Top critical review
"the best stories weren’t the ones in which everything went well"
Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on April 8, 2022
"In the absence of easily accessible natural resources to exploit, stories were what polar explorers extracted from these barren icescapes. And the best stories weren’t the ones in which everything went well." That's also the case in this book, nearly everything that can go wrong, does.
I don't know if it's fair of me to compare books, but having recently read "Fatal North" by Bruce Henderson, I couldn't help myself. I found this book lacking in comparison. It's clearly well researched, but I found it quite dry. Adrien De Gerlache, who worked so hard to get the voyage funded, is given little page time in favor of Roald Amundsen and Dr. Frederick Cook.
For me, the most interesting part of the book was the lengthly epilogue, detailing what happened to all the men after the voyage. Also, there are some amazing photographs, mostly taken by Dr. Cook.