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Alone on the Wall

Narrated by: Andrew Eiden, Will Damron
Length: 7 hrs and 13 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (29 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Only a few years ago, Alex Honnold was little known beyond a small circle of hardcore climbers. Today, at the age of 30, he is probably the most famous adventure athlete in the world. In that short time, he has proven his expertise in many styles of climbing and has shattered speed records, pioneered routes, and won awards within each discipline. More spectacularly still, he has pushed the most extreme and dangerous form of climbing far beyond the limits of what anyone thought was possible.

Free soloing, Honnold's specialty, is a type of climbing performed without a rope, a partner, or hardware - such as pitons, nuts, or cams - for aid or protection. The results of climbing this way are breathtaking, but the stakes are ultimate: If you fall, you die.

In Alone on the Wall, Honnold recounts the seven most astonishing climbing achievements so far in his still-evolving career. He narrates the drama of each climb along with reflective passages that illuminate the inner workings of his highly perceptive and discerning mind. We share in the jitters and excitements he feels waking in his van (where he lives full time) before a climb; we see him self-criticize in his climbing journal (a veritable Bible for students of the sport); and we learn his secrets to managing fear. Veteran climber and award-winning author David Roberts writes part of each chapter in his own voice, and he calls on other climbers and the sport's storied past to put Alex's tremendous accomplishments in perspective.

Whenever Honnold speaks in public, he is asked the same two questions: "Aren't you afraid you're going to die?" and "why do you do this?" Alone on the Wall takes us around the world and through the highs and lows in the life of a climbing superstar to answer those fascinating questions.

©2016 Alex Honnold and David Roberts (P)2015 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • ian
  • 2019-04-12

maybe do some research

the story itself is great, the book is well put together. the narrator clearly doesn't know anything about climbing at all. the constant mispronunciations of gear, routes, and names is distracting and frustrating. the failure to grasp Honnold's signature deadpan sarcasm makes him come off as a total dick at times.

great book, would have been a lot better to have Honnold narrate it.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Jennifer
  • 2015-12-04

love climbing and Alex honnold, dislike this book

narrator makes this book very hard to listen to, he comes across as very arrogant and he mispronounces many climbing words. The book reads like a tick list, I did this then this. I was hoping for more insight into the thoughts fears and desires behind honnold's climbing career, or at least an interesting read like steph davis' books. Hope his next book is more thoughtfully laid out as he is an amazing person with an amazing story to tell.

17 of 18 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Marc VanDyken
  • 2018-03-19

Poor performance

The reader obviously doesn’t know climbing and didn’t do his homework. He makes Alex sound like a surfer from California and pronounced so many names of people and climbing routes wrong. It’s the Dawn Wall, not the Down Wall! I was annoyed at the reading the whole time. Alex’s book is very good however. The reading just distracts from that.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • hunter
  • 2016-02-02

Mispronunciation buzz kill

It's too bad Tuolumne and Tallac's pronunciation was not made a priority.

Otherwise mostly enjoyable

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • J. Baer
  • 2019-03-29

Great story, incredible person, questionable performance.

Book is phenomenal, really gives some insight into what makes this incredible climber tick. Would highly recommend this book, however the reader absolutely butchers the pronunciation of names and climbing terminology throughout.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
  • L. Miller
  • 2018-01-06

many pronuciation errors!

way too many errors for an audiobook. wasn't it checked by someone who knows climbing?

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Steven
  • 2016-06-08

Interesting book, gripping look at Honnold

Get ready to grit your teeth as the narrator mispronounces climbing term after climbing term. Move past that and it's a fun listen.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • W
  • 2016-01-16

The Emphaaasys is on the wrong sylaaable.

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes, it's all about Honnold, which is an interesting subject. An interesting slice of the climbing pie.

What other book might you compare Alone on the Wall to and why?

I am not sure. Maybe Kiss or Kill. Or that book about Lance Armstrong. If you like climbing books and can handle some serious mispronounciation, then this book is for you

Would you be willing to try another one of Andrew Eiden and Will Damron ’s performances?

I am not an orthoepist, but some names of places and important people are mispronounced and it hurts my ears. I can understandthat some of it's just wacky climber lingo, but it's almost like he is mispronouncing the words on purpose. Why would someone do that?

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I really enjoyed it. I didn't laugh or cry, but I liked it.

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • David
  • 2016-02-08

Great story, narrated by non-climber

This is a great book. Whether you are a climber or not, there is a story to enjoy for everyone. As a climber, I would have enjoyed it more if the narrator had some climbing knowledge. Listening to him mispronounce Chris Sharma's name and not understanding what 5.11 referred to was a bit peeving.

12 of 14 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • B. Smith
  • 2017-06-07

inspired and inspiring

Few if any will actually known what his life acomplishments mean. In a way that could be said for many people, but this book brings Alex Honnold to an accessible front. take what you will from it, for me it's a good listen. At times both hand wringing and inspiring, his simple drive to excell, joy in the process and honest reflection kept me listening.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Sam Cramer
  • 2017-03-29

good story, but performance is lacking

The voice actor playing Alex Honnold does a poor job capturing the climber's voice. The whole book, he maintains a, what seems to be, forced climber bro type energy in his manner of speech. Of course Honnold has a very relaxed style of speech, but he still comes across as smart and modest when speaking, whereas the performer makes him sound almost douchey and shallow.

I recommmend this book for fans of climbing that want to know more of Honnold's life, but be prepared for a somewhat cringey performance by the actor voicing the free soloist's thoughts

2 of 2 people found this review helpful