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This is an intense book. VERY INTENSE. In his forward, Twight challenges the reader
directly when he says that he wants to make them think, think really HARD, about what he's writing.
Twight expects the reader to put the book down periodically to think. He
succeeds. This book is an intensely personal perspective on climbing, the
ethos of climbing, and the friendships of climbing. The stories are,
sometimes, not easy to read -- I sometimes found myself re-reading parts of
them just to make sure that I didn't miss anything. Later in the book, Twight
indicates that the "Dr. Doom" persona that he put on was a bit (maybe)
overdone for the articles he wrote. Nonetheless, the feelings of anger and
rage coupled with the feeling that he just wants to climb his own way and to his own standards, without
interference, appear completely genuine starting from quotes from
his favorite punk rock songs. Adding to the level of interest are Twight's
comments after every article where, with maybe some mellowing over time, he adds some additional reflections on what the story meant to him
then and now.
This book won the
2001 Banff Mountain Book Award for Mountain Literature.
Dawson Stelfox, one of the 2001 judges, says Kiss or Kill "is an
insight into the mind of one of the great climbers of this generation."
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