In the Kingdom of Ice

  • by Hampton Sides
  • Narrated by Arthur Morey
  • 17 hrs and 30 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

New York Times bestselling author Hampton Sides returns with a white-knuckle tale of polar exploration and survival in the Gilded Age
In the late nineteenth century, people were obsessed by one of the last unmapped areas of the globe: The North Pole. No one knew what existed beyond the fortress of ice rimming the northern oceans.
James Gordon Bennett, the eccentric and stupendously wealthy owner of The New York Herald, had recently captured the world's attention by dispatching Stanley to Africa to find Dr. Livingstone. Now he was keen to re-create that sensation on an even more epic scale. So he funded an official U.S. naval expedition to reach the Pole, choosing as its captain a young officer named George Washington De Long, who had gained fame for a rescue operation off the coast of Greenland. De Long led a team of 32 men deep into uncharted Arctic waters, carrying the aspirations of a young country burning to become a world power. On July 8, 1879, the USS Jeannette set sail from San Francisco to cheering crowds in the grip of "Arctic Fever."
The ship sailed into uncharted seas, but soon was trapped in pack ice. Two years into the harrowing voyage, the hull was breached. Amid the rush of water and the shrieks of breaking wooden boards, the crew abandoned the ship. Less than an hour later, the Jeannette sank to the bottom, and the men found themselves marooned a thousand miles north of Siberia with only the barest supplies. Thus began their long march across the endless ice - a frozen hell in the most lonesome corner of the world. Facing everything from snow blindness and polar bears to ferocious storms and frosty labyrinths, the expedition battled madness and starvation as they desperately strove for survival.
With twists and turns worthy of a thriller, In the Kingdom of Ice is a spellbinding tale of heroism and determination in the most unforgiving territory on Earth.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Great found story

What made the experience of listening to In the Kingdom of Ice the most enjoyable?

It is long by audio book standards but it was worth it because of all of the context of the era provided. It helps answer the question "why" that most often comes up when you read or listen to these stories of exploration.


What about Arthur Morey’s performance did you like?

The fact that I don't remember the performance is a good thing. Some audio books are ruined by either droning or the reader trying to do too many voices and accents. This was more or less a straight through narrative reading with inflection in the right places.


Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

The real words from the journals and ship logs made it more touching and personal.


Any additional comments?

This is a good compliment to all the Antarctic exploration/disaster books. It is hard to believe that not that long ago there were no cell phones, satellites, airplanes, etc. People went on these expeditions with two years of supplies into an unmapped region of our own planet.

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- Dennis Hinkamp

Compelling ~~ Historical Quest to the North Pole

I could not put my iPod down once the voyage started. However, be aware that there are hours of listening in preparation, and a review of who is in the crew before we ever see the USS Jeannette take to the seas.

Commander George DeLong takes charge of 32 crew members on their voyage; all having the highest expectations that this would be a successful trip. After all, the Jeannette was reinforced in every way possible to ensure barging through the ice would be no problem. There were enough supplies and food on board to last well through the anticipated trip. The crew was carefully picked to make sure there was a good mix of quality and knowledgeable men.

However, nothing could have prepared them for being trapped in the ice for years. Like so many North Pole expeditions of that time period, it was a struggle just to survive. After the Jeannette is trapped in the ice, DeLong deserves a lot of credit for keeping his crew in good spirits through some of the most horrific and grizzly injuries and freezing conditions you can imagine.

If you like this type of historical adventure, it is well worth a credit. Very well written and the narration is great.
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- Jacqueline

Book Details

  • Release Date: 08-05-2014
  • Publisher: Random House Audio