ICEBOUND IN ANTARCTICA by David with Mimi George Lewis


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The bottom of the world meets As the World Turns in this disturbing blend of adventure narrative, scientific observation, and internecine squabble. In 1983, the six-person team of the Frozen Sea Expedition embedded its vessel in Antarctic ice in order to study winter wildlife behavior, ice-pack fluctuations, and the techniques of over-ice travel. Meanwhile, expedition member Mimi George would analyze the role of stress in a small, enclosed group. Judging by the account of teamleader Lewis (The Maori, Voyage to the Ice), who wrote the main body of the text, George found a wealth of material to work with. Lewis complains at length--with some justification, if we can trust his account--about the behavior of some other members of the crew, especially a hot-tempered 25-year-old zoologist named Jaime Miller, who was eventually kicked off the team and flown back to civilization. Lewis asserts that his ""honesty"" will ""help others do better""; it also makes unpleasant reading for those who dislike seeing dirty laundry cleaned in public. Fortunately, this self-serving material is somewhat balanced by plenty of fascinating detail about penguins, blizzards, ice hikes, and other Antarcticana, as well as by a sensible plea for the legitimacy of private expeditions, under increasing attack by Big Brother governments. Most Antarctic books are as clear and calm as the ice they describes; here, rocks and pocks break the pristine surface. A novelty, then, and perhaps that's good--but this shrinks in the shadow of large-hearted early classics by Shackleton or Cherry-Garrard.

Pub Date: April 4th, 1988
Publisher: Norton