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3,7 von 5 Sternen
1,0 von 5 SternenOnly the Actual Franklin Expedition Was as Long a Slog
1. Mai 2017 - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
I enjoy reading about the Franklin Expedition, and with so much new news out since 2014 -16, and this book appearing just this year in 2017, I figured this would contain the latest information. In truth I was a bit suspicious that the author is a 'Winner of the Pulitzer Prize', which usually means 'this book is torturously overwritten', and sure enough, it was. Way too much unrelated detail; so much so that the account of the actual find of the Franklin ships finally appears to the exhausted reader on page 318 (of 346 pages of text), almost as an afterthought, and concludes only a few pages later. (Not to mention that there are only two photos of the finds -- a ship's bell and a ship's wheel -- nothing of any other artifacts or of the wrecks or underwater views.) To make up for the lack of visual leavening, we are lathered up with useless prose details: a helicopter (quite incidental to the story, by the way) is a 'red-and-white Messerschmitt-Bölkow-Blohm Bo 105 ... a light-duty German helicopter developed in the 1970s'; a seaman is a 'quick-witted wisecracker with a gray goatee ... he could be mistaken for an unusually tall elf'; and the elf-seaman's grandfather (no less) 'specialized in buffing furniture to a mirror sheen in the art of French polish' and 'once scolded the future Queen Elizabeth II'. A few pictures really would be worth a few thousand words. And, in a quaint but somewhat inexplicably tone-deaf choice, Watson insists on referring to 'The Arctic' in the feminine, e.g., 'That was the plan. The Arctic, as she usually does, decided otherwise.' Although the book was a disappointment, both from the lack of useful detail (amid the profusion of useless ones) and from plodding, meandering prose that can be likened only to the trail of the doomed Franklin sailors themselves, the book's strong suit is the near-real-time recounting of the various bureaucratic obstacles put up by British and (more recently) Canadian officialdom to blunt the progress of what turned out to be a fairly easy find of two large and largely intact vessels sitting upright in less than 100 feet of water -- one of which, the 'Terror', was found in 'Terror Bay', where one might expect someone could have looked previously.
2,0 von 5 SternenI've read many of the very best works on polar exploration
31. März 2017 - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Disappointing. I am an avid non-fiction reader. I've read many of the very best works on polar exploration. The problem with this book is that the author is just not a good storyteller. Or rather, he is very inconsistent. Some parts read well, especially the last third which covers the modern discoveries. But the earlier historical parts are disjointed, sloppy, hard to follow, and cursory. Some passages don't even make simple narrative sense. For example, the author is describing men onboard a ship, when suddenly they are being followed by a wolf. I'm trying to figure out how a wolf is following a ship, when I realize that now, with absolutely no segue, it is weeks later and the men are on foot. Just poor writing. And at other times the author alludes to things without ever actually telling about them, such as the discovery of the cairn and the famous document, as if he assumes his audience already knows the story. TELL THE STORY. IT'S YOUR JOB! All in all, I can't really recommend this book.
I must say that I was disappointed with this book. It was not an easy read. I expected to find some good background to the Franklin expedition and some solid information about the eventual discovery of HMS Terror and HMS Eurebus. While I eventually was able to get through to both of these themes, there was so much non-essential information in between that I found myself skimming much of the book. While information about the lives of the native people living in the northern latitudes was nice to know, I don't think it added anything to the story line of what happened to Franklin's expedition. The internal politics in the Admiralty, another example, got just as much ink as the actual circumstances of the expedition. In short, I think this story could have been written in about half the pages and it would have been just as effective. Perhaps some more pictures of the area as it is today would have been a benefit to readers to get the sense of how bleak and desolate the area is.
I don't what book the "professional" reviewers were reading but it wasn't the one I read. I agree with most of the recent Amazon reviews that the book is long, dull, disjointed, & conveys no sense of adventure or excitement. Too many extraneous characters are introduced & the authors goes off on tangents that do not advance the story. It could have been edited down to half the length & saved me some time.
1,0 von 5 Sternenexample is he has Lady Franklin travel by the Panama Canal in 1870 about when President Grant sent down survey parties to determine the best route for the Pamana Canal and about 45 years ...
7. November 2017 - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
As somebody who has spent the last fifteen years or so studying the Franklin Expedition and who is friends with many of the leading Franklin Expedition scholars, including Louie Kamookak, I find this book a worthless addition to any library on the Franklin Expedition. It is poorly written and from Louie and other's he does grave injustice to the searchers including Louie and was involved in illegal activities concerning the search for the Franklin Expedition. Reading it, it is hard to believe that he even attended school let alone did any research, example is he has Lady Franklin travel by the Panama Canal in 1870 about when President Grant sent down survey parties to determine the best route for the Pamana Canal and about 45 years before it was. open. Here is a quote from Louie concerning Watson, " no consultation on what he wrote just went and wrote what he picture in his mind." He included many false and inaccurate stories about Louie, which he refuses to retract. Even as fiction, it would hardly be worth buying. Would give it a minus five stars if I could. My copy ended up in the trash.