ACROSS THE TOP OF RUSSIA by Richard Petrow

ACROSS THE TOP OF RUSSIA

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KIRKUS REVIEW

If Novaya Zemlya, Severnaya Zemlya, Cape Chelyuskin, and Vil' kitskiy Strait are not actively within your geographical grasp, they will be after this narration of the 1965 cruise of the U.S. Coast Guard icebreaker North-wind to the Arctic waters above the Soviet Union. In a work that combines awkward self-indulgences, cornball and the jejune with a fast-moving story line, the author relates the scientific achievements and the diplomatic failures that prevented the Northwind from being the first U.S. vessel to successfully make the Northeast passage from the North Cape to the Bering Strait. What salvages the book and justifies the publisher's advance once the ship's and the book's mission had been aborted, is the protracted telling of the historic efforts by Russians, Scandinavians, and the English and the Dutch to best the awesome cold and the massive polar ice to make the passage. The author misses an opportunity to write better on the geological, meteorological, and oceanographic activities of the scientists on board and his psychological characterizations of both crew and civilians as well as himself seldom enters a more serious state of investigation although this becomes the major purpose of his now re-oriented story.

Pub Date: July 17th, 1967
Publisher: McKay