Monday, February 24, 2014


This book is geared towards the even more uninformed armchair reader.  Everything seems spelled out and explained.  I first noticed this when he was continuously explaining events/actions/thoughts that were connected to his religion and his people.  Every time he goes to a lama or puts up prayer flags he mentions the particulars of what is happening and why it happens that particular way.  Sitting in a Buddhist/Sherpa ignorant armchair, I am really enjoying all this detail.  The purpose of this book seems more to inform than to simply recount climbing events.  He extends this informing to the climbing tools and areas of Everest.  I find this sometimes annoyingly slow, but that is because I am more knowledgeable in this area.  Krakauer mentions that he wrote "Into Thin Are" to expunge the events from his mind.  In a broad sense, "Touching My Father's Soul," is much less about what the book can do for the author, but what the book can do for the reader.  He wants you to follow his journey so that you can reap benefits from what he learned on the journey.


  1. I definitely agree with you that I think this book was more for the reader than for the author. I felt like the motivation for his journey was so important that the narrative was focused around making that clear, understood, and relatable for the reader. When he mentions his fear of only being a prop in the IMAX movie because of who his father was I sort of got the sense that he is very aware that, as a Sherpa, he is providing a unique perspective that is often ignored in these narratives. I think he did a really great job of writing the story in a way that connected the reader to what he was doing and why, which I felt like some of the other authors we have read took for granted or just lacked.

  2. In many ways it seems like Norgay has a lot of "life" figured out. He understands that connection is more powerful than anything that one person creates on their own. Because Norgay's drive to climb is centered around human connection, to his father, it would be absurd for him to write a book that does not deeply connect to its readers. The western writers that we have read don't seem to register this sentiment as deeply. Krakauer certainly holds defensiveness at the core of his book, and Herzog emphasizes his own importance.