A celebrated mountaineer and author searches for meaning in great adventures and explorations, past and present. David Roberts, "veteran mountain climber and chronicler of adventures" (Washington Post), has spent his career documenting voyages to the most extreme landscapes on earth. In Limits of the Known, he reflects on humanity's-and his own-relationship to extreme risk. Part memoir and part history, this book tries to make sense of why so many have committed their lives to the desperate pursuit of adventure. In the wake of his diagnosis with throat cancer, Roberts seeks answers with sharp new urgency. He explores his own lifelong commitment to adventuring, as well as the cultural contributions of explorers throughout history: What specific forms of courage and commitment did it take for Fridtjof Nansen to survive an eighteen-month journey from a record "farthest north" with no supplies and a single rifle during his polar expedition of 1893-96? What compelled Eric Shipton to return, five times, to the ridges of Mt. Everest, plotting the mountain's most treacherous territory years before Hillary and Tenzing's famous ascent? What drove Bill Stone to dive 3,000 feet underground into North America's deepest cave? What motivates the explorers we most admire, who are willing to embark on perilous journeys and push the limits of the human body? And what is the future of adventure in a world we have mapped and trodden from end to end?
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"David Chandler gives this inspiring story a nuanced performance. The autobiographical narrative weaves from author/explorer Roberts's lifelong exploits in nature--scaling peaks, running rivers, backpacking into remote places--to his current challenge fighting a virulent cancer. The history of mountain climbers and their trailblazing is lovingly detailed. A famed climber, Roberts helped name a mountain range, and the Alaskan ranges are almost a character in this audiobook. In his well-crafted reading, Chandler wisely avoids too much intensity while re-creating Roberts's daring adventures. His delivery seems particularly suited to memoir. The author has lived, explored, and tested himself against some of the planet's most challenging places. Yet in the end, the adventurer dwells neither on his infirmities nor his achievements. Instead, he movingly celebrates his five-decade-long marriage. A.D.M. © AudioFile 2018, Portland, Maine"
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