Farthest North by Fridtjof Nansen
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
These are the personal memoirs of Fridtjof Nansen's famous "Fram" Polar Expedition of 1893-1896. This Norwegian (later distinguished with the Nobel for he's efforts to protect refugees around the world) embarked in a risky and perilous trip through the frozen Arctic Ocean. All contemporary experts declared that he was doomed to failure. Some believed he would be crashed by the ice; some said they would die of scurvy, others believed there was an open water ocean around the North Pole while others were convinced that Greenland extended north to the Pole.
Taking a truly scientific stance, armed only with facts and his brain, Nansen was sure that there was an ocean current that carried drift ice from the north of Siberia to Greenland, and he was willing to risk some years of his life to proof his theory was right and to reach for the first time the North Pole. He studied all possible issues is expedition might face and built a ship, the "Fram" specially prepared for withstanding the strong pressures of drifting ice, the lowest temperatures on Earth, the boredom of the Arctic long winter night, and embarked with eleven fellow adventurers.
In his book, Farthest North, published one year after returning to Norway to huge acclaim, he describes this incredible voyage of scientific exploration and adventure, masterfully combining reason and emotion, scientific data and beautiful descriptions of the northern lights, the bright moonshine lit long polar night and the silent magical ice plains of the frozen Arctic Ocean.
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