Hampton Sides is aiming dead on for the classic, “The Endurance,” mano-a-mano! And he almost gets us there. This true story is awesome …and wildly griHampton Sides is aiming dead on for the classic, “The Endurance,” mano-a-mano! And he almost gets us there. This true story is awesome …and wildly grisly! I keep a folder on GoodReads called “ICE” and I have 8 great titles tucked in there, Kingdom is among the most graphic. (Side-note: the best title name in the group is still “We Die Alone.” …you just can’t beat that bold face title!)
The twin tragedies of the Endurance and Jeannette include a similar series of eerie events; a hobbled and abandoned polar ship, swamped life boats and a final desperate death march. The unique twist resides in the desperate consequences of their captain and crew.
Sides early build up is way… way too long. We don’t care that much about the back story -- The New York Herald challenge, the 100 little details behind the investment and rigging. My Man! Please!!!... Get these fearless men … up on some ICE! Those who are familiar with Sides previous work may be surprised by the slow early turn – he is capable of thrusting his readers headlong into white-knuckle action (i.e. Ghost Story and Hell Hound).
On a very small note, I would have also dropped the random insert of the love letters. Screw Emma and her stiff, little Victorian dribble. I came for a brutal survival story -- sans the widow’s watch. I smell an attempt at a screen play. This is a great effort and it deserves 4-stars, so please ignore my minor jabs. The second half of Side's story will drop your jaw in frozen terror.
An epic tale during the grand age of discovery. A practical and financial obsession of the time focused on sea exploration; discovering, claiming andAn epic tale during the grand age of discovery. A practical and financial obsession of the time focused on sea exploration; discovering, claiming and mapping new lands (and sea routes) all in the name of one's king or pope. However, there was a catch, there was no reliable measurement for sea travel. Latitude proved easy, longitude as it turned out was a real bitch. An international, fervent gauntlet captivated the European super powers of the day. A worldwide search by kings and kingdoms finally recognized a simple clock maker that had the genius, the acumen and the fortitude to spend his entire adult life in pursuit of perfection! The complex clock accurately measured longitude and saved countless misguided voyages from near tragedy. Prior to this marvelous invention, ships would commonly blow right past their continental landfalls sailing on into the deep abyss of the next ocean!
I love this guy. Kurlonsky first falls head over heals in love with his subject, in this case the lowly and loved crustacean, the oyster. Then he fallI love this guy. Kurlonsky first falls head over heals in love with his subject, in this case the lowly and loved crustacean, the oyster. Then he falls in love with the natural science behind it. After that obsession he loves the town and the town culture and finally he falls in love with the characters and packs his books with an array of odd ball stories. He serves it all up light, tight and hot. You could classify his book as New York History, but you’d miss his point. It is much to fun to be a history book. And he loves nature and science as much as he loves culture and people. As soon as I finished this book, I looked up his old titles and found another one that I had not read. I bought it immediately. 10-15-07...more
Dennis details the Great Lakes voyage of an old sailing schooner called the Malabar. The trip originates in Lake Michigan. Malabar (and crew) travelsDennis details the Great Lakes voyage of an old sailing schooner called the Malabar. The trip originates in Lake Michigan. Malabar (and crew) travels up through the Great Lakes, through the Erie Canal, into the Hudson River and finally the old ship takes port at Long Island. The sailing trip serves as a tour de force of the Great Lakes and the spine of Jerry Dennis’s fine book. That said, his writings often tact far from Malabar’s main voyage. His side stories round out the ancient history and legends of the Great Lakes. Dennis retells old ship wreck stories, describes the history of the many towns he encounters and details the ecosystem of the modern day lakes. It all rolls out in a straight forward journal who’s sum is much greater than it parts. I finished The Living Great Lakes satisfied and grateful for the intimate tour of the largest group of fresh water lakes on this planet. Thanks Jerry Dennis, write another one, I’ll stand in line for it....more
Principally, the story of the largest volcano eruption in modern history and the rippled effect of it’s devastation. Winchester also found time to teaPrincipally, the story of the largest volcano eruption in modern history and the rippled effect of it’s devastation. Winchester also found time to teach a thing or two about 1880 Dutch colonialism, plate tectonics, evolution, English botany and modern communication. He is a master of the “build” between cause and effect peppered with historical detail and wry wit. He did an excellent job editing and framing the reports from first hand accounts of the disaster. I love Winchester and everything he writes.
One of his endearing side stories was a year by year account of the regrowth on a few islands that were completely scorched by lava flows and firestorms. It was remarkable and life affirming to hear of the recovery of first vegetation and then bugs and birds and wildlife. Really astonishing!
A very strong mix of travel and adventure writing - apparently if you live in Alaska, you can not do one without the other. Jenkins has a contemporaryA very strong mix of travel and adventure writing - apparently if you live in Alaska, you can not do one without the other. Jenkins has a contemporary, lighthearted journalistic approach that is certainly intimate, almost conversational. You might swear that you spent an afternoon fishing with the man. His interviews, character sketches and descriptive details mainline the fresh smells of the ocean or the clarity of a frigid arctic night. As you might imagine, most Alaskan’s march to a very different drummer, so does Jenkin's quirky book. What a nice side trip, thank Jenks! I'll now have to go back and find your (reported classic) travel log documenting your walk across America....more