Four Against the Arctic

  • by David Roberts
  • Narrated by Robertson Dean
  • 10 hrs and 29 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

In 1743, a ship carrying 14 Russian sailors was headed for whaling grounds near Norway when a violent storm blew it far off course, where the ship froze into the ice. Some of the sailors remembered that other sailors had erected a hut on a nearby island and spent the winter there. Four sailors volunteered to go ashore to look for the hut in hopes of finding supplies or using it as a refuge should the 14 sailors be forced to spend the winter before the summer thaw could free their ship. Remarkably, the sailors found the hut, but when they returned to the shore, the ship had disappeared. Four Against the Arctic is the incredible story of the survival of the sailors on the tiny island, barren of all foliage and inhabited only by reindeer, foxes, and polar bears, before they were rescued by another ship six years later.


What the Critics Say

"An extraordinary tale." (Publishers Weekly)
"An astonishing story, an almost unbelievable feat of survival." (Booklist)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

one against the bureaucracy

An impressive tale of survival is fatally flawed by the author's approach. This is a tedious and repetitious recitation of the ardours of research. With a background in mountaineering, but no scholarship, he is badly prepared for the difficulties he faces. He hires a small army of researchers, translators and guides who actually do the bulk of the work. Throughout the narrative of his efforts to unearth this interesting story, he stultifies the reader by relentless focus on his own conquests. It is a shame that this remarkable account of desperate courage has been drowned in petty academic oneupmanship.
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- Marilyn

Not about the four

I did listen to this to the end, but wouldn't recommend buying to any one interested in the story of the survival of the four Russians the book is supposed to about. The book is really about writing the book, or rather, the author's dismal attempts to research the event. What IS in the book could have been cut to about half its length and much improved thereby.
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- Anne

Book Details

  • Release Date: 12-22-2004
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.