Frozen in Time: An Epic Story of Survival and a Modern Quest for Lost Heroes of World War II
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Frozen in Time: An Epic Story of Survival and a Modern Quest for Lost Heroes of World War II

3.92 of 5 stars 3.92  ·  rating details  ·  3,172 ratings  ·  532 reviews
Two harrowing crashes . . . A vanished rescue plane . . . A desperate fight for life in a frozen, hostile land . . . The quest to solve a seventy-year-old mystery

The author of the smash New York Times bestseller Lost in Shangri-La delivers a gripping true story of endurance, bravery, ingenuity, and honor set in the vast Arctic wilderness of World War II and today.

On Novemb...more
Hardcover, 391 pages
Published April 23rd 2013 by Harper
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Will Byrnes
Winter is coming.

Mitchell Zuckoff seems to be making a habit of looking into the travails of crash victims. His prior book, Lost in Shangri-la , followed three survivors of a WW II era plane crash in New Guinea. They faced the usual sorts of dangers, a step back to the Paleolithic, and a diverse assortment of possible ways to die; cannibals, elements of an enemy army, all sorts of predatory and/or poisonous critters, microscopic invaders that could ruin your day, and help see that it is your la...more
Thanks to Coach Gordon Bombay and the Mighty Ducks (D2 to be specific), I already knew that "Greenland" was a bit of a misnomer. Greenland , of course, is covered in ice, while Iceland is allegedly quite lush (although their hockey players are jerks). However, during World War II, suddenly everyone wanted in on Greenland's oft-forgotten frozen expanse. Not only did the location make for a nice little fueling spot for B-17s en route to either side of the Atlantic, it also could have served as a...more
May 27, 2013 Judy rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Judy by: Amazon
Frozen in Time: An Epic Story of Survival and a Modern Quest for Lost Heroes of World War II froze me to my seat. I seriously resented getting up for anything like eating, using the facilities, thirst...Finding out what happened to 9 plane crash victims on the snow and ice covered surfaces of Greenland riveted my attention like permafrost on the wing of a WWII B-17 bomber. The only thawing that took place occurred during the chapters about the locate/recovery expedition that Zuckoff partially fu...more
A compelling addition to World War II stories, Frozen in Time is a story of endurance, survival and determination. This account of the ill fate of a crashed US cargo plane in Greenland in 1942 and its nine crew members, is a brutal read as the men struggle to survive while others try to rescue them. Not all is successful but for those that do survive their lives are owed not only to their own stamina but to the dedication of those who would not give them up. Zuckoff weaves this rescue mission wi...more
The Planes went down not in the sea, or the woods, and not somewhere that could easily be located by a rescue team or on a land that they could arrive safely on.
The bleakest of environments the remotest of places, Greenland.
Not just one crash, but many, lives lost in the rescue effort.
Greenland will host men that represent bravery, determination and great willpower for survival, all in cause for the greater good of their fellow men, while a war raged with men an even greater war took hold, with...more
Stella Fouts
Mitchell Zuckoff’s Frozen in Time: An Epic Story of Survival and a Modern Quest for Lost Heroes of World War II is the account of a series of mind-boggling tragedies that occurred in Greenland in the 1940s. Beginning in November 1942, a U.S. cargo plane slams into a Greenland ice cap. Four days later, a B-17 searching for the plane becomes lost in a blinding storm and also crashes. A second rescue attempt is launched, and that plane flies into a severe storm and vanishes. Men and dog sled teams...more
What an absolutely amazing, riveting and incredible book. Mitch Zuckoff does and amazing job telling two interwoven stories that take place almost seventy years apart. I was so absorbed in this book I almost forgot it is really an historical record of real life and death events. I was so engaged in the book I actually felt cold as I read about the conditions the survivors faced, cried when someone died, cheered (and cried) for every rescue. I physically jumped when Dunlop's plane engine exploded...more
David V.
Received as an ARC via my employer Barnes & Noble. Wowee! What an adventure story, and it's all true. This book is so real in its description of the weather on Greenland that it would probably be perfect to read on a 95 degree day in July for cooling off. But the dangers are frightening!!!! It's the story of crashed aircraft during WWII, and the failed and successful missions to rescue the crews. And the modern story of a mission to recover one of the planes and the buried crew under 200' of...more
Have you ever read a thriller novel where extraordinary and harrowing things happen to the characters but somehow they get through it against all odds? Well, that's what it was like reading Frozen in Time, except that it's not fiction, it's the true-life thrilling story of how a handful of WWII officers crashed into the barren and frozen Ice Cap of Greenland and survived for months. The story also alternates with the present story of a quest to find the lost Grumman Duck plane and the frozen rem...more
4.5 stars rounded up to 5.

Another gripping tale of inspiring fortitude and courage from the author of Lost in Shangri-La, one of my all time favorite books.

This true life saga revolves around the efforts to rescue WWII American military personnel stranded in the unforgiving terrain of Greenland. That story alternates with the present day efforts to retrieve the remains of the soldiers who didn't make it.

I'm the last person in the world to be enthralled by technical descriptions of airplanes, a...more
AMAZING! Once again, as I get older, I find myself drawn to World War II accounts. In this engaging narrative, Zuckoff bounces between 1942/1943 and 2012 to retell what happened in Greenland during World War II and in Greenland in 2012. Never have I read about Greenland in World War II nor would I ever have guessed at the significance of the country until I real this book. Greenland's natural resources, political ties, and location actually made it an important base of operations. Unfortunately,...more
Ryan G
Before I sat down to write my review of Frozen in Time, I went back to read the review I did of Lost in Shangri-La, the last book I read by Mitchell Zuckoff. Boy, did I like that book. I'm not sure I've given such a glowing review to another nonfiction book since I've started blogging. I droned on and on about how masterfully the author was able to not only bring the events alive, but to humanize the the men and women involved, making them feel three dimensional in ways most authors can't do wit...more
Mikey B.
What an exhilarating epic this is! Of rescue attempts that boomerang and of more rescue attempts to rescue the would-be rescuers! And it is so sad of the loss of life of these altruistic individuals (and they were truly individualistic personalities) who gave the ultimate sacrifice to help those whom they had never met. It really does give one a wonderful sense of humanity.

It all takes place in Greenland – a foreboding and harsh environment – where literally every step is laden with danger. Gree...more
Kathleen (Kat) Smith
"Greenland makes no sense.

First there's the name, which as most schoolchildren know should be Iceland, but that was already taken. Almost nothing green grows in Greenland, where more than eighty percent of the land is buried under deep ice. Deep, as in, up to ten thousand feet, or two solid miles. If all of Greenland's ice melted - a worst-case scenario of climate change - the world's oceans would rise by twenty feet or more.

Greenland's strangeness is compounded by it's great politically incons...more
Nancy Kennedy
Mitchell Zuckoff is making a name for himself as a chronicler of downed airplanes. I loved his book Lost in Shangri-La: A True Story of Survival, Adventure, and the Most Incredible Rescue Mission of World War II, and I loved this book just as much.

Well, I should say I loved half this book just as much. The book is actually two different, though related, stories. The first is the story of a military plane that crashed during WWII over icy Greenland while on a mission to rescue a cargo plane that...more
Dave Hoff
If there was a higher rating than 5 Stars, this would be a 6. The author did a terrific job of transitioning between 1942 and 2012. Between the crashes on the Greenland Icecap and the search for remains, from the life of survivors waiting for rescue, the rescue after months & the raising of funds to find and bring the Coast Guard plane & the Coasty bodies home in 2012. The awful Greenland weather has prevented the later.

I rated the book high for another reason, Bernt Balchen's part in th...more

Who knew there were so many—and so deadly—airplane crashes in Greenland during a one month period in the early 1940s? Five, at least, I think; if my count is close to accurate. So many crashes, with so many people involved, it got awfully confusing to follow the who, when and where of this audio book. Compound this confusion with a whole new (humongous) cast of characters for a recovery attempt (of one of the five planes from the original story) some seven...more
Mickey Hoffman
Did you know that Greenland was important in WWII? I didn't before I read this book. Split between a 2012 expedition to find the site of a plane crash of a rescue plane and recover the lost mens' remains, and the stories of others who were saved and not, the book is so "real" I realized at one point I was holding my breath with the suspense. Highly recommended read!
I love this book! And that’s unusual for me with nonfiction.

Maybe it’s the irony of reading it during the endless search for Malaysian Airlines Flight 370. Maybe it’s Zuckoff’s wonderfully descriptive writing. Maybe it’s because Zuckoff actually helped search Greenland’s non-stop ice for the lost WWII men and planes in 2012.

Whatever “it” is, anyone who loves history, who revels in tales of WWII or who eagerly devours a great adventure story should read this book!

Currently a professor of journal...more
Brianna Wright
I love a good book about some forgotten piece of history and this book did not disappoint! This book follows the horrific and frightening experience of a downed B-17 in the vast emptiness of the frozen Greenland tundra, and the amazing rescue efforts, and the brave men who risked, and some who lost their lives in the multiple rescue attempts.
Excellent non fiction book about "an epic story of survival and a modern quest for lost heroes of WWII". The book goes back and forth between the actual events and present day and searching for the planes and lost heroes. An excellent read.
A wonderful story well told. The audio book presented the story so well that I often lost track of time and place. American fighting men putting their lives on the line to save others. Some got out and some were lost trying to help.
Mike Parsons
The best book I have read so far this year. If you liked Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand, you will love Frozen in Time.
Mitchell Zuckoff brings to life a little known story of courage and heroism from the WWII era, a story that has been forgotten in time. For 148 days these brave men fought to stay alive after their plane crashed on the ice off the coast of Greenland. During that time several perilous rescue missions were attempted and failed, eventually succeeding in returning some of the survivors.

The book alternates between the past, with the story of the crash and rescue attempts, and a present day search to...more
Zuckoff's story of the three military planes that crashed on the Greenland Ice Cap in 1942 is a compelling tale of survival but also heroism-and how far these men would go to rescue downed soldiers. It's a harrowing tale of survival in the Arctic winter--with no proper clothing or supplies--and also of the weather conditions that made flights in and out so tricky. Fascinating stuff. Not to mention the state of the ice cap in general, with ice bridges that might fail and crevasses lurking under t...more
A gripping story of survival against the odds, Frozen in Time is the true story of a rescue mission gone wrong, and a modern quest for lost heroes of World War II.
On November 5, 1942, a US cargo plane crashed on the Greenland Ice Cap. Four days later, a B-17 fighter plane, assigned to the search-and-rescue mission, became lost in a blinding storm and also crashed. By some miracle of fate, all nine men on board survived. Another rescue operation was launched, but after picking up just one man, th...more
My comments:

Also, my (starred) review at SLJ:

* ZUCKOFF, Mitchell. Frozen in Time: An Epic Story of Survival and a Modern Quest for Lost Heroes of World War II. 400p. bibliog. illus. index. notes. Harper. May. 2013. Tr $28.99. ISBN 9780062133434.
Adult/High School–This gripping page-turner tells two stories, one historical and one modern. In the historical part, three military planes went down on the Greenland icecap...more
James Korsmo
During the early days of World War II, Greenland, that great frozen island of the North Atlantic, was of strategic importance as a stopping point for trans-Atlantic flights and as an indicator of the weather destined for Europe. But while it important, it was (and is) a treacherous landscape, especially for pilots, as "milky" conditions created by cloudy skies, unbroken white landscape, and blustery blowing snow cause paralyzing disorientation. And in 1942, that is exactly what happened. First a...more
Matthew Peck
3 1/2 stars.
The two overwhelming impressions I'm left with upon finishing Zuckoff's book? 1) Greenland is a horrible, horrible place. 2) My petty complaints about a cold office or a patchy cell phone network are really, truly petty.
There are 2 stories being told here: the primary one being a narrative about a series of Allied plane crashes and rescue attempts in Greenland during the winter of 1942-43 that makes the events of Zuckoff's previous 'Lost In Shangri-La' look like spring break in Canc...more
Harpercollins Canada
Two years ago, I read an amazing, amazing book called Lost in Shangri-La by Mitchell Zuckoff. It’s a true story about a plane that crashes in Shangri-La and the way the survivors are rescued. When I found out Zuckoff had a new book coming I just new I had to get my hands on it right away.

Frozen in Time did not disappoint. From the first page I was totally riveted by Zuckoff’s account of three deadly plane crashes that occurred in Greenland during WWII, and the daring rescue attempts by the U.S....more
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Mitchell Zuckoff is a professor of journalism at Boston University. He is the author of Lost in Shangri-La: A True Story of Survival, Adventure and the Most Incredible Rescue Mission of World War II. His previous books are: Robert Altman: The Oral Biography, one of's "Best Books of 2009"; Ponzi's Scheme: The True Story of a Financial Legend, a New York Times Editors' Choice book; and Ch...more
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