"Suddenly I remembered something. I had a penknife in the top of my rucksack. If I could get it out, I could cut the rope."
With these words from Joe Simpson, the terrible climbing journey of mountaineer Joe Simpson had started.
Touching the Void is simply an autobiographical story, which the author, Joe Simpson, writes about his extraordinary experience when he had a terrible accident on a mountain and fought hard to survive.
The story took place on Siula Grande, a mountain in the Peruvian Andes, in the year 2004, where Joe Simpson and his climbing mate Simon Yates had a challenge to climb the Siula Grande Mountain, which is one of the most difficult mountains in the world to climb.
In the beginning everything went as planned until they reached the summit of the mountain, and after feeling elated for doing that, and while they were descending, Joe had and accident and bkoke his leg. In this situation we can imagine how it's impossible for a man to get down the mountain from the height of more that 5000 feet with a broken leg. But with the help of his friend Simon, they planned to tie themselves together with one rope and slowly move down. What happened next is the worst scenario which they never dreamt about. Somehow Joe had fallen in a deep space and Simon found himself in a situation to decide between dying on the icy mountain or cutting the rope, letting Joe fall down to his death. It was a very difficult decision, but he decided. Did he really cut the rope? If so, what happened to Joe? Did they survive? All these you'll know when you read this story.
The story overall is good and well written, even if it was a bit boring in the first four chapters. I spent a lot of time reading the first four chapters but I only spent half that time reading the rest of the book.
This story is not just about a man who was trying to climb a difficult mountain and had a horrible accident, but it also gives such a wonderful lesson in life about how to fight and struggle to survive in a terrible environment.
I recommend everyone to read this book, just to know how much we are able to do things that we thought at first were impossible. I also advise reading from chapter five if they aren't interested in the story from the first chapters. It's wonderful at the end, just don't leave the book - complete it.
Ehab Salem Loukae
Upper Intermediate A