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Customer Review

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good read with minor flaws, 31 Dec. 2012
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This review is from: 1912: The Year the World Discovered Antarctica (Hardcover)
Though I wouldn't have gone out and bought such a book I happily read it when given it as a Christmas present. The fact that I finished it in a couple of days is testimony to its readability.

The author doesn't make too much of the Captain Scott story, which is fair enough since anyone interested in Antarctic exploration is going to know that anyway. What he does do is put that story into the context of previous Antarctic exploration attempts, and others at the same time, such as the Japanese and German expeditions. This is well done and contributes not just to a overview of polar exploration but serves to show aspects of the rivalry between various nations, and their colonies in the British case, in the run-up to the Great War.

Occasionally the sentences are a bit convoluted. A good editor would have queried what the author was trying to say and got him to rewrite passages. It is also rather disgraceful that the editor did not pick up on the use of the word flounder instead of what was meant, founder in at least two places in the book - page 84, second last sentence, "The British ship was seriously overloaded and there was a real risk it would flounder." And on page 45 he talks of the danger of a ship's "floundering". To flounder means to struggle in mud or when wading. To founder means for a ship to fill with water and sink.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 27 Feb 2013 11:36:18 GMT
Your definition of flounder is far too specific, is it from a modern dictionary? It is perfectly acceptable to use 'flounder' it in the contexts you describe from the book.

In reply to an earlier post on 27 Feb 2013 15:41:20 GMT
Iannos says:
My definition is from Chamber's 20th Century Dictionary, early 1980s and the Concise Oxford Dictionary, 1992. I cannot believe that the meaning has changed so much since then. Flounder is just plain wrong in the context. It is so near the proper word, founder, that it is obvious that the author has just got it wrong.
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Location: Cambridge, England

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