I love stories that take place in the harsh setting of mountains. And Michelle Paver´s Thin Air combines this setting with a compelling ghost story, which makes this a truly great and enjoyable read.
I really appreciated the slow build up of this novel and the almost gothic feel to it. We follow the main character, Stephen, on his slow ascend of the mountain and get to experience the sheer force of the mountain, the superstitions of the sherpas and the effects of altitude sickness through his eyes. And since he is a doctor, we get a few medical facts about altitude sickness as well, which I personally appreciated very much.
And since hallucinations are a symptom of altitude sickness, I was never sure if he actually saw things in reality or if he was hallucinating:
But even if I´m widly mistaken about everything, about what I saw on the Crag and now here at the crevasse - even if it´s all simply the result of oxygen deficiency - how does that help? The idea that altitude is giving me waking nightmares, that thin air is altering my very perceptions and deceiving my own mind into betraying me ... I find that horryfying.
It´s a kind of possession.
A highly recommended, dark and subtly disturbing read.