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Download Last Breath: Cautionary Tales from the Limits of Human Endurance Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Last Breath: Cautionary Tales from the Limits of Human Endurance Audiobook, by Peter Stark
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (203 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Peter Stark Narrator: Peter Stark Publisher: Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: September 2001 ISBN:
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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. Download and start listening now!

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Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Cindy Raquepau | 1/26/2014

    " Stories of people who got lucky and some who did not. Extreme sport enthuiasts discusses their near death experiences, or the narrator speaks about the possible experiences of the dead. Technical medical knowledge written in layman's terms. Interesting for non-fiction enthuiasts of medical, sports and adventures to read, and will appeal to olders teens a adults "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lisa | 1/14/2014

    " This was a mixed bag. I expected it to be all non-fiction. Instead it was fictionalized stories of adventurers facing a life threatening event. Then it went through all the science related to what their body was experiencing. On one hand it was more interesting than I expected---on the other hand the fictionalized parts were not particularly well done. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Veronica | 1/5/2014

    " FASCINATING look at what the body goes through when pushed to the limits in various scenarios...however, I do not suggest reading how you die by hypothermia, avalanche, or heat stroke just before going to sleep. But for a "Death Fixated" chick like me, it was very informative & interesting! ;-) "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jake Kiesel | 12/25/2013

    " inspriration to get out and push the limits. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jessy | 12/17/2013

    " ma summer reading bk. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Valerie | 11/7/2013

    " This book is filled with fascinating details about drowning, being smothered in avalanches, hypothermia etc. Goes well with any Into the Wild type reading. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lauren Klemm | 10/2/2013

    " i couldn't stop "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Janet Shelton | 7/3/2013

    " This was a great follow up book to "Deep Survival". The story of those who don't survive and how they die from a scientific perspective... Drowning, falling, freezing, being stung by the deadly Australian Box Jelly Fish etc..these tales certainly make me more cautious about high adventure sports. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ninamarie | 3/14/2013

    " A little hard to read at times with such graphic descriptions. A nice combination of history, psychology and physiology. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Shane | 10/12/2012

    " Stark does a great job of showing what happens both physically and mentally to those at the extremes of human endurance. Very informative and thought-provoking. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kristy | 8/9/2012

    " The true physiology behind life threatening situations. A must for anyone who likes living on the adventurous edge. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Mark Terry | 6/27/2012

    " Enjoyable. A bit like Jon Krakauer meets a thousand ways to die. The physiology of the medical emergency was interesting, but I didn't take to the dramatic presentation. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Carrie Woodward | 6/11/2012

    " Sometimes intense. Fascinating. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mr. | 2/3/2012

    " Really fun and harrowing tails of human survival instinct "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Loren | 1/3/2012

    " Exciting and educational... "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Mark | 11/22/2010

    " Enjoyable. A bit like Jon Krakauer meets a thousand ways to die. The physiology of the medical emergency was interesting, but I didn't take to the dramatic presentation. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Valerie | 1/19/2009

    " This book is filled with fascinating details about drowning, being smothered in avalanches, hypothermia etc. Goes well with any Into the Wild type reading. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kristy | 8/26/2008

    " The true physiology behind life threatening situations. A must for anyone who likes living on the adventurous edge. "

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About the Author

Peter Stark is the author of The Last Empty Spaces, Last Breath, At the Mercy of the River, and the essay collection Driving to Greenland. He is the editor of the anthology Ring of Ice. A correspondent for Outside, he has written for Smithsonian and the New Yorker, among other publications, and has been nominated for a National Magazine Award. He lives in Montana.