Looking for an Extreme Read?

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Why are we so fixated with such tales, gory and clichéd as they may be? The very gruesomeness of the material is an undeniable source of fascination. Yet our national obsession with extreme survival tales stems not only from their content but the fact that they are true…As opposed to works of fiction, true-life extreme survival stories are granted a special type of immunity and cultural authority. How do you critique the truth?…But strangely, what makes the true-life extreme survival story so appealing is its fictional quality. Self-amputation, hypoxia at high altitudes, shark attacks, cannibalism: this is the stuff of fantasy.

~ Hilary Menges, from “Cliffhanger: on Extreme Survival Books”

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Base Jumping [credit: santimolina]

[credit: santimolina]

 

 

 

Looking for a book that will blow your hair back? Want an extreme read for the beach or the plane? Or maybe the perfect paperback to shove into your backpack before you head out on your own travel adventure? Check out The Millions‘ list of extreme survival stories for some new suggestions and a writer Hilary Menges thorough and historical exploration of why such literature fascinates us in the first place.

 

Author mbostrom

Born in the Adirondack mountains of upstate New York, Margaret has always felt awed by the world’s most beautiful places, and driven to see as many of them as possible. Since graduating from college in 2009, she’s been reading, writing, and wandering across the world indulging in her love of long train rides, learning how to say “excuse me” in as many languages as possible, deciphering time tables and metro maps, and carrying far too many books around in her backpack. Having traveled through parts of the US, Europe, Australia and the Middle East, she’s decided that feeling properly well-traveled is a bit like feeling truly well-read: practically impossible, but a goal well-worth pursuing anyway!

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