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Eighty-five years after a famous but ill-equipped Canadian Arctic expedition of 1913 had sacrificed 16 lives, some artifacts appeared on an Internet auction site. They had originated at a "ghost camp," discovered in 1924, where four of the expedition's 28 men, one woman, and two children had perished. Jennifer Niven has completed the unfulfilled mission of survivor William McKinlay to produce a "more honest and revealing account" of the wreck of the Karluk and its aftermath.
The explorers became split into several dispersed groups living "in the shadow of death." Their simultaneously grim and gruesome experiences are interwoven in this minutely detailed and atmospheric retelling, created by combining and comparing firsthand accounts and other sources. The characters are vividly re-created, from the expedition's self-interested leader, whom McKinlay called "a consummate liar and cheat," to the heroic ship's master, who struggled over 700 miles to organize a rescue. Supplemented by haunting and fascinating photographs, The Ice Master makes for harrowing and compulsive reading. This is a momentous story of the Arctic; of adventure, misadventure, and the heights of human endurance. But it is also a story of human failings and the waste of young lives, as poignant now as it was when it was big news in 1914. --Karen Tiley, Amazon.co.uk --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
The 1913 Canadian Arctic Expedition was perhaps the worst-planned arctic exploration in history. The captain declared the ship unfit for the voyage upon seeing it, and the crew consisted of young sailors who had no arctic experience, and scientists who would be better off teaching in a classroom than searching for an undiscovered arctic continent. Niven's first book, unlike the voyage, is well-researchedDand it's thorough. Screenwriter Niven captivates with her reconstruction of the doomed crew's efforts to survive the harshness of the polar winter, disease, hunger and their own clashing personalities. She expertly captures the feelings of the crew about their situation and about each other, and meticulously recounts the daily activities of the 25 crew members (11 survived), during their long stay as castaways on a small arctic Island. The story does read slowly at points, especially near the beginning of the book. The pace picks up as the book progresses, with the most exciting part being the heroic account of the captain's 700-mile trek from the crew's camp to Siberia in search of a ship that he could use to rescue his men.
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
It's not often that a story consumes me beyond the actual minutes I'm reading but this one did. The hardships these men endured are unimaginable and the detail described in this... Read morePublished 4 months ago by David R. Foster
very interesting story from 100 years ago. Quite the tale of human struggle and survival. I really enjoyed it.Published 10 months ago by Chris D Ouellette
Think you've had a hard day at work? Think again! Have a read of this wonderfully written book and may you never complain again.
Spellbinding in tale and composition... Read more
This is one of those books where you can't put it down until you read one more page, and then it becomes two, and then ten. Excellent book. Read morePublished on Sept. 9 2006 by Melvin Scott
I haven't read a book from cover to cover in years. I picked this one up and could not put it down. Read morePublished on April 4 2004 by John D Hillmer
I haven't ready a book from cover to cover in years. I picked this one up and could not put it down. Read morePublished on April 4 2004 by John D Hillmer
I was mesmerized from the first page. Jennifer Niven's narration and superior writing skills have brought this piece of history alive in this fantastic book. Read morePublished on April 22 2003 by Chris E. Asay
Great read for any artic Exploration or adventure reader. Comparison to Endurance and the Shackleton story are incredibly interesting. Read morePublished on Feb. 10 2003 by rusgc
This book was absolutely fabulous!!! Ms. Niven is truly an incredible writer. Her descriptions of the men, the families and the conditions tugged at my heart like no other story... Read morePublished on Jan. 31 2003