Live! From Death Valley

Dispatches from America's Low Point

  • 192 pages
  • Mountaineers Books
  • 978-1-59485-775-1
  • Aug 16, 2013

Paperback / softback
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"Eloquently written, Soennichsen’s book is a triumph of reportage reminiscent of McPhee."--Publishers Weekly

* A compelling narrative about one of the most mysterious places on Earth by acclaimed nonfiction writer Soennichsen

Death Valley is a place of record-breaking heat and unexplained natural oddities—a place where salt beds descend a thousand feet below the surface; where inch-long fish swim in a 112-degree creek; where huge boulders slide mysteriously across a dry lakebed. There are also gas stations, convenience stores, a visitor center, and a five-star hotel. Despite the modern conveniences, however, it’s still quite easy to die in Death Valley.

Author John Soennichsen spent decades hiking, exploring, and observing as much of this forbidding yet fascinating region as possible. Based on journals kept during his travels, Live! From Death Valley relates his experiences in the region and examines the history, geology, and philosophical inspirations of the surrounding area. Alongside his own stories Soennichsen weaves an imaginative retelling of William Manly and the Bennet-Arcane party’s fateful pioneer trip through Death Valley in 1849–50, as well as modern-day tales of UFO sightings, doomsday prophets, and movie and TV production sets.

Part guidebook, part autobiography, part narrative, Live! From Death Valley chronicles the raw history, weirdness, and geographical charm of this extraordinary place.


  • 192 pages
  • Mountaineers Books
  • 978-1-59485-775-1
  • Aug 16, 2013

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