Peter Stark Driving to Greenland

ISBN 13: 9781580800662

Driving to Greenland

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9781580800662: Driving to Greenland
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This essay collection showcases Stark's infatuation with snow and ice, winter sport, and arctic travel.

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Review:

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

From Kirkus Reviews:

Stark joins the ranks of hands-on journalists who willingly, shamelessly, risk life and limb at extreme sports, all because it keeps them where they like to be: out in the cold and over their heads. Lyons & Burford seems to have a direct pipeline to Outside magazine, publishing collections by David Quammen, Randy Wayne White, Jon Krakauer, Michael McRae, all crackingly good writers. Add to that list Stark, also an Outside contributor, a man deeply smitten by snow and ice, who likes his wintry doings on the wild side, the endorphins going full tilt. Although the approach of middle age has slowed his step (he graduated from college in 1976), you'll still find him on the black diamond slopes, flashing the crux down the radical chutes (translation: skiing hell for leather down boulder-strewn, shoulder-width, near-vertical canyons), sandpapering the back of his skull on Lake Placid's luge run, or planting his face rather than his skis in the landing zone of a ski jump called Pesticide. Stark sometimes slips into a more contemplative mode, brooding over sleds, mesmerized by snow types, trying to render the lunarscape of central Iceland. And he really does drive (well, much of the way) to Greenland; his account of that trip is one of the best pieces in the collection: unpretentious, tack-sharp writing that clearly summons up a place and a people, travel literature as it ought to be. Best of all, and very rare in this breed of daredevil writer, he doesn't let his ego crowd out the surroundings; rather, he melts into the landscape like a flake into a snowbank. Stark brings you to places you never dreamed of going, takes all the lumps, and gets you home safe and sound. A more self- sacrificing guide an armchair traveler never had. (8 pages b&w photos, not seen) -- Copyright ©1994, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9781558213203: Driving to Greenland: Arctic Travel, Northern Sport, and Other Ventures into the Heart of Winter

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ISBN 10:  1558213201 ISBN 13:  9781558213203
Publisher: Burford Books, 1997
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