The Ice Master

 
9780333779606: The Ice Master

Drawing on previously unpublished letters of journals of crew members, their descendants and, astonishingly, interviews with survivors, Jennifer Niven's book is a riveting account of one of the most ambitious - and disastrous - Arctic expeditions ever mounted. It is a story about unlikely heroes and unexpected villains - humans reduced to their primal needs by the infinite power and mystery of nature...'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

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Review:

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

About the Author:

Jennifer Niven read English at Drew University, New Jersey and then took an MFA at the American Film Institute in Los Angeles. She has worked as a screenwriter and, most recently, as an Associate Producer at ABC Television. She lives in LA and this is her first book.

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Jennifer Niven
Published by Macmillan 2000 (2000)
ISBN 10: 0333779606 ISBN 13: 9780333779606
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Jennifer Niven
Published by Hyperion (2000)
ISBN 10: 0333779606 ISBN 13: 9780333779606
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