Thin Air by Michelle Paver - discussion questions

Thin air 350

It is 1935, and young medic Stephen Pearce travels to India to join an expedition with his brother, Kits. The elite team of five will climb Kangchenjunga, the world’s third highest mountain and one of mountaineering’s biggest killers. No one has scaled it before, and they are, quite literally, following in the footsteps of one of the most famous mountain disasters of all time – the 1906 Lyell Expedition. Five men lost their lives back then, overcome by the atrocious weather, misfortune and ‘mountain sickness’ at such high altitudes.

As the team prepares for the epic climb, Pearce’s unease about the expedition deepens. A survivor of the 1906 expedition, Charles Tennant, warns him off, hinting of dark things ahead. But Pearce is determined to press on and complete something that he has dreamed off his entire life. As they climb higher and higher, and the air becomes thinner, his unease turns to dread. Macabre mementoes of the earlier climbers turn up on the trail. Stephen starts to suspect that Tennant’s account of the tragedy may not have been the full story. What he doesn’t know is that while five men lost their lives on the mountain, only four were laid to rest…

Our Radio 2 panel members loved Thin Air. Below are some of their reviews:

“This book was a joy to read. The story flowed well and the characters were believably real. I was taken along as the story unfolded and developed a real sympathy for Stephen.”

“Part ghost story, part thriller, Stephen must grapple with the effects of altitude sickness and ghostly visions of a haunted figure. Wonderfully written and researched the novel is atmospheric and chilling in its descriptions. It builds slowly to a revealing climatic ending. A very satisfying read.”

Download the accompanying discussion questions and then leave a review in our book reviews section.


Introducing our Baileys Library Ambassadors for 2017

Earlier this week we introduced you to our Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction reading groups. Now we are pleased to present our Library Ambassadors. These 3 librarians will be shadowing this year’s Prize by reading the six shortlisted titles and will also be promoting the Prize in their libraries.

Medium introduction image

How to run a reading circle

Adapted from article by Angie Simms- NATECLA News, Autumn 2010 and inspired by Oxford Bookworms. With thanks to Jenny Roden. Looking to experiment with your reading group? The reading circle is an exciting new approach which could enhance your reading group meetings. Originally designed for English language learners, the model can be applied to any reading group who wants to get creative with their approach. The model breaks down the group into five specific roles, which have been designed...

Thumb happy reading groups image with logo

Crime Quick Reads that everyone should read

Quick Reads One in six adults of working age in the UK find reading difficult and may never pick up a book. People’s reasons for not reading are varied: some people say they find books intimidating, that they struggle to find the time or that books are difficult or boring. Quick Reads sets out to challenge these beliefs and to show that books and reading can be for everyone. Each year we commission big name authors to write short books that are specifically designed to be easy to read....

Medium crime qr pic