Set in Antarctica, this novel deals with fundamentals as black and as white as the scenery. Richard John Forbush, a biologist, has been assigned to a one-man base at the southernmost penguin rookery to make a detailed study of the birds and their mating ritual. Cut off, thirty miles from home base and living in ""a bloody monument"" known as Shackleton's huts Forbush staves off the ghosts of the men who had lived there before and an increasing sense of isolation with a little beer, some kooky projects, his clarinet solos, ""painfully male"" remembrances of Barbara, his girl and a lot of work. As he works, observing the penguin's almost hopeless struggle for survivals he becomes grimly aware that Nature is totally indifferent to him, to them, remaining an entity unto herself. The ""Lord of the Penguins"" realizes that he must reconcile his place in the scheme of things before he leaves. There is a tremendous description of an almost fatal blizzard, a sad/funny visit from some bumbling Americans, and au immense amount of fascinating scientific detail and nature lore. An intelligent, sharp and arresting small novel.