Thursday, October 19, 2006

Miracle in the Andes: 72 Days on the Mountain and My Long Trek Home by Nando Parrado

Miracle in the Andes: 72 Days on the Mountain and My Long Trek Home is the account of the 1972 plane crash that left a group of young athletes from Uruguay stranded on a mountaintop with no food and little hope of rescue. Nando was the instigator of the escape trek through mountains that would have been a challenge to experienced mountain climbers with equipment, weather appropriate clothing and adequate food and water. Somehow, many of the crash victims survived and they still remain close today.

Of course, this story was made into a movie based on the book Alive so many will know the basic story. But Nando talks about it from a different angle, discussing feelings about the crash, his mother and sister's deaths and his feelings about his fellow survivors. He also looks at the portrayals of a couple of the less heroic boys with more understanding and compassion than he did as a young man and sees how emotionalism just showed the fear, not the steps these individuals took to overcome that fear.

You also find out what has happened to these men, what kind of lives they led and what they have done with these experiences which is a nice addition to the tale. Very well done and movingly told.

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