"Last Breath" - Book on Outdoor Accidents

"Last Breath" - Book on Outdoor Accidents

roger
roger

October 21st, 2001, 6:16 am #1

Last Breath: Cautionary Tales from the Limits of Human Endurance
by Peter Stark
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/ ... asroofoutf/

The Bellingham Herald has a blurb on the above book
http://news.bellinghamherald.com/storie ... 2262.shtml

Here's some excerpts:
Bike too hard in the heat and your body cooks. Muscles shrivel like a muffin in a microwave. Without shade, water or reprieve, your heart breaks -- literally.
Yes, bad things happen in the great outdoors.
With "Last Breath," the Outside magazine contributor examines 11 tales of outdoor disasters with X-ray vision. As a box jellyfish stings a swimmer in northern Australia, Stark traces the venom's path, pausing briefly to explain the power of C. fleckeri cardiotoxins. He follows a climber tumbling 50 feet, as well as the aftermath, with the climber's consciousness waning as his innards bleed.
Using facts culled from physicians, outdoor specialists and calamity survivors, Stark weaves a physiological play-by-play through fictional worst-case scenarios. So, yeah, the venture-capitalist boater's scurvy worries and the rock climber's macho arrogance are all made up. But not entirely, says the author, himself a kayaker, desert explorer, former ski racer and 47-year-old father of two.



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Be prepared for some surprises on Amazon if you go there. Here's some other books they recommend:

The Definitive Guide to Underground Humor : Quaint Quotes About Death, Funny Funeral Home Stories and Hilarious Headstone Epitaphs
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/ ... asroofoutf/


Profits of Death : An Insider Exposes the Death Care Industries
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/ ... asroofoutf/
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Lynn Arave
Lynn Arave

October 22nd, 2001, 1:11 pm #2

I read "Last Breath" last week and thought it was indeed a good "caution" for all those who participate in outdoor activities.
The book did get a little gruelling in the last few chapters because by then I'd had enough descriptions of bodily injury.
Still, not all the fictional characters die and the book was great at illustrating how you shouldn't hike/climb alone or rely only on a cell phone for a rescue.
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roger
roger

November 5th, 2001, 6:23 pm #3

Several pages are excerpted online -- including sections on falling and heatstroke as well as sections on stings from the Assassin and drowning. This guy can sure put words together.

The main page:
http://outside.away.com/outside/environ ... ssin_1.adp

The page on falling
Here's one sentence:
Gravity accelerates your body. You plummet 30 feet—the equivalent of a three-story building—in 1.4 seconds, the time it takes to say, "How are you this morning?"

http://outside.away.com/outside/environ ... ssin_8.adp



Here's the heatstroke:
http://outside.away.com/outside/environ ... ssin_9.adp
106 DEGREES. Lying unconscious, you suffer a heatstroke. Your cellular metabolic rate—how fast your cells turn fuels into energy—accelerates. Metabolism is now occurring more than 50 percent faster than at normal temperatures. Your body is literally cooking itself from within.

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