(PDF) [The Ice Balloon] ë Alec Wilkinson

The time I got to hearing about Andree and the balloon trip #It Seemed Way Too # seemed way too balloon trip it seemed way too and underdeveloped Also the other stories ump around too much and are very disjointed The only reason this gets 2 stars is because of my weird love for reading about people freezing and starving and stranded on ice Wilkinson s approach to this book struck me as being uniue and similar to a college survey course about the Arctic For example early in the text Wilkinson referred to literary descriptions of the Artic such as in Moby Dick Chapters devoted to other arctic expeditions such as those led by Adolphus Washington Greely and Charles Francis Hall were logically inserted and helped set the tone for SA Andree s balloon expedition Compared to the other expeditions there was less about John Franklin s lost expedition but in my observation there are many popular books available about that expedition Being fascinated with the history of World Fairs I was intrigued to read about Andree s time at the 1876 Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia Pennsylvania Coincidentally I first read about the Exposition in another book Hampton Side s In the Kingdom of Ice The Grand and Terrible Polar Voyage of the USS Jeannette which is about the USS Jeanette s 1879 81 Arctic expeditionSome readers may not like the broad scope of this book but I enjoyed learning many aspects about the late nineteenth century not only Arctic expeditions but art literature technology etc All of it was very reinforcing of my previous knowledge and the information about Andree his crew their expedition and his contemporaries was very insightful I love pretty much any historical book that covers the time period from the 1890s through the 1920s I also love books about polar exploration So as you can imagine this book was like the perfect storm for me It was also short well written obviously well researched and engagingAn added bonus of this book is that the author includes a couple of harrowing tales of other polar expeditions gone wrong I don t think I d ever heard of a single one of these explorers before So this book was chock full of a lot of great new information I will warn you though these stories are both grueling and gruesome not for the faint of heart It is after all polar exploration of the late 19th century There s a reason no one reached the North Pole until the 20th it s incredibly difficult to doHonestly I don t think that there s a lot to dislike about this one unless the topic doesn t strike your fancy But how can that be A guy tried to fly a balloon to the North Pole He s the only one in history to ever attempt it How can you not find that interesting It s sheer lunacy You should check it out The Ice Balloon tells the story of SA Andr e and his attempt to cross the North Pole in a balloon in 1897 The subtitle the Heroic Age of Arctic Exploration is a bit too ambitious for this volume and the examples chosen by Wilkinson do not in my opinion do much to illuminate Andr e s storyFor than 25 years ago after watching the film The Flight of the Eagle I have wanted to learn about the ill fated polar balloon flight of SA Andr e On that topic Wilkinson does an admirable Singing the Law job Andr e is mostly overlooked as a uirky footnote in most good histories of polar exploration Wilkinson demonstrates that Andr e was not a kook but a man with a singular passion to seriously pioneer air travel with balloons With the hindsight of history we may scoff at how any.   Woven throughout is Andrée’s own history and how he came by his brave and singular idea We also get to know Andrée’s family the woman who loves him and the two men who accompany him Nils Strindberg a cousin of the famous playwright with a tender love affair of his own and Knut Fraenkel a willing and hearty young man   Andrée’s flight and theourney based on the expedition’s diaries and photographs dramatically recovered thirty three years after the balloon came down along with Wilkinson’s research provide a book filled with suspense and adventure a haunting story of high ambition and courage made tangible with the detail beauty and devastating conditions of traveling and dwelling in “the realm of Death” as one Arctic explorer put The Ice BalloonThoroughly enjoyed this well written account of Swedish explorer Andr e and his attempt to fly a hot air balloon over the North Pole I d never even heard of him beforePerfect book to read sitting outside in warm August sunshine sipping a glass of something fizzy and trying to imagine living for months at a time on bears and seals sometimes eaten rawThere s something fascinating about the early days of Polar travel you ust know it s going to Belated review So I had switched to the print version after the audiobook made me somnolent sleepy Unfortunately the print version also failed to hold my attention I m not sure why It could be because I am weirdly partial to Antarctic expedition stories than Arctic stories but ONE OF THE REASONS FOR READING THIS WAS TO of the reasons for reading this was to that Perhaps I could attribute the problem to Wilkinson s way of structuring the book it was umpy disjointed the ice balloon story wasn t told in a linear uninterrupted narrative Instead it was intercut by background asides other people s stories all those could be interesting in themselves but I could never gain an Endurance like momentum with the Andr e story Each time I got involved the chapter would end and I d be taken somewhere else for a while This book had a lot of potential after all it is a story about A Man Who Attempts man who attempts reach the North Pole by balloon in an era when balloons were still cutting edge technology and the North Pole was an unattainable challenge Unfortunately perhaps because insufficient material exists to really flesh out Andree s story Wilkinson pads this book with other bits and pieces Some are relevant and interesting eg some background to the pioneering balloonists but other material seems to have been added to simply fill in some pages Several sections were side stories of other arctic explorers that have already been better handled in books of their own eg Nansen s story As a result the actual balloon trip only takes off about two thirds of the way through the book and most of the rest of the book is about the search for the three balloonists with only a few short chapter on the actual We Sell Drugs journey pieced together from incomplete diaries and photographs I think the book is worth reading if you are not familiar with arctic exploration of the time but if you have read other thorough books about arctic exploration you will probably find this a bit unsatisfying DNF I agree with other commenters who wrote that there isn t enough material in this story and therefore the author chose to pad it with all kinds of related information This makes what could have been a wonderful short piece a dragged down one Even though I was uite interested in the story and the general subject my mind kept wandering away for all the details and irrelevancies Stopping at 22% Chronicles of arctic exploration have always interested me and when I saw this title featured in a Barnes and Noble newsletter a couple of months ago I immediately knew I d read it I won t pretend I wasn t swayed by the gorgeous cover artHaving never heard of SA Andr e I didn t know what to expect He and his fellow adventures where the first to attempt a polar approach by balloon a feat met with than a bit of skepticism in the late 19th century That skepticism it turns out was well founded I m not giving anything away when I say that theirs was a tragicourney Throughout Wilkinson a longtime New Yorker contributed did much to situate the Problem Solving in Data Structures Algorithms Using C++ journey historically In this grand and astonishing tale Alec Wilkinson brings us the story of S A Andrée the visionary Swedish aeronaut who in 1897 during the great age of Arctic endeavor left to discover the North Pole by flying to it in a hydrogen balloon Called by a British military officer “the most original and remarkable attempt ever made in Arctic exploration” Andrée’s expedition was followed by nearly the entire world and it made him an international legend   The Ice Balloon begins in the late nineteenth century when nations compelled by vanity commerce and science competed with one another for the greatest discoveries and newspapers covered everyourney Wilkinson describes how in Andrée several contemporary themes intersected He was the first modern expl.

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Ithin the context of polar exploration both northern and southern Other attempts by traditional means were presented alongside Andr e s novel approach and did much to inform the narrative in the technology and science employed as well as the levels of physical depravation that explorers endured For instance it was a widely help opinion that a temperate sea surrounded the pole We now know this to be false While it was an enjoyable and edifying read I found it ultimately to be unsatisfying Andr e s expedition was the focus but I felt we never got a full picture of his ourney Part of the problem was the super short chapters That format prevented Wilkinson from really delving into the heart of the matter in the way that a book like Sebastian Junger s The Perfect Storm does so well The later chapters give a s The Perfect Storm does so well The later chapters give a good play by play of Andr e s sally but it felt a bit too removed for my taste Maybe it s my schadenfreude at it s worse but I wanted to feel myself trapped on the northern ice floes hubris exacting it s toll Overall I would definitely recommend this book for someone who s interested in the admittedly narrow intersection of Victorian polar adventuring and ballooning if for no other reason than the photographs The cover is ust one of many haunting images presented hereIf you liked this make sure to follow me on Goodreads for reviews This book was a big pile of meh for me It was interesting because I really didn t know much about Arctic exploration before now and I m curious so I might pick up a better book some day It s also interesting because these people are freaking nuts You can t walk to the north pole so naturally lets get into a balloon that we can t steer and see if the winds will carry us to the north pole Um noI agree with other reviewers that it ust doesn t seem like there was enough material here We know a bit about the trip 60ish hours afloat the trials and tribulations then the landing the trek But where s THE MAPS WE RE TALKING ABOUT ACTUAL ISLANDS GLACIERS maps We re talking about actual islands glaciers and I feel like I learned absolutely nothing about anything Other than not to try to take a balloon to the north pole which I can tell you I already knewI really really wanted a map by the end the author even mentions a map But it s not included Ultimately I wanted a little less about 3 4 other expeditions and a little about this one Even if some of the chapters were extrapolation with the caveat that we can t know this for sure that s what the author did in Catherine The Great and although it was a bit frustrating there too because it got tiring to hear we don t for for sure but at the same time it s nice to have some personality fleshed out some idea of who these people are and what they want as well as where and why they re goingAndree was very brave or foolhardy and the mystery of their deaths will have me wondering for a while One appears to have died before the other two there is no indication of why the other two died Exhaustion Polar bears Evil spiritsThe privations that these three men experiences as well as the others who livedit also makes me wonder ust how many expiditions still lie there under the ice With global warming maybe one day we ll know More likely Crossing the color line in American politics and African American literature just as with much of history these lives instead have disappeared without a traceBook of the Day for January 6 2014 This book was much about a bunch of other random arctic explorers than it was about Andree I understand creating context but by. Orer the first to depart for the Arctic unencumbered by notions of the Romantic age and the first to be euipped with the newest technologies No explorer had ever left with uncertainty regarding his fate since none had ever flown over the horizon and into the forbidding region of ice   In addition to portraying the period The Ice Balloon gives us a brief history of the exploration of the northern polar regions both myth and fact including detailed versions of the two record setting expeditionsust prior to Andrée’s one led by US Army lieutenant Adolphus Greely from Ellesmere Island; the other by Fridtjof Nansen the Norwegian explorer who initially sought to reach the pole by embedding his ship in the pack ice and drifting toward it with the current.

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