First off, this book caught my interest because I recognized Mike's name from a National Geographic article about Mike Horn & Borge Ousland's un-supported trip to the North Pole, on foot. This book is absolutely INCREDIBLE!
You get the man who experienced these things telling you about his own daily adventures around the top of the world. This book reads like the most epic, survival adventure you'd find in any fiction or movie. Except it really happened.
Mike Horn's journey takes you across Greenland, Canada, and of course northern Siberia. He faces nightmare situations repeatedly. More than 100 degrees below zero, he's done it. More than 70 mph winds, done that too. Tent catches on fire, in the Arctic, yeah, done that too. Sleeping on a frozen lake, with wolves clawing at the thin wooden door that's the only thing separating your guts from being dinner, check. Playing a game of "chicken" with a bear. Playing a game of chicken with Russian border guards. Yep!(I think he preffered the bear.)
You really get to know this man through his journey, as he gets to know himself better. His conflict with not wanting to leave his family, especially his daughters, for 2 whole years, versus his need to go and push his own limits. He plays out a conflict that I know burns within each of us. Some more so than others. It's something that I know I feel as well. I have gotten to know man better as well, as a result of reading this book... mankind that is.
I also learned interesting things about the cold and what it does to things like whiskey, and various materials that are used to make products for cold weather, and why so many of them are inadequate for such cold traveling as Mike did. Also, why do you want loose clothing for such a journey instead of tight, something Roald Amundsen knew as well. Oh, and a vital use for snot in such extreme conditions.
Once you start, you can't put this book down until Mike reaches his next stop, the next town, the nexr Radar shack, whatever that next bastion of safety from the cold is. Then you can relent, as does he. Then you can continue the next time, as he will the next morning. It's as though you're there with him, needing him to make it, so you can too.