Cold Earth Paperback – Apr 13 2010
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Praise for "Cold Earth""I'm not one for thrillers . . but "Cold Earth" had too many good ingredients to pass up . . . Moss draws six unforgettable individuals, through their interactions with fellow archeologists and through letters home to their loved ones. Bugs in amber, carbon in ice--a reader watches their existence constrict to survival." --"Los Angeles Times""In stripped-down prose that never reveals too much, first-novelist Moss conjures an increasingly creepy atmosphere, the isolation and stark beauty of the Greenland coast, and the rigors of survival in a harsh environment." --"Booklist"Praise for the U.K. edition of "Cold Earth""It is almost perfect . . . This is an unusually promising first novel." --"Times Literary Supplement" (London)"Few first novels are as topical as this . . . There is a lot to enjoy." --"Financial Times" (London)"Moss's stark writing delivers stinging splashes of cold water. Every element is distilled for purity of purpose." --"The Times" (London)"A heart-tingling story." --"Metro" (London)"One of the most powerful and gripping debut novels I have ever read." --Scarlett Thomas, author of "The End of Mr. Y""An astounding piece of imaginative fiction taking the reader to the ends of the earth." --"Bookseller" (London)
About the Author
SARAH MOSS was educated at Oxford University and is currently an Associate Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Warwick. She is the author of two novels; Cold Earth, and Night Waking, which was selected for the Fiction Uncovered Award in 2011, and the co-author of Chocolate: A Global History. She spent 2009-10 as a visiting lecturer at the University of Reykjavik. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Form the first, Nina is haunted by eerie dreams, the howls of fear, the screams of battle and the blood-soaked fields of snow covered in mutilated bodies. In contrast to Nina's unprofessional behavior, Ruth is capable and precise, shielding the loss of her loved one from the others and resistant to Nina's increasing hysteria, her growing insistence that they are not alone. Catriona, an artist at heart, falls in love with the ice, how she might translate it on canvas; Ben, from the north of England, says little and Jim, an American, relies on his Christian faith for the strength to endure a growing dread when the internet reports a spreading pandemic before all communication with the outside world is cut off.
With decreasing food supplies and the stress of sleeplessness as Nina's screams rend the night, the group struggles to retain focus, worries of home nagging everyone as they hunker down to the daily tasks Yanni assigns. The true drama comes from unsettled minds prey to Nina's increasingly erratic behavior and her obsession that they are being watched. The days pass, relationships more fragmented as hopes of any communication with home is shattered. It is this internal territory where trouble brews, each susceptible to the chaos of Nina's unraveling in spite of their best efforts to remain calm.
Nina's vivid dreams imbue the expedition with growing dread, her constant harping on the Greenlander's vulnerability to attack, her warnings that the dead have been disturbed and are agitated by the archeologist's work. What better way to fuel erratic behavior than the possibility of being stranded in a frozen land with no rescue and ghosts all about them? The psychological theme is Cold Earth's strongest appeal, the sad last letters home a sign that hope has gradually been extinguished. Worldwide catastrophe is more tolerable than the reality of spending whatever time remains without food or the comfort of loved ones, these modern students enamored of the past but unable to cope with the diminished futures they so cherished. Luan Gaines/2011.
Six archeologists fly into an abandoned Viking site to try and figure out what happened to the Vikings and why they left so many centuries ago. Very poorly prepared and worried about a worldwide pandemic, the six work on the dig and try to keep their sanity, even as they lose communications and run short on food.
I especially liked the idea of the letters being written to family/friend/therapist by the members of the dig when they believe they are dying. The letters allow the reader to get to know each of the workers in ways that mere conversation would not.
Bitter cold, darkness, fear, lack of food - all these factors bring out the true inner people on the dig.