

‚eoeAn adrenaline shot of a book.‚e

‚eoeMore than another tale of high octane machismo.‚e

‚eoeA love story, an athletic journey, an introspective process of discovery.‚e

‚eoePart adventure travel, part call to action for anyone who cares about making a better world.‚e

Indie Bookstore Finder

Update Profile