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Dead Men Paperback – 15 Mar 2012


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Product details

  • Paperback: 284 pages
  • Publisher: Gerald Duckworth & Co Ltd (15 Mar 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0715642960
  • ISBN-13: 978-0715642962
  • Product Dimensions: 12.8 x 1.9 x 19.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 23,617 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Richard Pierce's debut novel, Dead Men, was nominated for the Guardian First Book Award in 2012.

He was born in Doncaster in 1960. He has lived in 21 different places since, including London, Cambridge, Germany and Norway. He still prefers moving around to staying still.

Educated in England and Germany, he speaks English, German, and Norwegian, which can be confusing for those around him, but helps with research for his writing. He administers 2 grant-making charities.

Richard has lived in Suffolk since 2006, and has no immediate plans to leave. He is married, has four children, a cat, a rusty 1966 Triumph Spitfire, a collection of epees, and thousands of books in boxes.

He also writes poetry and paints.


Product Description

Review

Dead Men describes the peculiar pull of the tragedy of Robert Falcon Scott … Fascinating --Telegraph

An expertly told story that captures the detail and spirit of Antarctic adventure, then and now --Sir Ranulph Fiennes

About the Author

Richard Pierce was born in Doncaster and educated in Germany and St John's College, Cambridge. He now lives in Suffolk with his wife Marianne and four children. Dead Men is his first novel.

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Kate TOP 500 REVIEWER on 2 Mar 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
One hundred years ago, Robert Falcon Scott and four other men left the other members of the Terra Nova expedition to Antarctica and set out to claim the South Pole. When they arrived there on 19 January 1912, they discovered that the Norwegian explorer Roald Admundsen had beaten them to it by a mere matter of days. Neither Scott, Wilson, Bowers, Oates or Evans survived the arduous trek back to their comrades.

A century later in London, a young artist Birdie Bowers, named by her parents in honour of their famous and tragic relative Henry `Birdie' Bowers, is obsessed with finding the tent in which the frozen remains of Scott, Bowers and Wilson were discovered and buried a short time after their deaths. The tent was located just eleven miles from a food depot. Birdie believes that the answer to the mystery of why Scott couldn't reach this safety lies buried in the ice with him. His diary and those of the other men had been rescued but they didn't provide the answers Birdie seeks, just tantalising glimpses of five men descending into their fate.

Adam Caird is the man who has fallen in love with Birdie, a woman he has taken upon himself to rescue and love and so escort to the other side of the world. Neither of them were looking for love and both find it difficult to speak its language but, as they prepare for their expedition to the South Pole, they learn as much about each other as they do about the men they are trying to find. When they finally reach Antarctica and face true isolation and real danger, they realise how impossible it would be to survive without the other.

For life, love, fear and death are the themes of Dead Men.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Brenda R on 28 Dec 2012
Format: Paperback
I enjoyed Dead Men very much. Initially uncertain if the contemporary strand of the story could prove as compelling as the interwoven polar scenes of a century ago (which bring Scott's ill-fated expedition palpably to life), as the book progressed I became just as intrigued by Adam and Birdie, an apparently ill-matched pair, and where their relationship would lead. It also became clear that, to work as a novel rather than simply another historical account, the story needed a contemporary narrative and characters to lend it perspective, contrast and relevance to readers today.

Birdie in particular - a kind of wilful female Banksy who happens to share the name of one of Scott's perished colleagues and whose obsession to visit Antarctica and discover their long-buried tent drives much of the narrative - is a genuinely original, complex and fascinating creation. Never predictable, or even that likeable, it is to Pierce's credit that we understand Adam's attraction to her nonetheless, that she remains the central force in the book and that we turn the pages eagerly as their own journey unravels.

The author's dialogue, his ability to evoke the harshness and beauty of the polar landscape, and to keep the story moving briskly forward, are especially noteworthy. I can thoroughly recommend Dead Men as an excellent first novel and look forward to seeing what he produces next.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Dr. H. Kara on 20 Aug 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
First, a confession: I'm not interested in history. I know that makes me a Really Bad Person in lots of people's eyes, but I can't help it; I'm only interested in now and the future. Yet I found this book utterly compelling. The quality of the writing drew me in straight away, and I enjoyed the choreography of the dance between past and present. I enjoy travel writing, and the different locations were beautifully drawn. And I loved the characters. There seems such a vogue for unsympathetic characters in literary books at present, which may be great art but I simply don't want to spend time with them. But Adam and Birdie, Nev and Welland, even the more minor characters like Helge, were all such interesting people that I read more and more slowly as I got closer to the end of the book, because I didn't want it to end.

I could perhaps have deducted one point of a star here or there for a sentence that had room for improvement, or for a momentary lack of clarity - for example, I still don't understand what happened to Adam near the end of the book (I won't say more; no spoilers in this review). But I enjoyed the book so much that I can't summon the will to be picky.

Birdie says, at one point, 'If you visualise something - doesn't matter if you're writing or painting - you're much more likely to be able to take your audience with you. If you just make something up that you don't really believe in, then it doesn't mean a thing.' This book is fully and beautifully visualised, and what's more, it has a heart suffused with compassion. Highly recommended.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Mick H on 8 May 2012
Format: Paperback
This book as the Authors debut piece is a truly remarkable work.
I am not a very literary individual and as a rule I am not a great reader, however, this book captured me totally and completely from its very beginning.
The dual story lines and deeply moving account of the harsh and grim condition of the Antarctic 100 years ago was completely captivating.
I was held spellbound by this work from the first word to the last.
I reccomend this exceptional piece of work to you. You will not be disappointed.
I am eagerly awaiting more work from this author.
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