Tuesday, August 5, 2014
a rollicking good yarn that just happens to be true: In the Kingdom of Ice: The Grand and Terrible Polar Voyage of the USS Jeannette, by Hampton Sides
Once in a great while I come across a book that is so good that I have to recommend it to everyone I know -- and this book is one of them. It's In the Kingdom of Ice: The Grand and Terrible Polar Voyage of the USS Jeannette, by Hampton Sides. I love anything remotely related to polar exploration to begin with, but the way that Mr. Sides delivers this true account puts him up there in the ranks of finest storytellers ever. For once each and every author blurb on the back was right on the money, not at all overrated. To try to convey just how enthralled with and immersed in this book I was, my months-ago-preordered copy came yesterday at around 1:00 in the afternoon, causing me to drop everything, open it it up and start reading. I skipped dinner, and literally did not set it down all night, finishing it this morning at breakfast. It's that good. I've written more about it at the nonfiction page of this reading journal, "The real stuff," where I say in part that the book literally reads like a novel, complete with cliffhangers, moments for rejoicing, and above all, page-turning scenes making it impossible to set the book down. It's an ultimate true "rollicking adventure" story, one that should be on everyone's reading list. Go and get a copy. Now.