Race to the Pole,
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This review is from: Race to the Pole (Hardcover)
`Race to the Pole' is Fogles and Cracknells account of their race to the south pole and if you have seen the BBC series then you will have a good idea what the race and their experiences entailed. This book goes through their preparation, training, pre race illness' and the race itself. Fogle had to fight off a tropical illness before the race, as well as his wife having a miscarriage on the eve of departure and yet he still managed to finish the race as one of the strongest team members, much kudos is due. One aspect of the story that will keep you hooked is the friendly rivalry with a Norwegian team which mirrors the original expedition in the early 1900's when Amundsen and Scott also raced to the pole. In the series Cracknell comes across as arrogant and obnoxious and he put the team in danger at many points with his attitude and whilst this also comes across in the book, you also see the reasoning behind his behaviour (rather than just the actual behaviour itself) and you soon realise he was behaving the way he did due to extreme fatigue and race injuries. For a gold medal winning, hyper competitive Olympian it must have been very hard to take being the weakest member of the team and this explains some of his outbursts and attitude. The third team member, Ed Coats, isn't involved in the writing of the book but does get adequate mention and even though he seemed to be bullied by Cracknel in the TV series, their obvious admiration for each other comes through in the pages of the book. There are also two colour plates showing various aspects of the race, including Cracknells seriously worn and wrecked feet! This is a gripping and well written story and their strength and determination in hostile conditions is inspirational and I got choked up at the end when they finally achieved their goal. Well worth a look for fans of the series or of real life adventure books.
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