Poor reader! Within 50 minutes of beginning this pageflipping chiller, you will be groaning in your chair, studying your mouth for weird gravel (smashed teeth), trying to keep your broken arm warm in a pocket, and eyeing the long bone-splintery gash in your gristly leg--all of this, O armchair adventurer, at 14,495 feet on an ice-cold crest in the High Sierras where your small Cessna lies wrecked, your pilot is dying of internal bleeding, and his girlfriend, writhing in agony, has just thrown herself down a steep slope to her death. Axe you ready. . . to become a 29-year-old freelance artist, daughter of a former test pilot, who has just told herself, I want to make a bold gesture with my life. Little does she know that she'll make it that very day and overlooking Death Valley. Lauren goes for her small-plane ride as the guest of some casual friends, Jay and Jean. The plane is caught in a down draft crossing--at a dangerously low altitude--the snowy Sierra Nevada ""Range of Light."" ""My God in heaven!"" she cries u they crash on the very tip of a summit. ""Below me, just below my toes, was an almost vertical drop, thousands and thousands of feet, a dizzying plunge to the desert floor below."" Lauren tells of her ordeal in the freezing right, her friends' deaths, the climb down, her hallucinations and bizarre reception below in a spiritedly personal style, relieved by some journalistic research passages by Streshinsky. A bloodcreaming spellbinder.