Saturday, January 31, 2009

Emperors of the Ice by Richard Farr

So you think this winter has been cold and snowy? Try sleeping out in a tent in -77º F temperatures, which is what Apsley Cherry-Garrard did on his trip to Antartica in 1910. At only 23 years old, Cherry was chosen to join Captain Robert F. Scott’s expedition to Antartica to carry out scientific experiments, and hopefully plant the British flag at the South Pole. He was given the title of assistant zoologist, and one of his missions was to collect the eggs of the emperor penguin for study. During the entire three year expedition, Cherry and the rest of Scott’s men experienced a fierce storm that almost capsized their ship, painful frostbite, killer whale attacks, plunges into crevasses the size of cathedrals and, tragically, the deaths of five of the men. This is a true story, but since the author writes in the first person using Cherry’s voice, it is actually a work of fiction. The author researched for the book by reading Cherry’s first person account of the expedition titled The Worst Journey in the World, and also many of the personal diaries that the other men kept. So even though this book is fiction, it reads like a non-fiction book, complete with amazing photographs and footnotes. If you like exciting adventure and survival stories, this is the book for you. Review by Katie Corrigan

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