Andrew Todhunter begins this book as a single young man, mesmerized by risk and by Dan Osman. By the end, Todhunter is married, with a newborn daughter. He reaches a decision: he will not emulate Osman and jump off a bridge. It is tempting. "But the jump, in the end — and what it has to offer — isn't worth it," Todhunter decides. Watching his daughter born, a difficult birth, has proved more terrifying than bridges or cliffs. If he ever again wrestles with intense fear, he believes, it will be at sea level, "in one of the many quiet rooms and corridors of ordinary life."
Richard Wolkomir writes often for Smithsonian. He is based in Vermont.