Monday, 22 December 2014

DEAD MEN by Richard Pierce

5 out of 5 stars

History, Polar Exploration, drama

Originally posted on Amazon HERE on 20 November 2012

I loved this book, absolutely loved it, and read it in a couple of days. At first I thought I wouldn't like the fact that much of it is set in the present day, about Birdie and Adam and their quest to find the frozen grave of Scott, Wilson & Bowers, but, though I wasn't that interested in the love stuff, I really understood Birdie's obsession with Scott. One bit I thought extremely amusing and real was the relationship between Adam and his friend John.

I'm going to repeat the word 'loved' over and over again in this review, but never mind - I LOVED the bits about what happened to poor Cherry, the emotions he went through, the guilt. It reiterated something I've often wondered about; how can people who've experienced such as this not be affected by it, deeply, for the rest of their lives? How can they live a 'normal' life again? Of course, many polar explorers couldn't, and found themselves drawn back to the icy wastes, over and over again.

I loved reading about Scott's widow Kathleen, about the dark side of Amundsen, and the ghostly presence felt by everyone in Scott's hut. I wanted to be out there with them all (the modern day ones, not Scott and co!), seeing it all for myself, and experiencing the beautiful emptiness of the Antarctic. I found myself thinking about the book when I wasn't reading it; I've just finished it, and I know I will be thinking about it some more.

Anyone who has any interest in polar exploration will enjoy this book as much as I did - and, apart from the fact that it's about a subject by which I am fascinated, Pierce is one hell of a writer, too! I am looking forward to reading more from him, would love to know more about the research that went into this book, and recommend it most highly.

No comments:

Post a Comment