Falling: How Our Greatest Fear Became Our Greatest Thrill--A History

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9780393054132: Falling: How Our Greatest Fear Became Our Greatest Thrill--A History
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A historical look at the concept of free-fall, from its origination by drunken British brawlers to the thrill seekers of today, describes how the sport has taken the world by storm, revealing the psychological significance of its performers, the future of the sport in the athletic forum, and the impact on our daredevil society through extreme sports and virtual reality technology.

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About the Author:

Garrett Soden lives in Pasadena, California.

From Publishers Weekly:

Soden's study of the allure falling has in Western culture is fun, informative, provocative and filled with enthusiasm. According to Soden (Hook Spin Buzz), falling became a sensation in the 18th century when the stunts of "gravity performers" offered a form of mass entertainment; since then, our preoccupation has only grown. Soden's exploration of gravity heroes and antiheroes is encyclopedic, ranging from trapeze inventor Jules L‚otard to the great Wallendas and skateboarding legend Tony Hawke. Similarly, Soden's consideration of gravity sports extends widely and includes mountaineering, rock climbing, 19th-century high diving, surfing, bungee jumping, ESPN's X Games and roller coasters. On the darker side, he takes time to study the "siren call" to suicide of the Golden Gate Bridge. Some of the exploits described, especially those in mountaineering and rock climbing, are awe inspiring, demanding equal parts arrogance, foolishness, daring, fortitude, physical dexterity and courage. Elsewhere, Soden devotes his attention to the psychological and cultural questions that underlie our fascination with falling. His eclectic inquiry touches on evolutionary biology, Freud, Joseph Campbell and the work of Antonio Damasio, whose analysis of emotions Soden uses to explain the attraction of falling. The author's look at the religious and linguistic implications of our conception of what it means to fall is equally inventive and insightful. By the end, Soden makes an intriguing case that the human psyche has a fundamental and complex relationship with falling, one well worth contemplating. 14 illus.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Garrett Soden
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Book Description Hardcover. Condition: New. Ships From Canada. New in new dust jacket. Glued binding. Paper over boards. With dust jacket. 342 p. Contains: Illustrations. Audience: General/trade. From Booklist If you're afraid of heights, you should make sure you're firmly anchored to something before you read this book. It's all about "'"gravity feats, "'" to use the author's term--an assortment of pastimes that typically require the participant to start out someplace really high and end up on terra firma, usually after free-falling or plummeting with the aid of a parachute or launching oneself into the air by means of a skateboard. But this isn't just another one of those extreme-sports books, all gung-ho and testosterone and yeee-ha! It's also a sharply observed exploration of the massive appeal of these gravity feats: what makes a seemingly ordinary person risk life and limb by bungee jumping or parachuting or walking a tightrope over Niagara Falls? Not only that, the author provides a wealth of information about the origins. Seller Inventory # 8777421891

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Book Description W. W. Norton & Company, 2003. Hard cover. Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. Illustrated. New in new dust jacket. Glued binding. Paper over boards. With dust jacket. 342 p. Contains: Illustrations. Audience: General/trade. From Booklist If you're afraid of heights, you should make sure you're firmly anchored to something before you read this book. It's all about "gravity feats, " to use the author's term--an assortment of pastimes that typically require the participant to start out someplace really high and end up on terra firma, usually after free-falling or plummeting with the aid of a parachute or launching oneself into the air by means of a skateboard. But this isn't just another one of those extreme-sports books, all gung-ho and testosterone and yeee-ha! It's also a sharply observed exploration of the massive appeal of these gravity feats: what makes a seemingly ordinary person risk life and limb by bungee jumping or parachuting or walking a tightrope over Niagara Falls? Not only that, the author provides a wealth of information about the origins of the offbeat pastimes--bungee jumping, for example, grew out of "land diving, " an ancient ritual performed by the natives of Pentecost Island, far off the coast of Australia. A wide-ranging and enlightening book. David Pitt Copyright American Library Association. All rights reserved. Seller Inventory # 0003136

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Book Description W. W. Norton & Company, 2003. Hardcover. Condition: New. 1st. Ships with Tracking Number! INTERNATIONAL WORLDWIDE Shipping available. Buy with confidence, excellent customer service!. Seller Inventory # 0393054136n

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