To the Last Breath: A Memoir of Going to Extremes (2020)

To the Last Breath: A Memoir of Going to Extremes Francis Slakey To the Last Breath A Memoir of Going to Extremes A journey to the most extreme points on Earth and deep inside the human spirit Before Georgetown physics professor Francis Slakey decided to climb the highest mountain on every continent and surf ever
  • Title: To the Last Breath: A Memoir of Going to Extremes
  • Author: Francis Slakey
  • ISBN: 9781439198957
  • Page: 157
  • Format: Hardcover
To the Last Breath: A Memoir of Going to Extremes Francis Slakey A journey to the most extreme points on Earth and deep inside the human spirit.Before Georgetown physics professor Francis Slakey decided to climb the highest mountain on every continent and surf every ocean, he had shut himself off from other people His lectures were mechanical his relationships were little than ways to fill the evenings But as his journey veeredA journey to the most extreme points on Earth and deep inside the human spirit.Before Georgetown physics professor Francis Slakey decided to climb the highest mountain on every continent and surf every ocean, he had shut himself off from other people His lectures were mechanical his relationships were little than ways to fill the evenings But as his journey veered dangerously off course, everything about him began to change The scientist in Slakey explores the history of Robert Falcon Scott s doomed Antarctica expedition, the technology of climbing, and the geophysics of waves But it is the challenges he endures and the people he encounters a Lama who gives him a mysterious amulet, a life or death choice atop Everest, an ambush at gunpoint in Indonesia, a head on collision in the high desert that culminate in a moving lesson about what it means to be human.A gripping adventure of the body and mind, To the Last Breath depicts the quest that leads Slakey around the globe, almost takes his life, challenges his fiercely held beliefs, and opens his heart.
To the Last Breath: A Memoir of Going to Extremes Francis Slakey

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One thought on “To the Last Breath: A Memoir of Going to Extremes

  1. Diane

    I was so disappointed in this book First, Slakey seems like a jackass It s been a long time since I have had a writer irritate me as much as this guy did His story is essentially the tale of a sociopath who finally grew up when he turned 40 and learned to be nice to others.Second, there was some bait and switch marketing going on This book was promoted as a mountain climbing memoir He Scales High Peaks On Every Continent but Slakey constantly skimped on the actual climbing stories He opened with [...]

  2. Der-shing

    I would have enjoyed this memoir a lot if 1 it had been filed under the biography section in our library, and not the adventure climbing section 2 had it been focused on Slakey s legitimately impressive global feats, and 3 if it wasn t written in the tone of a teenager s livejournal I felt like I was reading an insincere high school student s college admittance essay, trying to convince me that they are unique than their neighbor because they have overcome a personal struggle I am not saying [...]

  3. Melissa

    Perhaps miscast as mountain woe Oddly enough, since the cover is a guy climbing a mountain, I thought it would be about climbing mountains At some point, although he s stood on the summit of the highest mountain in Africa, South America, Europe, Asia, Antarctica, and North America, I had to think pretty hard about when all this happened Not in this book, I guess I read a few pages about him being on Everest, and then several about him sitting in his tent in Antarctica The moral is, don t come he [...]

  4. La Petite Américaine

    Update Once again, I m left astounded by reviewers The shitty books get rave reviews and the outstanding ones get bad reviews because this book wasn t what I expected Normally I don t give a damn if someone doesn t like a good book, but come on You re pissed off that a book with Everest on the cover turned out to be a memoir and not a mountain climbing guide You ve got to be kidding me Ugh, go read Fifty Shades of Grey or something This book was absolutely wonderful Not only was it un put downab [...]

  5. Matthew

    I read an advanced copy of To the Last Breath This is not my style of book whatsoever I rarely read non fiction, what little non fiction I do read is never memoir, and I tend to find adventure tales, not to mention personal transformation tales, a little boring but I read it in two sittings, and have not stopped raving about it since I loved it This is a really spectacular book, and I think a lot of people are going to get a lot out of it The book jacket will do a better job of explaining the st [...]

  6. Trisha

    I was a little disappointed by this memoir According to its description, it is an exciting journey of a man who challenges himself to climb the highest mountains and surf in every ocean, experiencing the extremes of nature and the dangers of civil unrest in dangerous locations Rock on In actuality, it was chapter after chapter of him rambling on about being detached, unsympathetic, closed off, self isolating, etc just goes on and on There is very little about the actual mountain climbing and sur [...]

  7. Sherri Huntley

    A truely engaging story of climbing and surfing every continent in the world The stories from those adventures are attention grabbing and the story of personal growth in the process is sweet as well Franci Slakey methodicaly move through his planning of the adventures he is going to attemp and ends up being sucessful Along the way he learns a lot about opening up to life and to others and ends up testifying before congress in order to help find justice for victims of a violent attack that he jus [...]

  8. Laurel

    I was disappointed in this memoir I thought it would contain much description of Slakey s climbing and surfing adventures Rather, Slakey patted himself on the back too many times as he described the process he went through around self actualization going from a non emotional cad to a altruistic patron of nature and the helpless hopeless He seemed a bit too proud of his accomplishments His story was not memorable or moving.

  9. Derrek Robert

    To the Last Breath was my second book that I have acquired through giveaways on and so far I have come to believe that the books I have won are trying to find me I have rarely read non fiction books, and the ones that I have read did not interest me at all But this book ironically has come to reopen my view on the genre It was able to completely captivate my attention whenever I opened it up The hook was in that I was able to connect to his story Usually I perceive anything I read and the author [...]

  10. Eleanor

    Last weekend, when the author of this book, a Georgetown science professor was in San Francisco speaking to a group of Georgetown alums, he asked us to consider the limit of risk we were willing to accept Despite having read Jon Krakauer s Into Thin Air twice and having watched all the Everest documentaries that are available to be streamed on Netflix, I have no trouble identifying climbing Everest as a risk I would be unwilling to take on Not so for Professor Slakey, who describes in this book [...]

  11. Selket Nicole

    this book is not what i expected at alli expected it to be about the author climbing the tallest peak on every continent and surfing in every ocean, since that s what it claims to be about it s not and if that s what you re looking for, this book is probably not for you it describes climbing everest and mentions, with very little detail, a couple other climbs in antartica, notably it notes at various points how many of the oceans he s surfed in, but doesn t detail a single surfing experience ins [...]

  12. C.L. Stambush

    I loved the opening but then stopped reading about 20 pages into it The story took a turn toward the mundane I suppose the author was tying events from his childhood into the story so readers would understand what drove him to climb all those mountains The scene that caused me to quit had to do with him being a rather ridiculous child While in HS he injured his hand and decided to use the injury as an excuse to not attend school or do his work When he returned to school completely unprepared for [...]

  13. Mila

    I listened to this on audio read by the author in one sitting and was fairly disappointed I didn t turn it off it was worth finishing at least but I balked at his character, style, and facts There were some glaring errors, such as the fact that there are no Redwoods in Yosemite there are Giant Sequoias And what ended up really getting to me was the stylistic choices The book was awkward, an artificial page turner by cutting off stories partway through and inserting a long, tangential, fact fille [...]

  14. Katie

    I was prepared for this book because the reviews kept saying how egomaniacal and self obsessed this guy was And it s true although he sort of came off as pathetic to me , but because I was prepared that didn t bother me as much I just wanted to vicariously live through someone doing all this extreme climbing from within the comfort of my living room without having to lift a finger, and the book was somewhat good in that regard However, he strayed WAY off in a few points onto excessively long ta [...]

  15. Kelly

    I won this book through the First Reads program on I thought it would be about mountain climbing and surfing It is sort of Slakey does accomplish his goals It is of a lengthy examination of the author s change of heart toward the rest of humanity I found the book difficult to put down, even as I was annoyed by Slakey s know it all tone Over the course of the 12 years he took to climb the highest peak on each continent and surf each ocean, he supposedly went from a cold, heartless person who was [...]

  16. Julie

    Interesting memoir about how the author s quest to climb the highest peak on each continent and surf each ocean transformed his life in unexpected ways The author of this memoir begins as a very self contained, isolated, selfish person But just as I was starting to wonder whether I would really keep reading the author finally starts to connect with the people around him, consider the fact that there are things in the world science may not be able to explain, and grow as a human being While the n [...]

  17. Alexandra Alosh

    Privileged, self absorbed white man roams the world indulging in some the world s most expensive pastimes Epiphany Returns to campus to exhort his disciples to do good works Still has to let us know in his Epilogue that he listens to cool music while working on his rock hard abs Writing wasn t half bad, saved it from a single star rating.Update 3 years later If you get to the end of your life and you have regrets that you could have done better, then you blew it Either that, or you are perfect, [...]

  18. Elly Sands

    I really enjoyed this book I liked the author s concise and honest style of writing Although the mountain climbing and surfing aspect of his life led him to various places around the world it still seemed he was on a direct straightforward path A path leading him away from his self centered lifestyle into one that serves people and the planet It was interesting to watch his transformation unfold My only complaint would be that the book seemed too short Perhaps he thought a longer version with d [...]

  19. Sharon Mcalister

    This book is about a very well educated man who decides to climb the highest mountain on every continent and surf every ocean He is totally goaloriented He vows never to marry, have children , own property or to let anyone or anything interfere with his goal It is difficult to care about thisman because he seems to be such a jerk Most of the descriptions of his mountain climbing are limited More details would have made this a betterbook In the end, he is somewhat transformed, but not enough.

  20. Jodi

    After reading other peop e s reviews I will say this is a time to rely on the old cliche don t judge a book by it s cover The story details the author s climbs and his pursuits in acheiving it to the highest points on every continent and the discoveries and life changing events that he endured in the process I like the details of the different villages and cultures that he stumpbled upon much different then our own I thought his writing was fluid, and it captured my attention was a blend of Into [...]

  21. David V.

    Received this book as an ARC from the publisher A self absorbed physics prof decides to climb the highest peaks on each continent and surf in every ocean, so for 12 years he attempts to accomplish this record Along the way he becomes concerned about others than himself, and even learns to share his life I suspect that his habilitation still has to go, but his stories of his adventures were enlightening.

  22. Val Wilkerson

    True story of Francis Slakey s travels as he aims to climb the highest mountainsand surf a wave in every ocean He is a science teacher so he has the time to makethese journeys, which I believe took 12 years to complete He encounters some amazingpeople along the way and shares his travel stories with his readers At the end of hisjourney he is a different person and a much better teacher to his students A veryentertaining read.

  23. Dayna

    Jon Krakauer is one of my favorite non fiction writers Slakey is certainly no Krakauer I understand his need to memorialize his journey to becoming a better person but his arrogance and narcissism got in the way of me taking him seriously This book should be left on the shelf.

  24. Noah

    The content of this book is pretty riveting, but I found Slakey s overwrought writing insufferable He recycles the same rhetorical devices and faux cliffhangers over and over again and sets a maudlin tone that made it hard for me to care about anything that was happening.

  25. Michael

    I m glad I read this book The author takes us on his journeys up Everest, to a beach in Sri Lanka, in a fearful mine in Indonesia and many other places Along the way he meets his wife, gets married, almost gets killed and has lots of adventures both at home and away The book gave me a look at someone s life that I wouldn t have even considered or thought about if I hadn t read it The book was useful to me in looking at the world with eyes wide open I found the author s writing pretty egocentric [...]

  26. Justin

    jerseyguyscanreadIn all honesty, I m surprised at how much I enjoyed reading this memoir Not because I had heard bad things, or anything like that I just wasn t expecting to really get as into the story as I did Slakey does a fantastic job sucking the reader in, and making what could have been a technical and boring story quite the page turner, earning itself 4 out of 5 stars from me.I started reading this book because mountain climbing and surfing had always appealed to me, and thought this bo [...]

  27. Tania

    One man s journey to conquer the physical becomes his emotional deliverance Francis Slakey begins his quest with a goal in mind set a record, to be the first man to climb the highest mountain on every continent and to surf every ocean The challenge he sets out in front of him seems simple at the time 8 peaks, 4 shorelines, 12 experiences to check off his To Do List He is driven by his indifference to the world to shrug it off in this independent series of adventures The world, as it turns out, w [...]

  28. Attica Musings

    I was drawn to put this book on my to read list due to its listing on Good Reads The write up for it was interesting that I signed up for the give away I won it It came in the mail during a very busy time I picked it up and thought, well, I need to read this It would have been easy to put down if it hadn t been good It was good The writer is local for me, but I may never run into him IF he does a signing, I think I might attend He has a story to tell and he told it well As a global nomad of sort [...]

  29. Carol

    Francis Slakey has agreed with descriptions of himself as self absorbed, insensitive, disconnected From his point of view, these traits presented certain advantages to help him accomplish his goal s to climb the highest mountain on every continent and surf every ocean While he had climbing partners, he was removed from them to the point he offered little help when one partner lost his boots, forcing him to climb down a mountain with little to no foot protection.A physics professor at Georgetown, [...]

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