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Miracle in the Andes

A plane wreck in the middle of the Andes in the 1970s. Stranded survivors from a Uruguayan rugby team. Resorting to cannibalism to avoid starvation.

Sound familiar? Likely: the story was originally told in the bestselling book Alive, which was later made into a movie.

Last year one of the survivors, Nando Parrado, decided to tell his story after more than 30 years. A page turning memoir, Miracle in the Andes recounts the story from Nando's perspective. His life goes from that of a carefree 24 year old rugby player looking forward to a holiday in Chile to a nightmare: he wakes up in a coma to find a crashed plane, a dead mother and best friends, and a dying sister. He describes the hopelessness he and the other survivors feel when they discover the search for them is called off, the horrors they see, the cold, the hunger, the vastness of the mountain. He brings the reader into the story with vivid details, like when they run out of food, and Nando's last bit of food is a chocolate covered peanut, which he savors over three days, first eating the chocolate, the next day eating half of a peanut and the following eating the last half of his peanut.

One way this account is different than Alive was the personalization of the story. Whereas Alive painstakingly recounts the details of the event, Nando tells about the crash from his perspective: his emotional journey, his spiritual beliefs, and talks in depth about his relationships with other teammates, which at times became tedious. If you're looking for a personal take on an amazing story, you'll enjoy Miracle in the Andes.