Sunday, March 2, 2014
The style of writing and the purpose of Touching the Void was in stark contrast with Touching my Father's Soul and Into Thin Air. Simpson's book read like an action movie: lots of exciting events with a minimal amount of relationship/leadership discussion and "lessons." In the postscript he mentions that he, "wrote this book in the hope that, by telling the story 'straight,' it might nip in the bud any harsh or unfair criticism of Simon." This is similar to Krakauer attempting to inform the public about the '96 disaster, yet Simpson does not seem to write for himself, rather to show his support of Simon's actions. It wasn't to log in history a first or discuss why people climb mountains. The purpose is to present the facts and show that, "we knew exactly what had happened between us and were quite happy with it." It makes me think of someone recounting a story while hanging out at a climbing bar. The fact that he focused on events rather than the discussion of the events made it more enjoyable for me. I am still struggling with why I enjoyed his writing so much in comparison with Krakauer's ("a writer") and Herzog's ("a climber"). Maybe it's more that I respected Simpson more than Krakauer and Herzog rather than their actual writing.