Published: Published October 22nd 2013 by Chronicle Books
Language read: English
Genre: Nonfiction, History, Mystery, Russia
Rating: 4 stars
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. This gripping work of literary nonfiction delves into the mystery 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. A fascinating portrait of the young hikers 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 –Goodreads
I heard about this book when I was listening to a random podcast a while ago, where they talked about the Dyatlov Pass incident and this book. I found it very interesting and I wanted to read this book myself.
I’ll start by saying that I liked this book. It was very interesting and exciting to read. I’m not used to read true mystery stories, so this was very different and new for me. Now I want to read more nonfiction mysteries.
This book is written in 3 different timelines.
1 The author’s journey to write the book, and find out what happened to the students and his trips to Russia.
2 The student’s diary and log of their trip and the days before the incident.
3 The rescue team and the investigation.
My favorite parts was to hear about the investigation and how it was done in 1959. I liked the part where the rescue team was searching for the dead students in deep snow in the rural mountains. How they found the bodies and the different evidences scattered around. I also found it very interesting to hear about the different theories about what had happened that deadly night. Why the students fled the tent and their cause of death.
I must say there was some parts about the book I found a bit boring. Especially the students timeline. It had some unnecessary details and descriptions that I did not care much about. I skimmed through a lot of it, but I think other people might find it more entertaining than me.
This book was not just a fun read, but it was also educational. The book mentions the Russian indigenous people Mansi, which i didn’t know about prior to reading this book. It also mentions the Russian way of living and other things about Russia that I didn’t know.
Without spoiling the ending I want to say it was not expected at all and I definitely learned something new. The author’s theory is very interesting and I found it to be plausible and convincing, but what do I know haha. I liked that he contacted professionals to back up his theory and not just concluded without any experts opinions.
Buying the physical copy might be better than to buy the e-version, because the pictures in the book were very small. Perhaps they are better and bigger in the physical copy.