Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Facing The Frozen Ocean - Bear Grylls

Facing The Frozen Ocean
Bear Grylls
Pan Macmillan
Copyright: 2005

The product description:
Shortlisted for the William Hill Sports Book of the Year Award 2004, this is the compelling account of the most recent adventure of the bestselling author of "Facing Up". It started out as a carefully calculated attempt to complete the first unassisted crossing of the frozen north Atlantic in an open rigid inflatable boat, but it became a terrifying battle against storm-force winds, crashing waves and icebergs as large as cathedrals. Starting from the remote north Canadian coastline, Grylls and his crew crossed the infamous Labrador Sea, pushed on through ice-strewn waters to Greenland and then found themselves isolated in a perfect storm 400 miles from Iceland.
I've been enjoying Bear Gryll's show, Man Vs. Wild for a good part of the last year, and branched out into his books now too. Previously, I reviewed his book Living Wild, one of the survival guides he's written. Facing the Frozen Ocean is somewhat different from that previous book though, as this time he's recounting one of his adventures.

What an adventure - trying to cross the northern  Atlantic ocean in an open, rigid inflatable boat. There were times when I read this book that I was wondering how they were going to survive, it was that grim. And the conditions they were living under? Yikes. And yet, for all of the dire situations, Facing The Frozen Ocean is filled with moments to make you laugh.

Bear writes with personality and vividness, and the book is also full of the recollections of the other members of the team, and Bear's wife along with other people, chronicling their experiences during this trip as well.

This was definitely a book I couldn't put down! I started reading it on Monday, and ended up finishing it last night. I just had to know how they were going to survive.

Topping off the vivid words are two inserts of colour photos which really bring home the scale of what these men were trying to do and how they were living for those days - not to mention the kinds of weather they went through.

I can't wait until I can read Facing Up, Bear's other book on his experience climbing Mount Everest. From what I'm hearing, that one's just as good as this one, if not better.

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