Dead Mountain by Donnie Eichar is the August Athletic Bookworms Pick
…Get ready for some beach reading, because this month, Dead Mountain by Donnie Eichar is the August Athletic Bookworms Pick. I’m only kind of kidding about the beach reading. That’s why I bought it, the story intrigued me (as someone who once thought she’d minor in Russian lit before taking several semesters of Russian and sucking at it but who still loves Russian literature and who’s great-grandparents immigrated in the 1930s from there). ANYWAY. This book popped up as I was wandering through Amazon looking for a read that would be athletic but would be a change of pace for this month. I wanted something Chris McDougall-y, without being another running memoir. Nothing against running memoirs, just was feeling the urge for something different. Enter Dead Mountain, which is basically an unsolved case of how nine hikers passed away on a trip in the Ural Mountain range, and their cause of death is still technically unsolved. Aliens even came up as a conspiracy theory. It’s in Russia in 1959, so nuclear testing came up as well. It reads like an X-Files episode, but it’s terrifyingly real.
Spoiler: I got the book 2 days ago, and finished it before I could even do this post. I am SO EXCITED to talk about it more at the end of the month. It’s a really compelling read, so if you’re looking for something a little different, check it out. (I don’t 100% agree with how the author elected to narrate the book or his conclusions, but I’ll dig into that at the end of the month. It doesn’t take away from the book being well worth reading through!)
The mystery of Dead Mountain: In February 1959, a group of nine experienced hikers in the Russian Ural Mountains died mysteriously on an elevation known as Dead Mountain. Eerie aspects of the incident—unexplained violent injuries, signs that they cut open and fled the tent without proper clothing or shoes, a strange final photograph taken by one of the hikers, and elevated levels of radiation found on some of their clothes—have led to decades of speculation over what really happened.
As gripping and bizarre as Hunt for the Skin Walker: This New York Times bestseller, Dead Mountain: The Untold True Story of the Dyatlov Pass Incident, is a gripping work of literary nonfiction that delves into the mystery of Dead Mountain through unprecedented access to the hikers’ own journals and photographs, rarely seen government records, dozens of interviews, and the author’s retracing of the hikers’ fateful journey in the Russian winter.
You’ll love this real-life tale: Dead Mountain is a fascinating portrait of young adventurers in the Soviet era, and a skillful interweaving of the hikers’ narrative, the investigators’ efforts, and the author’s investigations. Here for the first time is the real story of what happened that night on Dead Mountain.