The style of writing is very raw, almost like granite mountains I loved pieces about conquering specific routes The chapters about climbing as a sport discipline were not so fascinating You can see author growing in wisdom and tolerance Initially I completely disagreed with his criticism of climbers who have different approach to activity One need to be open to different philosophies, characters, needs and approaches I would never perform rock climbing, although I love simple scramble now and then Yet mountains stole part of my soul, and they are calling me, and I am unable to ignore it That s I think where I meet the writer s experience. Mark is an intense dude, a punk who wants to wake you up and force you to examine your motivations and kill activities that you re not willing to pursue with full force It s a tough ideal to match.This book spoke to me as someone making the first steps toward bigger adventures in the mountains, and out of training against a stopwatch on limited tracks I m in awe of the big mountains, but I don t really know what it takes to succeed there, or even have a framework for what that means Kiss or Kill is a collection of essays describing Twight s growth as an alpinist significant climbs, the friends he s lost and the relationships he s shattered to continue to climb hard In a number of the essays he hints that he knows he s a little bit of a caricature, and goes a little overboard to wake up the reader Still, the honesty in the book, and the uncomfortable feeling of reading someone not afraid to tell you you re wasting your fucking time, was welcome.Check it out if you re interested in what drives someone to go into the mountains and suffer Then read Steve House s Beyond the Mountain I enjoyed seeing Steve and other characters he mentions through Mark s eyes, and vice versa Definitely goes on the adventure list though maybe not as comfort reading on some gnarly first alpine adventure. Banff Mountain Literature Award WinnerMark Twight S Collected Works, Some Never Before Published In North America Includes Dramatic Black And White Mountaineering Photos Features Brand New Epilogues To All Of The Stories They Call Him Dr Doom Raving And Kicking Against Mediocrity, His Anger And Pain Simmer Close To The Surface He Speaks And Writes The Language Of The Punk Music That Defined Him He Is Extreme Alpinist Mark Twight, And He Doesn T Back Down From The Truth He S A One Man Literary Punk Band If You Have Any Doubt, Here Comes His Knockout Punch The Only Collection Of Writing Twight Swears He Ll Ever Publish Kiss Or Kill Confessions Of A Serial Climber Is Raw, Unfiltered Twight These Author S Cut Are The Real Deal, Not The Homogenized Fluff Offered Up By Magazine Editors Who Are Often Unwilling To Offend Twight S Words Make It Clear That Climbing Is Only Distantly About The Summit Several Of These Pieces Are New To US Readers Twight Edited All Of The Selections And Appended Each With A Current Author S Note Confessing His Inspiration, Events That Followed, And Lessons Learned Or Not Learned, Some Might Say It Adds Up To A Frightfully Lucid Look Into Twight S Personal Life As Both Man And Hardcore Alpine Climber The Dissection Scares Me Sometimes Whether Railing Against The Spinelessness Of American Siege Style Mountaineering, Admitting Addiction To Pushing The Bounds Of The Possible, Or Reveling In His Ability To Cut Away Anything In Life That Holds Him Back, Twight Never Blinks Along The Way, There Is The Drama Of New And Epic Routes, Unbreakable Bonds Between Climbing Partners, And Twight S Evolution As A Climber And A Man He Tells Every Story In A Unique, In Your Face StyleKiss Or Kill Is Not An Easy Read It May Scare Some Readers But That S The Point I Want This Book To Help You Recognize Your Own Anger, Which Will Help You Understand Mine, Says Twight Somewhere Out There Somebody Understands These Words And Knows They Matter They Were Written In Blood, Learned By Heart I spent days squeezing my mind in order to reach a conclusion regarding this book Interestingly, one aspect of it doesn t really depend on the book itself, but on the author actually, it doesn t depend on the author himself, but on what he and people like him represent.Mark Twight is a serious climber hardened by the cold, defined by the ice, troubled by the choice Each and every person that hits a certain plateau in climbing has to choose between keep doing it and risk everything or stop, give way, see the mission as accomplished Weirdly, the few that do hit the life or death plateau often choose to keep climbing until they die instead of backing off Twight mentions several times that than 40 of his friends are already dead, and that he s tired of finding out how much a person means to him by what he feels after he or she dies To the non climber, this might sound absurd I can t imagine being in the skin of someone who doesn t understand the drive towards the mountain, the need to pursue the summit, the beauty that s born out of both success and failure I m part of those who see no harm in choosing to risk life in order to reach the unimaginable state of bliss, fear, anxiety and relief that climbing provides It s not only worth it, it s also a need, a must, an addiction It might be a disease, since it often leads to death.Reading Twight is definitely amusing Being able to relate to many situations he describes, the following stories touched me deeply Glitter and Despair , I Hurt, Therefore I Am , Heaven Never Laughed , A Lifetime Before Death , The Reference Point Interview with Jean Christophe Lafaille and No Time to Cry Some of those stories, like No Time to Cry , are an integral part of a climber s life we simply can t run away from them It s a curse that comes with the choice of being in the mountains.My problems with the book, summarized in Twights own words, are we all pass judgement when we feel threatened I suppose this is human nature and might never change Well, Twight might feel threatened all the time, then As a individualistic activity, climbing opens the door to extreme egocentrism the sport is rotting from the inside Twight is at least honest enough to admit he suffers deeply from this, but most of the time he s ranting about other climbers actions instead of his own Even though I agree with 99% of his ranting, I could not believe his level of self proclamation in some passages, such as the torch of alpine climbing has been passed to me or as a leading role model, I had to give the best example I simply cringed, having to sometimes interrupt the reading due to the high levels of sheer disgust his words caused in me I don t dispute any of his ascents, nor undervalue Twight as a climber, but I think being humble is not only sophisticated, but also even admirable when you re such a top notch climber Humbleness only adds value, and if people find out the route you opened up in the Himalayas is a grade 9 by trying it they ll be even surprised than if they found out by reading a stupid article where you undervalue their ascents and overvalue yours Twight goes from blaming good ice conditions to better equipment by people that are climbing harder than him, and at the same time complains about how the ego war is strong within the climbing community Well, guess what This book contributes to inflate a culture of egocentric, narcissistic people that have a strong pull in the direction of advertising their success by downgrading everything else.In resume if the book was constituted by the stories I mentioned, I d have given it a 5 star rating Some of the stories I didn t mention were 5 stars, that is, some of the worst pieces of text I ve ever read Twight thinks people dislike his stories because they might be too honest for them, but I insist that s not the case I disliked most of his stories mainly because I felt like his ego was wiping its ass with my eyes. Rather than gorgeous vistas or morality tales, this book gets at the insanity that motivates some climbers that drive that just won t shut up This book made me feel sane than most Interesting, entertaining, and at times very absorbing, this is a decent read for climbers I wouldn t recommend it outside those interested in climbing or extreme sports Twight eventually annoyed me with his extreme attitude towards risk fulfilling ones potential etc and his evident enjoyment in taking extreme positions to gain a reaction He is undoubtedly brave and a very serious climber, and so has earned insights into himself that few people do But he extrapolates from that into extreme positions that few people will agree with, and fewer survive. Chamonix Anni Ottanta, Novanta Alpinismo estremo Punk Fascia di lana per tenere ferma la cresta Soloing Walkmann Sci Evoluzione dell arrampicata Il climbing come proseguimento della protesta sociale iniziata negli anni Sessanta L arrampicata fine a s stessa, non pi alla ricerca di conquista di una cima La ricerca di s A Amicizia Rabbia Paura Tanta paura Sponsor Posing Exposure Exposure sociale e in parete Scendere a patti, a compromessi Oppure no La definizione di s Tagli Radicali Potature Specialmente con le persone Il viaggio all eterna ricerca di s , da una montagna all altra, da un paese all altro, da una cordata all altra, da una donna all altra E poi soloing Ancora E poi il ritirarsi e cercare altre strade L essersi alla fine ritrovato Eppure rimanere in ricerca La montagna pi alta sempre quella dentro di noi , Walter Bonatti.Un libro innanzi tutto doloroso, quello di Mark Twight I primi due terzi li ho letti con la sensazione di avere un dito il suo conficcato tra le costole che premesse Parecchio Era l effetto voluto E ottenuto Un libro stranissimo sincero, candido e drastico come solo gli adolescenti possono esserlo, incapaci di tenere la mezza misura per la paura di perdersi in scelte di vita convenzionali, comode ma non coraggiose, nel senso di vite che non perseguono la ricerca di s E, come tutti gli adolescenti, Mark Twight non coglie per lo meno durante i suoi cinque anni a Chamonix che la ricerca di s non cosa immediata, che ci vuole una vita per capirsi Pieno di rabbia, causata da una famiglia cos ordinariamente disfuzionale che non l ha capito n riconosciuto, n accettato Mark prende la via dei monti il partigiano americano Johnny, sui monti del Bianco, in battaglia per farsi valere, per ottenere quella stima, quel riconoscimento famigliare questo non lo dice lui, ma lo suppongo io che non gli verr mai concesso E un boccone durissimo da ingoiare, questo ma il percorso che ha deciso di perseguire e che con grande coerenza lo fa tutto Con quel poco che ha disposizione, come gli adolescenti che fanno guerra al mondo, praticamente disarmati, disarmati perch non sanno niente della vita ma sanno solo che non vogliono quello che gli viene proposto Mi ha ricordato Anthony Bourdain, per qualche verso, con la grande differenza che la scelta della montagna di Twight e il suo eterno braccio di ferro con la paura e il non scendere a compromessi l hanno salvato, nel senso che lui aveva capito che quello era il suo mondo, il suo spazio ma che doveva avere la forza di viverlo a modo suo, anche se lo accusavano spesso di avere un attitude problem Intuiva che se fosse sceso a compromessi, si sarebbe perso Sarebbe morto dentro E forse anche fuori Anthony Bourdain al contrario alla fine opt per il compromesso cio opt per sperimentare qualcosa di nuovo ma una volta tirato fuori dalle cucine non ha retto il confronto con un mondo non cristallino, come aveva bisogno lui e come ne ha bisogno Twight e cos si suicidato.Insomma, per i primi due terzi del libro ero quasi arrabbiata con questo Mark Twight non ha fatto poi cos tante imprese in montagna, ed era terribilmente cupo, negativo, rancoroso, acido, adolescenziale nelle sue scelte drastiche con le persone perch incapace di lavorare su di s Poi compie per la prima volta un ascesa in coppia con Scott e scopre l amicizia, quella vera O forse, dopo tanti anni di lavoro su di s , sente che si pu aprire senza perdersi Ed ecco che l ultimo terzo del libro, con un nuovo Mark, cresciuto, maturato pur restando un eterno adolescente decolla umanamente e compie finalmente l arco necessario affinch la vita di Twight abbia un senso anche per altri, sia foriera cio di una lezione di vita E mi piaciuto Molto Sia lui che quello che mi ha detto in questi suoi scritti tormentati.Con questo strano libro sull arrampicata, in questa raccolta di articoli che seguono alcune tappe della vita di Mark Twight, anch io ho fatto un passo avanti nella mia ricerca di me e gliene sono grata. I had long heard the praises sang to this collection of magazine articles and opinion pieces from one of the premier American climbers of the 1980s and 1990s, and one of the strongest exponents of the alpine style Kiss or Kill didn t blow me away in terms of content, though Twight is an excellent writer, riding a fine ability to convey his thinking and his honesty into engaging and at times hilarious prose But ultimately, the book is unable to become than just the sum of its parts there s nothing bringing it together , so to speak it The earlier essays are not much than the rantings of an angry young man, who tries to harness his inner drive by taking on increasingly extreme challenges that he survives either by luck or by will Unfortunately, a life constantly on the edge is not sustainable, a conclusion he arrives at as he is getting older and the number of friends or fellow climbers that perish in the mountains increases.It is somewhat ironic to reconcile the idealist climber from 20 years ago with the today s owner of Gym Jones, a high end fitness business that caters mainly to Hollywood film making industry The firm commitment to the purity of the alpine style as emphasized over and over again in Kiss or Kill is not as appealing when one realizes that top mountaineering requires acceptance of commercial sponsorship, at least in getting around the world.Twight s contribution to climbing is undeniable, and was finally recognized in 2016 when he was awarded the by the American Alpine Club The writings in this book provide a fascinating insight into how Twight became a climbing legend, being willing to take incredible risks, while also benefiting from an incredible dose of luck. I ve found Mark Twight s essays on the Gym Jones site inspirational and thought provoking I am only interested in alpine climbing inasmuch as the lessons learned about life from that discipline can be abstracted and applied to my own life In that sense, Mark s book was helpful I learned what self assessment and self honesty really means Mark s a great writer and I recommend this book to anyone with a passing interest in the intersection between sport and self knowledge. Mark Twight is an intense, serious climber inspired by punk and here to provoke people I agree with almost everything he says and find him quite inspiring, but his ego is pretty massive and occasionally gets irritating If punk attitude and talk of posers annoys you, then you may not like this book He tells it like it is and isn t afraid to ruffle some feathers in fact, that s often his intention.A passage I thoroughly enjoyed on the high risk in alpinism and serious climbing Death plays a huge role in why men climb, in the way they climb and why some of them eventually quit climbing in the high mountains Alpinism often means high risk and the loss of life Your friends are up there in the clouds, in storms, swept away by avalanches, or cowering under a volley of stones Perhaps they ll freeze to death at the bottom of a crevasse or sit down to rest and never get up again Alpinism is the story of men and the risks men take, the ones they are equal to, the ones they barely get away with, and those risks that kill them It is about the obsession The danger and the glory, the addiction of going harder, higher, longer Sometimes we get away with it, when others do not Death in the mountains can be as ugly as a falling stone surprising an innocent hiker on the trail It can also be as beautiful as seven men struggling through a storm day after day, giving everything they have to life and living it But one by one, from cold, from exhaustion, from having fought so hard, they die Until three remain.I say this is beautiful because the greatest human act is the act of survival.I think this passage is especially relevant given the recent media attention of free soloing But I think it s also a thoughtful perspective on what makes life fulfilling.On a related note, Twight rants a bit in this book I forgot to highlight where about how, with advancements in technology, mountaineering, climbing, and alpinism aren t nearly as risky or dangerous as they once were, and accomplishing the same routes as climbers once did before that technology was available isn t as worthy because those who repeat them do so without commitment Totally agree it s not the same He ends this rant with a snarky comment I can take Sport Climbing I participate Sport Alpinism, though Yeah, Verm, it s neither An example of his general attitude I found entertaining I laugh hard at French climbers and their media because too much talk and not enough action in France They spend too much time posing and not enough time training The common availability of high quality terrain causes complacency It makes them wait for perfect conditions, when all the conveniences coincide before attempting a new route, which makes their remaining plums ripe for plucking It just takes a bit motivation than the locals possess Honestly, I ve thought a little along these lines before in regards to backpacking, hiking, and climbing If you really love it and are psyched to get after it and be outside, you won t care about the weather or the sacrifices You ll go because it s there And then you enjoy it far without the crowds of people who only can stand it with the perfect conditions In regards to climbing, sometimes I think about how I live in Virginia DC where there are next to zero outdoor opportunities nearby, and if there are, they are kind of garbage and others live in mountain towns surrounded by opportunities Often it seems like they don t take advantage of it, while I will take a day trip driving five hours each way with little sleep just to get on some quality rock.Lastly, I just think it s funny and cute that he lists a Soundtrack for Personal Reinvention with a list of punk songs to get rid of complacency, inconsistency, and incompetency in your life This dude is so over the top in a really fun way.
Is a well-known author, some of his books are a fascination for readers like in the
- 192 pages
- Kiss or Kill: Confessions of a Serial Climber
- Mark Twight
- 07 May 2019 Mark Twight