- Taschenbuch: 432 Seiten
- Verlag: Hachette Books; Auflage: Reprint (10. Oktober 2001)
- Sprache: Englisch
- ISBN-10: 0786884460
- ISBN-13: 978-0786884469
- Vom Hersteller empfohlenes Alter: Ab 13 Jahren
- Größe und/oder Gewicht: 13,3 x 3,2 x 20,3 cm
- Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: Schreiben Sie die erste Bewertung
- Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 595.578 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)
The Ice Master: The Doomed 1913 Voyage of the Karluk (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 10. Oktober 2001
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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 -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine vergriffene oder nicht verfügbare Ausgabe dieses Titels.
"For more than 30 years I have been reading polar survival stories, but none so gripping and meticulously based on the written accounts of the survivors as The Ice Master." Ranulph Fiennes. Daily Mail "A powerful narrative" The Independent "Riveting and meticulously researched" Sunday Telegraph "Niven's remarkable epic is something special...an astonishing read." Publishing News "With so much repetitive polar stuff on the market, it is a relief to come across something fresh." Literary Review -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine vergriffene oder nicht verfügbare Ausgabe dieses Titels.Alle Produktbeschreibungen
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One's first impulse is to dismiss this book as just another quickie attempt to cash in on the Endurance craze, but the story of the Karluk and its crew is quite amazing in its own right and first time author Jennifer Niven does a terrific job telling it. One year before Ernest Shackleton and Endurance set out for Antarctica, Arctic explorer Vilhjalmur Stefansson, working under the auspices of the Canadian government, assembled an expedition intended to prove that a continent lay beneath the Arctic ice. On June 17, 1913, the H.M.C.S. Karluk, captained by Robert Abram Bartlett, set sail from British Columbia with a complement of 25, including Stefansson, sailors, scientists, and Eskimos (including a mother and two young daughters), plus sled dogs and a cat. Within the six weeks the ship was frozen fast in the ice north of Alaska and Stefansson, taking three men and several sleds with dogs, had abandoned the rest of the Canadian Arctic Expedition, setting out for the mainland to continue his exploration.
For the next five months, the Karluk drifted westward with the ice floe, before finally being crushed and sunk on January 11, 1914, just east of Wrangel Island, which lies north of Siberia. With the crew facing the predictable difficulties caused by brutal weather, a diet of pemmican, seal, and the like, snow blindness, etc, and no reason to believe that anyone even knew they were still alive, let alone where they were, Bartlett and Kataktovik, one of the Eskimo guides, set out across the shifting ice for Siberia to get help. Meanwhile, with the departure of Bartlett, the remaining crew splintered into rival camps and added to the struggle with the elements was an atavistic struggle against each other, ending in betrayal, thievery and maybe even murder.
The story of who survives and how and of the feats that survival requires, makes for compelling reading. Stefansson is the main villain of the story, his inadequacy as a leader beginning with his purchase of the Karluk at a bargain price, even though it was clearly not suited to ice breaking, and ending with his doctoring reports of the expedition to cast aspersions on Bartlett while portraying himself in a favorable light. Bartlett on the other hand, the Ice Master of the title, emerges as a truly heroic figure. There are plenty of other heroes and villains--one of the more interesting of the former is Seaman Hugh "Clam" Williams, whose nickname is more than justified when he stoically sits through having his frostbitten toe cut off with a pair of shears--and myriad instances of courage and cowardice.
The reader can't help being torn between questioning the common sense of the men who followed the obviously incompetent Stefansson and admiration for the fortitude that many of them displayed in the face of disaster. And just as you're coming to grips with this quandary, the author provides a helpful endnote where she reveals that various survivors fought in WWI, returned to Arctic exploration and one even joined a colonization party that Stefansson later sent to Wrangel Island, with predictably tragic results. It all makes for thrilling reading, side by side with alternately troubling and uplifting glimpses of the deeds of which humans are capable when they are pushed to their limits.
GRADE : A
While the true story itself is nearly impossible to comprehend in our modern age of satellite communications and radar systems, Ms. Niven's riveting narration brings the bleak, bitter, isolated world of the early 1900s naval explorer to life once again in this thrilling nonfiction account of the doomed Canadian Arctic Expedition. The twenty-odd men, one woman and two children who find themselves facing the ultimate test of survival in nature's starkest of settings, as far removed from civilization as can be imagined, will truly amaze, humble and inspire you.
Ms. Niven's obvious love of her subject matter, as well as her years of painstaking research, have resulted in a most thought-provoking and highly-emotional work which captures the essence of the human spirit.
The events depicted in this book are all the more remarkable because they are true. The ability to cope with suffering, the perseverance in the face of overwhelming hardship, the manifestations of human strengths and weaknesses under pressure, and the overpowering will to live shown by Bartlett and his crew are almost beyond belief.
The story ebbs and flows with the fate of the men. Like their unwanted repetitious and monotonous existence, the narration sometimes tends to become somewhat tedous. However, those who like true stories of exploration, adventure and survival will savor this book.
The 1913 voyage of the Karluk north fits that mold. Many of the crew were not trained and had never been in harsh winter conditions. Supplies were bought and stowed haphazardly. The very ship worried the captain as being unworthy and not suited to travel in the ice. The leader bought second hand winter gear at rummage sale prices to save money and cheap pemmican that was not tested for purity.
After the ship stuck fast in the ice north of Alaska, the leader, a shameless man named Steffansson, abandoned the crew to head over the ice toward land. He did not go for help, but left so that he could continue to pursue his own egotistical goal of finding new lands above the Arctic Circle. That left the men (and one woman and two children who were part of an Eskimo family) at the fate of Captain Bartlett.
Fortunately, the Captain was a man of courage and character. His one great flaw happened early on, but was fatal. He knows his ship was not up to the journey north. Why an experienced captain like himself agreed to proceed is a mystery, but it was fortunate for the eventual survivors that he did. (Had he chosen not to captain the ship, Steffanson would have found another captain, probably made of lesser stuff than Bartlett.)
Bartlett would provide the authority, example and leadership that allowed half the crew to survive a winter on the ice and many months camped out on the most god-forsaken island in the world, Wrangle Island.
This fine book includes descriptions of life aboard the Karluk, life aboard an ice floe after the ship was crushed, a trek across miles of arctic ice to a godforsaken island that offered little in the way of improvement save its fixed location, a final two hundred mile hike by the Captain and his Eskimo from the island, across more frozen ocean, and across northern Siberia in order to mount a relief effort.
This tale is gripping. What these people endured, particularly the party that waited months on Wrangle Island not even knowing if Captain Bartlett had even reached Siberia is fascinating. This is a tale of grit, determination, strong characters and weak. It is a fine tale of arctic survival, well worth the read.
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