This essay collection showcases Stark's infatuation with snow and ice, winter sport, and arctic travel.
Peter Stark's Driving to Greenland
delivers the many voices of winter with a crystalline clarity. Intensely personal and often electrifying, Stark's collection of essays, now in paperback, share a love for winter with an acute eye for its scientific virtues as well as the grandness of ice and snow. Following the autobiographical introductory essay, "A Life Built on Snow," 11 essays are divided among three sections: "The Way Down: Winter Sports," "The Road North: Arctic Travel," and "On the Surface: Snow and Ice." In "The Way Down," Stark relates his hair-raising adventures--experiments, really--ski-jumping, luge-running, taking on the frightfully steep Aztec run at Aspen, and skiing with World Extreme Skiing Champion Doug Coombs. Writings in "The Road North" evoke a strong sense of place, as Stark hops into a VW bus and heads for Greenland, explores the duality of Iceland's fire and ice, and paddles into the legacy of the sea kayak. "On the Surface" brings the collection nicely to a close with an intimate, and at times magical, sense of wonder. Of midnight ice-boating, Stark writes, "You're released from friction as well as sprung from time and space, aware only of raw speed--a slender projectile wrapped in the scream of the wind and the roar of the runners."
Within these covers Stark relates life's lessons learned at the brink, often at high speeds, as he slips, regains an edge, and rights himself again and again. An elegant and wise book. --Byron Ricks