- Survive!: My Fight for Life in the High Sierras © 2005
- Simon & Schuster
- 241 pages
Compelling and irritating are the two best words I can think of to describe Survive. Fortunately, compelling beat irritating and I finished the book. Let me explain.
Survive is DeLeo’s true story about surviving a plane crash followed by 12 weeks of travel in the High Sierras. DeLeo came close to death a number of nights as he fought hypothermia with sheer discipline. As you read his account, you can feel the breathtaking urgency of his situation. By the end of the book I both respected and admired DeLeo’s fighting spirit.
Now for irritating. At times this book is just downright condescending. He explains flight jargon and acronyms in a way that makes the reader feel foolish for not knowing the various trivia. I also can’t believe DeLeo was as logical and patient as the narrative suggests. I almost put the book away when I read for the third time how he religiously took inventory of his person and checked his rectum for blood.
In the end, I’m glad I read it. It’s a gripping—if slightly annoying—story of human gumption in the face of near-impossible odds.