Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Fast in the Ice

The Official Blurb

At the age of 16 Ballantyne went to Canada and was six years in the service of the Hudson’s Bay Company. His rule in writing, being in every case, was to write as far as possible from personal knowledge of the scenes he described.

In this book he details the lives of the crew as they must overwinter in the frozen north including their meetings with Eskimos and bears and their struggles with disease. This is a realistic account of what life was like for the explorers of the Arctic.

My Review

A while back I was blown away by Shackletons account of his exploits at the pole, and that lingering awe is what drew me to this story. We have the recorded account of a captain and his crew as they become locked in by the ice. It's a very interesting read/listen you get to hear about the practicalities of the physical environment the men build and the social and mental stresses they go through just trying to survive.

We also hear about their escapades with Bears and the occasional interaction with the indiginous people. The story as told is mildly engaging and kept me hooked right to the end.

As a bonus the reader is excellent and delivers the reading in a delightful bouncy tone that brings the text alive.

Reading 2/3
Production 2/3
Story 2/3

Total Score 6/9

Get it from Librivox

Get the first chapter.