A singular, engrossing take on a region that until now has been mostly documented from a scientific angle or romanticized by...

HOOSH

ROAST PENGUIN, SCURVY DAY, AND OTHER STORIES OF ANTARCTIC CUISINE

Anthony’s debut—named after the “meat stew of the ravenous”—traces hardships during Antarctic expeditions and the sometimes disconcerting fare borne of isolation.

From blubber to penguin meat, and on infamous occasions, sled dogs and horses, supplemented by canned foods as well as pemmican (a concentrated mixture of fat and protein, the “perfect endurance food used by Native Americans for millennia”), polar cuisine has always had a storied history. The author discusses a variety of Antarctic-related topics, including problems and shortages during the journeys of Roald Amundsen, Ernest Shackleton, Douglas Mawson, Robert Scott and Richard E. Byrd; some of history’s lesser-known expeditions and their cooks; changes brought by researchers and staff during the International Geophysical Year (1957–1958); the U.S. Navy galley at McMurdo; and the exploration efforts of later independent parties. He reveals the resourcefulness and hubris needed to curtail scurvy as well as deprivation in the name of discovery and how initial hurdles gave way to improvements, including cargo transport of fresh goods from New Zealand and better nutritional knowledge. Still, he writes, “Antarctic cuisine has always made prisoners out of residents. The higher someone’s culinary expectations were, the darker the prison they found.” Anthony enlivens historical facts with a knack for choice anecdotes; one man’s minted peas created with toothpaste stand out as much as unexpectedly hotel-worthy midwinter celebrations. In later, thought-provoking chapters, the author considers the environmental toll created by food waste and inefficient management. Anthony concludes with his own experience as support staff.

A singular, engrossing take on a region that until now has been mostly documented from a scientific angle or romanticized by adventurers.

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-8032-2666-1

Page Count: 368

Publisher: Univ. of Nebraska

Review Posted Online: Sept. 2, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2012

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The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the...

NIGHT

Elie Wiesel spent his early years in a small Transylvanian town as one of four children. 

He was the only one of the family to survive what Francois Maurois, in his introduction, calls the "human holocaust" of the persecution of the Jews, which began with the restrictions, the singularization of the yellow star, the enclosure within the ghetto, and went on to the mass deportations to the ovens of Auschwitz and Buchenwald. There are unforgettable and horrifying scenes here in this spare and sombre memoir of this experience of the hanging of a child, of his first farewell with his father who leaves him an inheritance of a knife and a spoon, and of his last goodbye at Buchenwald his father's corpse is already cold let alone the long months of survival under unconscionable conditions. 

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the sphere of suffering shared, and in this case extended to the death march itself, there is no spiritual or emotional legacy here to offset any reader reluctance.

Pub Date: Jan. 16, 2006

ISBN: 0374500010

Page Count: 120

Publisher: Hill & Wang

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2006

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Buffs of the Old West will enjoy Clavin’s careful research and vivid writing.

TOMBSTONE

THE EARP BROTHERS, DOC HOLLIDAY, AND THE VENDETTA RIDE FROM HELL

Rootin’-tootin’ history of the dry-gulchers, horn-swogglers, and outright killers who populated the Wild West’s wildest city in the late 19th century.

The stories of Wyatt Earp and company, the shootout at the O.K. Corral, and Geronimo and the Apache Wars are all well known. Clavin, who has written books on Dodge City and Wild Bill Hickok, delivers a solid narrative that usefully links significant events—making allies of white enemies, for instance, in facing down the Apache threat, rustling from Mexico, and other ethnically charged circumstances. The author is a touch revisionist, in the modern fashion, in noting that the Earps and Clantons weren’t as bloodthirsty as popular culture has made them out to be. For example, Wyatt and Bat Masterson “took the ‘peace’ in peace officer literally and knew that the way to tame the notorious town was not to outkill the bad guys but to intimidate them, sometimes with the help of a gun barrel to the skull.” Indeed, while some of the Clantons and some of the Earps died violently, most—Wyatt, Bat, Doc Holliday—died of cancer and other ailments, if only a few of old age. Clavin complicates the story by reminding readers that the Earps weren’t really the law in Tombstone and sometimes fell on the other side of the line and that the ordinary citizens of Tombstone and other famed Western venues valued order and peace and weren’t particularly keen on gunfighters and their mischief. Still, updating the old notion that the Earp myth is the American Iliad, the author is at his best when he delineates those fraught spasms of violence. “It is never a good sign for law-abiding citizens,” he writes at one high point, “to see Johnny Ringo rush into town, both him and his horse all in a lather.” Indeed not, even if Ringo wound up killing himself and law-abiding Tombstone faded into obscurity when the silver played out.

Buffs of the Old West will enjoy Clavin’s careful research and vivid writing.

Pub Date: April 21, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-250-21458-4

Page Count: 400

Publisher: St. Martin's

Review Posted Online: Jan. 20, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2020

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