Sandy Nawrot's Reviews > In the Kingdom of Ice: The Grand and Terrible Polar Voyage of the USS Jeannette

In the Kingdom of Ice by Hampton Sides
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's review
Nov 02, 2014

it was amazing
bookshelves: audio

Put this in the category of "you can't make this stuff up". I absolutely LOVE true stories that give me lots of things to Google, that make me feel like I've learned something. I picked this one up for one of my book clubs, but I likely would have read it anyway because I am fascinated with polar exploration.

The story does start off a little bit slow, with a million little details of how this voyage originated, and the backgrounds of all the players. It is tedious but necessary, and actually gives the reader a wonderful snapshot of the Gilded Age. Once the guys take off for the North Pole however, it assumes a heart-pounding pace that is near impossible to put down. Natives, changeable weather, unpredictable ice flow, tainted canned tomatoes, caring for the team of dogs, the loss of the ship mid-journey, crappy maps, starvation and 50 degrees below zero need a blanket just to get through the book. Adding a personal touch, we hear from the captain's wife Emma in her faithful, loving letters to her husband in the years he is gone. By the end of the story, I was nearly in tears.

Arthur Morey is the narrator for this book, and while I wouldn't call him dynamic, I do consider him to be the father of audios. He has won countless awards and has recorded hundreds of books. You will never go wrong with one of his projects.

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Reading Progress

November 2, 2014 – Started Reading
November 2, 2014 – Shelved
November 2, 2014 – Shelved as: audio
November 6, 2014 – Finished Reading

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