THEY SURVIVED by Wilfrid Noyce


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An absorbingly interesting choice of almost unbelievable stories of survival, each confronting man (in one case woman) with circumstances which would seem to defy human endurance and mental and emotional and spiritual powers. He has written of a miner imprisoned in a wrecked mine for 23 days; of a deserter from the Foreign Legion exposed on a raft with four days rations for 32 days; of extremes of calamity on desert and on mountain; of deliberately accepted long-range survival experiments at the Poles; of the degradation of a concentration camp. Only in this one aspect does Noyce's book impinge at all on John Hersey's Here To Stay (coming 3/?) -- and even here the approach, the focus is different. While Hersey, too, recognizes the fact that it is not always the strong that survive and that man has hidden powers to tap, Wilfrid Noyce has probed those specific qualities, those channels to that hidden power; he has sought to analyze the factors that contribute to the conquest of self, the disciplines, the hidden skills, the inner resources, the will to live. For this reader the chapter on disease was least successful; that on two deserts and two mountains the most successful (perhaps to be expected). But throughout he has again combined to a high degree adventure of body and spirit with a rare reflective and philosophical beauty.

Pub Date: Jan. 14th, 1962
Publisher: Dutton