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Diamonds spell adventure, and their lure is timeless, as evidenced by this compelling book. Magazine writer Krajick (Natural History, Newsweek) leaves few stones unturned as he presents not only a "diamond rush" in Canada's Northwest Territories during the 1990s but a history of one man's pursuit of this gem. The familiar names are here, including Charles Tiffany, Frederick Kunz, Cecil Rhodes, and the ubiquitous DeBeers. So, too, are the diamond mines scattered across the globe in India, South Africa, South America, the United States, and Canada. Scandals and scams have long been a part of diamond lore; the Great Diamond Hoax in 1872 Colorado rates a fascinating chapter of its own. The chief character featured throughout is Canadian Chuck Fipke, an eccentric, obsessed prospector and principal in the Lac de Gras/Ekati diamond mine (currently in operation in Canada's Barren Lands). A combination of arctic climate, corporate spies, and inexact geologic science, mixed with human greed, grizzlies, and prodigious amounts of insects and alcohol, turns the last half of Barren Lands into a suspenseful thriller. Miners, geologists, and rockhounds will be spellbound, but the appeal will easily extend to general audiences as well. This book is highly recommended for all libraries. Janet Ross, formerly with Sparks Branch Lib., NV
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.
When we think of treasure hunters, we tend to think of gold or silver, but diamonds are rarer than either, and humans have been hunting them for half a millennium. Two such diamond hunters are Charles Fipke and Stewart Blusson, the prospectors who struck it rich in a region of Canada's Northwest Territories called, appropriately enough, the Barren Lands. Their adventure is the centerpiece of this diamondhunting story, which combines excitement and danger, disappointment, tragedy, and the kind of luck that changes your life forever. Fipke and Blusson became extremely wealthy men; others who spent their lives in pursuit of the elusive glittering mineral were not so fortunate. Krajick, a journalist who reported on the Barren Lands diamond rush for Discover magazine, is a smooth storyteller with a novelist's ear for dialogue. But these aren't flamboyant fictional characters living out madeup lives; they're real people, and this is what really happened to them. A can't-miss for fans of reallife adventure. David Pitt
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
The book was exactly as described, arrived bang on time. These words were added to make twenty, the review minimum.Published on Dec 21 2011 by T. Czyczko
On October 17,2001, I submitted a harsh and critical review of Barren Lands, by Kevin Krajick, which is still being presented by Amazon.com. Read morePublished on Nov. 23 2002 by John S. White
Great story of the quest for diamonds. Just goes to show you, that if you are allowed to look you can find anything society wants. Read morePublished on Oct. 22 2002 by Energy Czar
In my work as a lapidarist (rock and gemstone cutter), I have heard many anecdotes and personal accounts regarding discovery of commercially viable gemstone deposits. Read morePublished on May 9 2002 by michael hendrix
Wow what a great story. Krajick manages to somehow intricately weave the history, science, and business of modern prospecting in a very fluid manner. Read morePublished on March 13 2002 by W. Corners
I am a graduate mining geologest and have worked within the mining industry many years. I found this book so packed full of interesting history of the diamond industry, the... Read morePublished on Feb. 17 2002 by Arnold C. Wood
This is an excellent book for anyone who wants to understand the history and geology of diamonds, what it takes to find them and what working as a mining exploration geologist or... Read morePublished on Jan. 24 2002
Geology is not usually one of my favorite topics. I remember slogging through John McPhee's interminable series of articles for The New Yorker and vowing to avoid the topic at all... Read morePublished on Nov. 1 2001 by Brett L. Gold