Thin Air

  • by Michelle Paver
  • Narrated by Daniel Weyman
  • 6 hrs and 1 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Chosen for Simon Mayo's Radio 2 Book Club, this is the chilling new ghost story from the best-selling author of Dark Matter.
The Himalayas, 1935.
Kangchenjunga. Third-highest peak on earth. Greatest killer of them all.
Five Englishmen set off from Darjeeling, determined to conquer the sacred summit. But courage can only take them so far - and the mountain is not their only foe.
As the wind dies, the dread grows. Mountain sickness. The horrors of extreme altitude. A past that will not stay buried.
And sometimes, the truth does not set you free.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

A tragedy that can never be righted

This is the story of two brothers who are taking part in an expedition to climb one of the lesser known Himalayan Mountains and following in the footsteps of an ill-fated expedition that took place twenty years earlier. The main protagonist is Stephen, an embittered man who has recently broken off his engagement because he felt he was becoming too much like his brother Kits. Whereas Stephen is intelligent and introspective, Kits is a natural and popular leader who nonetheless has the flaw of being snobbish and dismissing anybody who does not fit in with his class and his view about how things should be done. From the outset the Stephen is blighted with a sense of foreboding after meeting one of the survivors of the earlier expedition but intends to push on regardless in order to satisfy his sense of rivalry with his brother.
Michelle Paver takes us back to a time when men had been brutalised by the First World War and an imperialist world, but had learnt none of the lessons, instead desperately clinging onto the old order. Their casual racism and cruelty is shocking but even the privileged are trapped in a system of inheritance that only favours one beneficiary and destroys any possiblity of sibling love. The description of the journey through the jungle and finally the mountain is beautiful but also filled with an oppressive sense of discomfort at the alien environment encountered by the men. As the men ascend the mountain they become affected by the altitude and mountain sickness and it is here that Stephen gets the sense there is another presence accompanying them.
The slow reveal of what really happened during the previously expedition is perfectly timed and the poignancy of the tragedy is a visceral blow to the senses. This may be a ghost story but it also goes further by showing us that the we can all be tainted by the knowledge of evil even when we are not the direct protagonist.
The narration by Daniel Weyman is brilliant – a true master of his craft. The book is every bit as good as Dark Matter and I will be recommending this heartily to family and friends.

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- Kaggy

Subtle and chilling

Where does Thin Air rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?


What other book might you compare Thin Air to, and why?

Dark Matter by the same author. I don't mind when a subject I enjoy is revisited by someone who knows how to write it well. It shares many of the same flavours of Dark Matter, including being British to a fault, and I loved every word of it.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes, definitely.

Any additional comments?

Subtle, chilling horror written by an author who has a brilliant voice for it. I recommend this and Dark Matter, by the same author, for those who love a good British ghost story.

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- Kim

Book Details

  • Release Date: 06-10-2016
  • Publisher: Orion Publishing Group Limited