Three Cups of Deceit by Jon Krakauer

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Rate: 3/5

Medium: Audiobook

Overview: Having thoroughly enjoyed several of Krakauer’s other works, i.e., Into the Wild, Into Thin Air, and Missoula, it was an easy choice to pick up Three Cups of Deceit. I was surprised at the brevity of the book, which at three hours holds my record for shortest audiobook ever read. Additionally, I was caught off guard at the personal nature that the narrative assumed throughout this reading as Krakauer had been directly duped into a donating significant quantity of money to Greg Mortenson and his nonprofit company, CAI. Krakauer was not alone in falling for Mortenson’s elaborate lies as many other wealthy do gooders donated far larger sums. It was mind boggling to me that this immoral individual could get away with so significantly abusing the funds and trust allocated to his nonprofit by weaving so many far fetched, over the top tall tales. I kept wondering throughout how much his wife knew. If she read his books at all, she must have been aware of her husbands chronic lying. What form did his lying take within their marriage because I highly doubt his manipulations were limited to his company and adventures. Another aspect of these shocking allegations that I kept pondering was the often lack of backstory and extent to which Krakauer had to research to find the contradictions and poke holes in Mortenson’s exploits. Those details would have served to flush out Krakauer’s narrative, while filling in the perhaps the extreme extent he perhaps had to employ to track down some of these lies. To a certain extent, by the end of the book, I was alarmed that I’d actually grown immune to being outraged by the deplorable, shameless falsehoods utilized by Mortenson that Karakaur had continued to highlight.  After reading Three Cups of Deceit I felt the overwhelming need to read about something inspiring/positive in society or regarding someone who is a genuine good person.


  1. I’m a huge fan of Krakauer and will read just about anything he writes. But … I read Three Cups of Tea and shortly afterwards Krakauer came out with Three Cups of Deceit and I decided I didn’t want to read it. It was enough to know that Mortenson’s story was a scam. When you have a chance, I highly recommend Under the Banner of Heaven and Where Men Win Glory. If you haven’t already read them.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. This sounds potentially really interesting but disappointing that he left out some things that would’ve made it better. I’ve only read Under the Banner of Heaven of his but I highly recommend it, especially if you’ve liked his other books. Great review!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. An interesting discussion is worth comment. I believe that you should write more on this topic, it might not be a taboo subject but generally people don’t discuss these subjects. To the next! All the best!!


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