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This was a pretty good, well-researched book. It has a lot of characters so that gets a little confusing as the book goes on. I'm glad to have finished it but I dont know if I got the most out of it, because the same events seem to happen a number of times and it is very easy to lose track of the narrative. That said, I found myself riveted to the last third of the book. (ok maybe the last quarter) since the list of characters was thinning out and made it a bit more simplified. I dont mean to imply the book is poorly written - it is a miraculously well-woven book and I can't imagine it having been done better while still including so. much. information. I do think, however, if it had been maybe two thirds the length, it could have been condensed to the most juicy & fascinating events and I would have finished it a lot faster. Then again it was written a lot more like a giant (sometimes dry) essay almost, so it seems clear the goal was more facts and backstory rather than being juicy and easy to read. I liked it a lot more once I finished it, because everything really wraps up nicely in the end.
This was a very dry straight forward history. Partly because most arctic exploration is a story of hardship and disappointment and of course the shadow of shackleton’s shadow looms over all polar exploration. But still feel the story could have had more life. The narrators voice and tone were fine but his pronunciation of words like Inuit were miserable. The good news is a much great appreciation for Macmillan who is often under peary’s shadow. Would like to learn more about his adventures in the Bowdoin. My favorite thing of the book is learning that I can sign my name just like Macmillan with bowdoin ‘98 exactly 100 years between our graduations.