Touching the Void, Paperback Book
4.5 out of 5 (4 ratings)


The book behind the BAFTA award-winning film. Winner of the NCR Award for non-fiction and the Boardman Tasker award.

Touching the Void is the heart-stopping account of Joe Simpson's terrifying adventure in the Peruvian Andes.

He and his climbing partner, Simon, reached the the summit of the remote Siula Grande in June 1995.

A few days later, Simon staggered into Base Camp, exhausted and frost-bitten, with news that that Joe was dead.

What happened to Joe, and how the pair dealt with the psychological traumas that resulted when Simon was forced into the appalling decision to cut the rope, makes not only an epic of survival but a compelling testament of friendship.


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Showing 1 - 4 of 4 reviews.

Review by

A truly wonderful read. It’s one of those books that you try to force on your friends, hence several copies have entered and left my shelves over the years.Joe Simpson tells of the harrowing events experienced by himself and climbing companion Simon Yates in the Peruvian Andes. It’s a tale of survival and the strength of the human spirit. He shares his story with wit and honesty resulting in a book that appeals to a wide variety of readers.I took from this book the knowledge that accidents do happen, people have to make impossible decisions and to be cautious about judgements reached from the comfort of my armchair.

Review by

One of the most touching, apparently truthful and immediate books I have read for a long time, one that left me torn between alarm at the young Simpson's foolishness and respect for his tenacity. A great insight into that mysterious force that drives mountaineers back to the mountain again and again to face physical danger and misery beyond imagination. An excellent addition to a favourite genre of mine.

Review by

We all have bad days. But if you read TOUCHING THE VOID by Joe Simpson not "only" will you have experienced a jaw-droppingly thrilling true story of grit and survival, you'll also – no matter how bad things ever get for you – be able to say to yourself: 'Well, at least I'm not desperately trying to make my way down one of the world's most dangerous mountains alone, with a broken leg, without food or water or shelter, with no hope of rescue because all my friends think I'm dead.' It's not a book for fans of Boney M, I guess. For everyone else I'd say it's essential.

Review by

Excellent story of an unbelievable true story of survival. Two young men successfully climb Siula Grande in the Peruvian Andes, on the descent things go horribly wrong. If you've seen the documentary this is the book it's based on.

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