Casting Nansen as a ""big, overgrown, boyish Viking"" is misrepresenting a man's man--and to upgrade the value of this book you'll have to discount the fancy trimmings. Here is the university student signing on an Arctic sealing expedition to further his zoologic studies despite dubious old salts. Then there was that crazy plan--ultimately achieved--to ski across Greenland despite ""publicity stunt"" charges and professional scepticism. Also, the voyage of the Fram, then Nansen's trek across the ice to reach the pole. Equally impressive is his record as statesman negotiating Norway's peaceful separation from Sweden and his work for the League of Nations. A fine--and fun--character (photographed from life), but the author could submerge about nine-tenths of the praise.