Customer Reviews


22 Reviews


3 star
0

2 star
0

1 star
0

 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 
‹ Previous | 1 2 3 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars From the seeds of this disaster sprang great achievement, 4 Dec. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: In the Kingdom of Ice: The Grand and Terrible Polar Voyage of the USS Jeannette (Hardcover)
I don't think that I have read any other Polar book which quite so eloquently sets the scene for the despatch of an attempt on either Pole, most of which were doomed to spectacular failure. I would strongly recomend this read to all, not just the aficionadoes of Polar History, for its vivid description of the newly emerging United States of America, but one should always have in mind the spectacular success that American's have achieved in both Polar History and Polar Science.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rousing Read About a Polar Expedition Gone Astray, 6 Aug. 2014
By 
Stephanie De Pue (Wilmington, NC USA) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: In the Kingdom of Ice: The Grand and Terrible Polar Voyage of the USS Jeannette (Hardcover)
IN THE KINGDOM OF ICE, an electrifying recounting of the 1879 failed polar exploration voyage of the USS Jeannette, comes to us from American writer Hampton Sides. He is an award-winning editor of Outside, and author of the New York Times bestselling histories GHOST SOLDIERS, HELLHOUND ON HIS TRAIL and BLOOD AND THUNDER.

On July 8, 1879, the USS Jeannette, under the command of Captain George Washington De Long, set sail from San Francisco. Cheering throngs in the grip of ‘arctic fever’ sent her on her way north. At the time, people in most of the developed world were captivated by interest in one of the last few unmapped areas of the globe: the North Pole. They had no knowledge of what might be beyond the ice rim of the northern oceans. But they had plenty of theories. A German named August Petermann, widely considered the foremost cartographer in the world, believed that the Atlantic Ocean’s Gulf Stream, and the Pacific Ocean’s Kuro-Siwo, warm currents that ran through the oceans much like rivers, were enough to sustain a verdant island at the top of the world. Whatever the story, the peoples of the developed world, Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Scandinavia, Russia, even France and Italy, believed that national glory would fall to whoever could first plant his nation’s flag there. And the U.S., as the youngest and scruffiest of nations, was particularly hungry for the international attention.

Although the ship and its captain were officially in the tiny, under-utilized U.S. Navy, the entire cost of the expedition was underwritten by James Gordon Bennett, eccentric, madly ambitious and extremely rich owner of The New York Herald. Bennett had recently captured the world's attention by dispatching his star reporter Stanley to darkest Africa to find Dr. Livingstone. Now he wanted to create another international sensation on an even greater scale. So, this official U.S. naval expedition. De Long, its young captain, had made a name for himself with a rescue operation off the coast of Greenland: the officer was now to lead a team of 32 men deep into uncharted Arctic waters. And make no mistake about it: the men would be carrying with them the aspirations of a young country burning to become a world power.

The ship sailed bravely enough into uncharted seas, but soon was trapped in pack ice, where it remained for two years. Then its hull was breached. Captain and crew reluctantly abandoned ship; less than an hour later, the Jeannette sank to the bottom of the sea. Captain and crew found themselves marooned a thousand miles north of Siberia with only the barest supplies. They were forced to begin a long icy march, during which they faced snow blindness, frostbite, polar bears, fierce squalls and uncharted or wrongly charted territory, madness and starvation as they struggled for survival with every intellectual and physical resource, every ounce of strength they had.

I have previously read and reviewed the author’s HELLHOUND ON HIS TRAIL; my review of that book may be found on its product page. I found that book a plentifully researched, absorbing thriller. IN THE KINGDOM OF ICE has evidently been written with the aid of impeccable research. It is a remarkable accomplishment. A good old-fashioned ripping tale, a riveting exploration of the human will to survive; an evocation of the power and strangeness of the natural world, a portrait of the young U.S. desperate for international power and a delicate recounting of the doomed love story between De Long and his steadfast, brave and lovely young wife. This fact-packed tale of a nineteenth century expedition gone astray, set in some of the most unforgiving territory on Earth, has more twists and turns than many thrillers. I’ve only one tiny criticism: I’m basically a journalist, with a little knowledge and a little interest in many things. This book was perhaps a bit too detailed and too long for me. But, nonetheless, a rousing read.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very interesting, and once the initial setting up of ..., 24 Aug. 2014
By 
R. A. Mckeown - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: In the Kingdom of Ice: The Grand and Terrible Polar Voyage of the USS Jeannette (Hardcover)
Very interesting, and once the initial setting up of the background to the main story was left behind, it was totally gripping. Slightly perplexed by the line, 'He spoke impeccable English, but with a slight British accent', as an English person myself, but then realised it was from an American's perspective. Rather curious though.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good quality, 14 Feb. 2015
By 
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: In the Kingdom of Ice: The Grand and Terrible Polar Voyage of the USS Jeannette (Hardcover)
Well written, this is the story of yet another polar journey based on a ridiculous assumption - in this case concerning the Open Polar Sea and various other geographical fantasies. Sponsored by newspaperman J. Gordon Bennett, who was ever keen on a scoop, the expedition suffered appalling hardships and remarkable adventures. These are related with remarkable clarity from the available documentation , and make a gripping tale.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Captivating, 4 July 2015
The Grand and Terrible Polar Voyage of the USS Jeannette

This first rate adventure narrative recreates the astonishing tribulations of a group of 33 seamen who set sail in 1879 from San Francisco on a daring expedition that would bring them to the North Pole via the Bering Strait.

The expedition was financed by the flamboyant James Gordon Bennett Jr, owner of the New York Herald and the USS Jeanette piloted by George Washington De Long, a harsh disciplinarian with a granite disposition. The USS Jeannette was well supplied when headed north on her ill-fated voyage.

After losing valuable time looking for Nordenskiold (another explorer) at the request of Bennett the Jeannette became completely trapped in ice near the Wrangled Island and remained there confined for two years. When the ice opened the pressure on the haul was too much that the ship soon foundered and the harrowing story of their survival begins…….everything kicks in high gear….

The struggle to survive nearly 1000 mile across the Arctic Ocean and into the vastness of Siberia is story-telling at its best. Mr. Sides writes superbly on the geography of Siberia and the Arctic, its birds and animals, the treacherous tundra, seacoast and volcanic islands. He adds a magic spell to his words when he evokes the pathos and especially the suffering of what unfolded. One can only wonder how the crew endured all this hardship. We find grim details and a lot of melodrama in the crew’s odyssey as they try to reach mainland Siberia. This is a real page-turner, a well-written account paced with cliff hanging moments to shock us. We also have poignant moments, quotes from journals and letters from and to love ones and a look into the Gilded Age American and European society of the time. This was quite an expedition that is excellently revived.

“The Kingdom of Ice”, is one of the best and most interesting books I read in a long time.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Unputdownable", 2 Mar. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Probably one of the best exploration and even adventure books I have ever read. Well researched, very well written - in fact almost qualifies as "unputdownable".
Gives few clues as to the fate of the characters until near the end of the book so maintains its interest in the outcome of their unbelievable journey. Reminded me of Shackleton's boat journey. Very highly recommended.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I'm maybe a little biased as I am a huge fan of Arctic literature and great stories of exploration but I would recommend this bo, 17 April 2015
this is one of the most enthralling books I've ever read. I can divide books into those I think i 'should' finish and those I can't stop reading even if I wanted, and this is the latter. I'm maybe a little biased as I am a huge fan of Arctic literature and great stories of exploration but I would recommend this book to anyone. an excellent, excellent book.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Recommended if you are interested in the history of the ..., 15 April 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
The book provides a picture of the main characters as real people ,their motivations, and personalities( including that of Gordon Bennett ) . I found it thoroughly engrossing from beginning to end . Recommended if you are interested in the history of the North West passage etc.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I enjoyed the whole book, 15 Mar. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
A marvellous read, I enjoyed the whole book. A host of amazing characters brought together in adversity and hope in the struggle to reach the North pole. Read it and wonder at their courage
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars One of best books I have read., 5 May 2015
By 
Fabulous book. Could not put it down. I felt I was in the Arctic Circle with this true account of a incredible story.
Thank you!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 2 3 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

In the Kingdom of Ice: The Grand and Terrible Polar Voyage of the USS Jeannette
Used & New from: £5.25
Add to wishlist See buying options
Only search this product's reviews