Alive: The Story of the Andes Survivors by Piers Paul Read: Book Review

“Alive: The Story of the Andes Survivors” is a gripping tale of survival that will leave you on the edge of your seat from start to finish. As you delve into the harrowing account penned by Piers Paul Read, you embark on an emotional and inspiring journey of human resilience in the face of unimaginable adversity.

Sneak Peak

In “Alive,” Piers Paul Read recounts the true story of the 1972 Uruguayan Air Force Flight 571 plane crash in the Andes mountains. The survivors endure extreme conditions, including freezing temperatures, lack of food, and the emotional toll of losing friends and family. Against all odds, they resort to drastic measures to stay alive, leading to a tale of survival, courage, and the strength of the human spirit.

My Take

“Alive” is a gripping and intense narrative that captures the raw emotions and challenges faced by the survivors. Read’s vivid storytelling immerses the reader in the harsh reality of their ordeal, evoking a range of emotions from empathy to admiration. The book skillfully explores the psychological and moral dilemmas that arise in extreme situations, making you ponder what you would do in their shoes.

One aspect I particularly appreciated was the nuanced portrayal of the survivors as real people with fears, doubts, and moments of hope amidst despair. The narrative keeps you engaged throughout, urging you to turn the page and discover the next chapter of their incredible journey.

On the downside, at times, the extensive details about the crash and the survivors’ background might feel a bit overwhelming, slowing down the pace of the narrative. However, these details also add depth to the story, offering a comprehensive understanding of the events leading up to and following the crash.

What Makes the Book Unique

What sets “Alive” apart is its poignant exploration of the human psyche under extreme circumstances. The book delves into themes of survival, morality, and the unbreakable bond between individuals facing insurmountable odds. Additionally, Read’s meticulous research and interviews with survivors bring a sense of authenticity and immediacy to the narrative, making it a compelling and unforgettable read.


In conclusion, “Alive: The Story of the Andes Survivors” is a remarkable account of survival that will stay with you long after you’ve turned the final page. If you’re looking for a book that is both heart-wrenching and uplifting, then this gripping tale of resilience is a must-read. I highly recommend “Alive” to anyone interested in true stories of survival, human nature, and the strength of the human spirit.

5 out of 5 stars.

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