Up the Down Volcano
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In her first full-length essay since her second book,How Did You Get This Number, New York Timesbestselling author Sloane Crosley attempts to overcome the biggest hurdle of her life. Literally. Crosley’s “Up the Down Volcano" delivers a hilariously honest account of her trip to South America to climb one of the highest volcanoes in the world. Armed with a prescription for malaria pills, a fleece vest, and a few feminine hygiene products, Crosley’s attempt to channel her inner Jon Krakauer doesn't go exactly as planned. As she experiences the effects of altitude sickness on her way up the volcano, her guide tells her to simply be “tranquillo.” Crosley expertly describes the misunderstandings that arise through interacting with another culture in another language, turning the classic adventure story on its funny bone. The results are, of course, touching and amusingly disastrous.
This hilarious yet harrowing account of summiting the Ecuadorian volcano Cotopaxi — Crosley-style — reads more like an epic than her previous works, yet it retains her signature brand of intelligent humor, which stems from keen observation and honest self-assessment.
Crosley's wit takes the lead as she reflects on the insanity of taking on this task as an amateur climber. While always comedic at its edges, the memoir progresses to a more solemn heart: a reflection on survival, loneliness and the companionship we can find in the most unexpected places.
—The Chicago Tribune