As such a prominent TV personality, it is hard to read this book without `hearing' the unique voice of 'Millionaire' narrating:
'There were many encounters to be had in the Kingdom of the Polar Bear - some, intriguing, some hilarious, some downright amazing. But throughout this astonishing journey, there was one creature, present or just out of sight, who dominated everything.......'
158 shiny, high quality pages split over main chapters:
1. Base Camp
2. In Search of the Polar Bear
3. In the Kingdom of the Polar Bear
with a preface and introduction.
'A passionate angler, Chris Tarrant's interest in bears was first triggered by sightings of grilzzlies whilst fishing in the wilds of Canada. For years he harboured a plan to mount an expedition in search of their more ferocious cousins, polar bears. They are to be found in greatest numbers in the extreme north of Norway, about 400 miles south of the pole, near Svalbard, immortalized in Philip Pullman's 'His Dark Materials' trilogy. Early in 2005, with his 17-year stint at Capital Radio at last behind him, he assembled a TV crew and stills photographer and headed for Svalbard in the 'Kingdom of the Polar Bear' for 'one of the most amazing adventures of my life'. This book is a record of that trip, and a homage to the power and beauty of one of the most ferocious predators on Earth.'
It is also packed full of facts about the majestic beast, with stunning photography throughout, notably in the 'Bears Swimming' and 'Mother and Baby' sections.
The section entitled 'Bears Catching their Food' is less startling than in other publications dealing with the not-so-pretty, but nevertheless essential, 'law of nature'.
The main text of the book is interspersed with vibrant and sometimes poetic text, e.g.:
'White, green and blue are their dominant colours - a bay full of drifting icebergs can seem like an artist's wildest imaginings'
'During the short summer the air is filled with the sound of melting as the ice is dissolved by the midnight sun, providing a constant soundtrack throughout this stupendous part of the planet...'
'In Search of the Caribou' is a sweet deviation:
'Unbelievably, the caribou stood still enough for me to reach out and stroke him. Our skilful stalking had been little short of magnificent.....but our joy was rather spoiled the next morning..........'