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The Ice Master by Jennifer Niven
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The Ice Master (original 2000; edition 2000)

by Jennifer Niven (Author)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
5611233,275 (4.12)9
It was to be the greatest and most elaborate Arctic expedition in history, with the largest scientific staff ever taken on such a journey. It's leader, Vilhjalmur Stefansson, was celebrated for his studies of Eskimo life and, with this mission, hoped to find evidence that proved his staunchly held belief that there was a last unexplored continent, hidden beneath the vast polar ice cap. In June 1913, the H.M.C.S. Karluk set sail from the Esquimalt Naval Yard in Victoria, British Columbia. Six weeks later, the arctic winter had begun, the ship was imprisoned in ice, and those on board had been abandoned by their leader. For five months, the Karluk remained frozen in a massive block of ice, drifting farther and farther off course. In January 1914, with a thunderous impact, the ice tore a hole in the vessel's hull, and the redoubtable captain, Robert Bartlett, gave orders to abandon ship. With nothing but half the ship's store of supplies and the polar ice beneath their feet, Captain Bartlett, twenty-one men, an Inuit woman and her two small daughters, twenty-nine dogs, and one pet cat were now hopelessly shipwrecked in the middle of the Arctic Ocean, hundreds of miles from land. These castaways had no choice but to try to find solid ground where they could wait while they struggled against starvation, snow blindness, a gruesome and mysterious disease, exposure to the brutal winter -- and each other. Bartlett and one member of the party soon set across the ice to seek help. Nine months later, twelve survivors were rescued by a small whaling schooner and brought back to civilization. The Ice Master is an epic tale of true adventure that rivals the most dramatic fiction. Drawing on thediaries of those who were rescued and those who perished, and even an interview with one living survivor, Jennifer Niven re-creates with astonishing accuracy and immediacy the Karluk's ill-fated journey and her crew's desperate attempts to find a way home from the icy wastes of the Arctic.… (more)
Member:JaynesHat
Title:The Ice Master
Authors:Jennifer Niven (Author)
Info:Macmillan (2000), Edition: Main Market, 416 pages
Collections:Your library
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The Ice Master: The Doomed 1913 Voyage of the Karluk by Jennifer Niven (2000)

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» See also 9 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 11 (next | show all)
The doomed 1913 voyage of the Karluk
  jhawn | Jul 31, 2017 |
Absolutely fascinating and so wonderful that the author included an epilogue to describe the lives of the survivors. I love the true stories about Arctic adventures because they are always so incredible and I am continually overwhelmed that there are people who are willing and eager to get out there and explore that frozen place. ( )
  nyiper | Jul 9, 2016 |
The doomed voyage of the Karluk. One of the best adventure books I've read in years. ( )
  ShelleyAlberta | Jun 4, 2016 |
well researched, lots of detail but tedious at times ( )
  mamabear54 | Oct 4, 2014 |
I am a huge fan of polar exploration stories and Jennifer Niven's book "The Ice Master: The Doomed 1913 Voyage of the Karluk" fits right in among the great books I've read on the subject.

The Karluk expedition occurred after the North Pole was already discovered and appeared to have little purpose, except to get the organizer out onto the ice, as he left 20 other men to fend for themselves. More than half of the crew died after the ill-fated Karluk got trapped in the pack ice.

Niven mostly tells the story well. There were parts that dragged a bit, mainly because she appears to have had so much source material. I had trouble keeping so many crew members straight-- it didn't help that so many members of the crew had last names beginning with an M.

That said, the story is told so well it reads more like a work of fiction. I would absolutely read another book of Niven's based on this one. ( )
  amerynth | Aug 28, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 11 (next | show all)
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It was to be the greatest and most elaborate Arctic expedition in history, with the largest scientific staff ever taken on such a journey. It's leader, Vilhjalmur Stefansson, was celebrated for his studies of Eskimo life and, with this mission, hoped to find evidence that proved his staunchly held belief that there was a last unexplored continent, hidden beneath the vast polar ice cap. In June 1913, the H.M.C.S. Karluk set sail from the Esquimalt Naval Yard in Victoria, British Columbia. Six weeks later, the arctic winter had begun, the ship was imprisoned in ice, and those on board had been abandoned by their leader. For five months, the Karluk remained frozen in a massive block of ice, drifting farther and farther off course. In January 1914, with a thunderous impact, the ice tore a hole in the vessel's hull, and the redoubtable captain, Robert Bartlett, gave orders to abandon ship. With nothing but half the ship's store of supplies and the polar ice beneath their feet, Captain Bartlett, twenty-one men, an Inuit woman and her two small daughters, twenty-nine dogs, and one pet cat were now hopelessly shipwrecked in the middle of the Arctic Ocean, hundreds of miles from land. These castaways had no choice but to try to find solid ground where they could wait while they struggled against starvation, snow blindness, a gruesome and mysterious disease, exposure to the brutal winter -- and each other. Bartlett and one member of the party soon set across the ice to seek help. Nine months later, twelve survivors were rescued by a small whaling schooner and brought back to civilization. The Ice Master is an epic tale of true adventure that rivals the most dramatic fiction. Drawing on thediaries of those who were rescued and those who perished, and even an interview with one living survivor, Jennifer Niven re-creates with astonishing accuracy and immediacy the Karluk's ill-fated journey and her crew's desperate attempts to find a way home from the icy wastes of the Arctic.

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