Welcome to the Goddamn Ice Cube: Chasing Fear and Finding Home in the Great White North Paperback – 21 Mar. 2017
- Choose from over 13,000 locations across the UK
- Prime members get unlimited deliveries at no additional cost
- Find your preferred location and add it to your address book
- Dispatch to this address when you check out
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
". . . a richly insightful work whose bold but delicately delivered honesty has much to teach us. . . . Welcome to the Goddamn Ice Cube is gorgeous, moving and universally resonant. Most of all, it's important."--Huffington Post
"a lyrical, understated writer. . . . [an] unusual memoir [that] will resonate with anyone who has ever chased a dream through a thicket of difficulty."--Minneapolis Star Tribune
"[Blair's] external experiences are extraordinary, but it's what happens internally that both sets this memoir apart and gives it universal resonance. Indelible characters, adventurous spirit, and acute psychological insight combine in this multilayered debut."--Kirkus (Starred Review)
"A delicate meditation from the frontiers of feminism, forged by the stark landscapes that prompted it. Braverman is a highly original talent."--Adrian Nicole LeBlanc, author of Random Family: Love, Drugs, Trouble, and Coming of Age in the Bronx
"A gripping coming-of-age memoir. Braverman captures brilliantly the challenges and ecstasies of life as a young woman in the frigid, male-dominated worlds of Norway and Alaska. A wonderful book about deep friendships--with humans, dogs and the icy north itself."--Rob Nixon, author of Slow Violence and the Environmentalism of the Poor
"A thoughtful meditation on a lifelong attraction to the cold."--Boston Globe
"An award for straightforward storytelling should be named after [Braverman]. . . a fascinating read. . . . a strange, remarkable memoir."--AV Club
"An enchanting memoir of exploration and adventure, self-discovery and self-doubt. . . . Ice Cube hugs everything tight, turning experiences exotic and fearsome into moments tenderly funny and pure."--Buzzfeed
"An extraordinary debut, Ice Cube takes us to the coldest place on earth only to reveal its author's warm, witty, invincible heart."--Jennifer Finney Boylan, author of She's Not There and Stuck in the Middle With You
From the Back Cover
By the time Blair Braverman was eighteen, she had left her home in California, moved to arctic Norway to learn to drive sled dogs, and found work as a tour guide on a glacier in Alaska. Determined to carve out a life as a "tough girl"--a young woman who confronts danger without apology--she slowly developed the strength and resilience that the North demanded of her. Weaving together fast-paced adventure writing, ethnographic journalism, and elegantly wrought reflections on identity, Welcome to the Goddamn Ice Cube captures the triumphs and the perils of Braverman's journey to self-discovery and independence in a landscape as beautiful as it is unforgiving.--Adrian Nicole LeBlanc, author of Random Family: Love, Drugs, Trouble, and Coming of Age in the Bronx
Customers who bought this item also bought
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
Her description of northern Norwegian life, their mannerisms and linguistic peculiarities are spot on. I loved her occasional Norwegian words cropping up here and there. It added a real layer of authenticity that I really appreciated.
I thought the pacing started wonderfully, jumping back and forth from her growing up and moving to Norway during high school, her year at the Norwegian folk school and moving to Alaska to be a dog sledder and the "present" day of staying in Malangen. However, as we kept getting closer and closer to the present day I found myself getting bored of life in Malangen. It got a bit same-y towards the end.
Nonetheless, this is a beautifully written and important book, and I highly recommend it.
Buy this book. It will make you better, braver, Blair-er.
Top international reviews
I have lived through harsh Canadian winters my entire life, grumbling every year, but this book made me appreciate my own little cold place a little bit more.
Would like to try running a team of dogs one day
3/4 through the book, impatient for it to start making sense, I realized that it reminded me quite strongly of Paul Bowles' novel, The Sheltering Sky, another expressive depiction of alienation and existential despair.
Braverman, from a privileged background, keeps inserting herself into hypermasculine, "frozen north" type settings where she is mistreated by a series of louts whose bad behavior runs the gamut of offensive jokes, groping, and unwelcome sexual congress. However, at no time does Braverman object or put any limits on their unwanted behavior, which was totally confusing and inexplicable. It was almost as if she was in a fairytale and a cruel editor, or a demonic anthropology advisor had insisted on her offering herself as a sacrifice, and that she would not get her book deal, or complete her master's thesis, unless she was a passive, accepting audience for atavistic, predatory male behavior. Of course, this is ridiculous, she is not imprisoned in a fairy tale, but I found the content deeply unsatisfying, as her attitude and behavior really was never explained. It was clear that objectionable male behavior is a large part of the book's content, but this had no resolution. It would have made sense if at some point Braverman learns to keep herself out of harm's way, and perhaps an analysis of how our culture, or Norwegian culture, or a combination of family factors, etc. lead to her need for male attention and affirmation, her inability to discriminate between safe people, and dangerous people, and her concurrent powerlessness over her own body.
While a good deal of the book is indeed about that, the bulk of the book is somewhat of a coming-of-age story about her trips to Norway -- both to Lillehammer as an exchange student, and to small-town far north rural Norway in the Arctic circle. In all of these varying experiences, she grows in awareness and in relationship with certain unlikely characters. I think the highlights of the book are (1) the thrills of dog-sledding and (2) her growing trusted friendship with a small-town shop owner. As these two experiences occur in different locales, the book switches back and forth between them, while also detailing her personal relationship(s) back home in the U.S.
Braverman was blessed to be able to pick up the Norwegian language and to speak it with accentless fluency from her teens onward. Life out on the remotest fjords of far-north arctic-circle Norway is quirky and somewhat backward, if not chauvinistic, but she soon fits right in and becomes part of the rural small-town scene. We are thus treated to a you-are-there viewpoint on these odd lives and stories, and on her life there both as an insider and an outsider. Although the narrative is occasionally repetitive, with the same characters sometimes running in the same grooves (as rural small-towners are often wont to do), by the end of the book the reader is greatly rewarded with a substantial emotional payoff for sticking with the story of this outlandish and unusual place. Do check it out ... and if it veers into unexpected territory, stick with it -- it's worth it.