In this enthralling blend of adventure and science, veteran travel and outdoor sports writer Peter Stark (Outdoor
magazine) reenacts the drama of what happens inside our bodies, our minds, and our souls in the precarious last moments of life when we push ourselves to the absolute limits of human endurance.
Combining the adrenaline high of extreme sports with the startling facts of physiological reality, Stark narrates a series of outdoor adventure stories in which thrill can cross the line into mortal peril. Each death or brush with death is at once a suspense story, a cautionary tale, and a medical thriller. Will they survive, or will they succumb? Stark describes in unforgettable detail exactly what goes through the mind of a cross-country skier as his body temperature plummets - apathy at 91 degrees, stupor at 90. He puts us inside the body of a doomed kayaker tumbling helplessly underwater for two minutes, five minutes, 10 minutes. He conjures up the physiology of a snowboarder frantically trying not to panic as he consumes the tiny pocket of air trapped around his face under thousands of pounds of snow.
These are among the dire situations that Stark transforms into harrowing accounts of how our bodies react to trauma, how reflexes and instinct compel us to fight back, and how, why, and when we let go of our will to live.
In an increasingly tamed and homogenized world, risk is not only a means of escape but a path to spirituality. In this fascinating, informative audio, Stark reveals exactly what we're getting ourselves into when we choose to live - and die - at the extremes of endurance.
©2001 Peter Stark; (P)2001 Random House, Inc., Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing, a Division of Random House, Inc.