4 out of 4 stars
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What would you do when the demons of the past come haunting you at the prime age of forty-four? Your marriage crumbles. You feel just like your father who abandoned you while young and are in fact feeling like you will be absent in your children’s life. You are still mourning your brother’s death and the fact that you couldn’t do much to help him overcome his alcohol addiction. In the middle of all this hopelessness, you start an inner search to determine your purpose and reevaluate your life again as you fight your pains. This is the life of David J. Mauro as he narrates it in his memoir, The Altitude Journals.
In this remarkable book, Mauro opens up about his personal struggles and how mountain climbing acted as therapy towards his inner healing. He chronicles his experiences in climbing the seven highest mountains across all the continents. His journey began when Ty, his brother-in-law invited him to join their team climbing Denali as an amateur. Without any prior experience, he didn’t hesitate, but jumped in and joined them. This was the beginning of a seven-year adventure and self-discovery as he conquered the highest summit of each continent.
What I liked most about The Altitude Journals is that it is well detailed and narrated in a chronological way and the reader can follow the events easily. The author’s writing skills are great and give enough details, especially about the climb such that it is not too much detailed to be boring and overwhelming. The details are also not too little such that the reader doesn’t follow the story. I also like the fact that the book creates a feeling of traveling across the continents with the author and seeing the world through his eyes. The author’s honesty about his struggles and weaknesses is relatable and makes the reader reflect on their own shortcomings.
The only aspect of the book that I disliked most is the lack of balance in portraying the good and hard times through the photographs. I would have loved that the author would in the equal measure include photos of both the good and bad phases of mountain climbing. The only photos included are of victories, and I feel they do not balance the equation. Other than that, I enjoyed reading this book and going on an adventure with the author. The writing style and the plot are well laid out and the book is an easy read with less vocabulary on mountain climbing.
I rate this book 4 out of 4 stars because it is extensively well written without any grammatical or spelling errors. I would undoubtedly say it is professionally edited. In addition, the book doesn’t contain any vulgar or explicit erotic scenes. I would recommend this book to lovers of nature, travel, extreme adventures and specifically mountain climbers. It undoubtedly has great tips for anyone planning to undertake this grand adventure. In general, this is a great read for anyone struggling to put their past life behind and start afresh. It is a reflection of how to conquer the past demons and embrace the new self. Lovers of memoirs and biographies will equally enjoy reading this undisputed masterpiece.
The Altitude Journals
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