News Home Video Gallery Newsletters Photo Gallery Cruising Int
Sail-World.com : Book of the Week: The Last Viking, by Stephen Brown
Book of the Week: The Last Viking, by Stephen Brown

'1906, Nome, Alaska, USA - Polar explorer Roald Amundsen and his crew in Nome, Alaska, aboard the Nowegian sailing boat that was the first to navigate through the Northwest Passage in 1903-06. --- Image by © CORBIS'    .

Now that the Northwest Passage is drawing so much attention as a new waterway between the Atlantic and the Pacific, the first sailor every to transit the once-dreaded Passage is again front of mind for the world's sailors. Before Norwegian Roald Amundsen came around, no human had ever set sight on the South or North Poles. Amundsen was born in 1872 and decided as a young man he wanted to be a hero.

The Last Viking: Roald Amundsen -  .. .  
In the course of his life as a death-defying adventurer, he sailed through the Northwest Passage, rode a dog sled to the South Pole and flew over the North Pole, all to the delight of an enraptured global audience.


He died at 55 on a foolhardy impromptu flight to rescue a stranded foe in the Arctic, not long after he told a journalist that he had achieved all his dreams: 'There is nothing left for me to do.'

Brown draws on extensive research and access to the personal journals of Amundsen and his travel companions to paint rich and gripping accounts of his perilous voyages.

These are often marvellously entertaining. At times the biography can seem overly reverent, but it becomes clear that Brown simply intends a robust defence of his subject’s fading and embattled legacy.

Amundsen defied the odds through obsessive preparation and innovation. He adopted Inuit clothing and igloo techniques, designed his own snow goggles, and even contemplated using polar bears to pull his sled (a plan wisely abandoned a few years before he was mauled by one of the toothy white giants). That he survived as long as he did was a miracle, but he made much of his own luck.

Amundsen cared nothing for money—it was simply a means for adventure—but he needed a lot of it. He spent his inheritance on his first boat, and even then he literally fled his creditors as he set sail. His multi-year-long expeditions were expensive, so he learned to leverage his celebrity into a fortune. He sold news as a commodity and sponsored the products of his patrons. He went on lucrative lecture tours, which he viewed as a tiresome necessity despite the public adulation. A spendthrift on dreams, he was a tireless fundraiser. He died bankrupt, missions accomplished.

If the book is not available at your local marine bookstore, it is available on Amazon, or click here for the Canadian-originated review organisation, Macleans.

Click the name to read more of Andrew Stobo Sniderman's reviews


by Andrew Stobo Sniderman

  

Click on the FB Like link to post this story to your FB wall

http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?nid=103261

9:39 PM Sat 27 Oct 2012GMT


Click here for printer friendly version
Click here to send us feedback or comments about this story.


Related News Stories:

29 Sep 2012  Book Review: The Voyage of the Cormorant
15 Sep 2012  Classic Asymmetric Sail Mistakes - And How to Avoid Them
09 Sep 2012  Book Review: 'Outfitting the Offshore Cruising Sailboat'
09 Sep 2012  Book Review: 'Outfitting the Offshore Cruising Sailboat'
12 Aug 2012  Book of the Week: 'Rescue in the Pacific' by Tony Farrington
07 Aug 2012  Book Review: Sailing: Catching the Drift of Why we Sail
18 Jul 2012  Rob's Passage Planner for the Australian east coast - a little beauty
29 Jun 2012  Book of the Week: 'Expert Sailing Skills'
01 Jun 2012  Book of the Week: Doina Cornell's 'Child of the Sea'
01 Jun 2012  Book of the Week: Doina Cornell's 'Child of the Sea'
MORE STORIES ...






Cruising USA







Barnacle Busting by Neil and Ley Langford,


From Penguins to Polar Bears by Cherie Winner,




Polar research: Six priorities for Antarctic science by Mahlon C. Kennicutt II and colleagues,




NCI granted dedicated VHF Channel by National Coastwatch,


Positive news for cruising boats in Greece by The Cruising Association,




















Risks to penguin populations continues by British Antarctic Survey,




Follow these tips when anchoring by Alex and Daria Blackwell,


Galley Guys meet the Spice Lady by Greg Nicoll, Andy Adams and John Armstrong,




If all else fails read the instructions!! by Stuart Carruthers, RYA Cruising Manager,




Phuket Yacht Show: new kid on the block taking on PIMEX? *Feature by Guy Nowell, Sail-World Asia and Phuket Yacht Show,






Flags at Sea, an infographic by John Tissott by Anna Parker and the Sail-World Team,








Teen names latest RNLI Shannon class lifeboat in Poole + Video
Fascinating opportunity with OceansWatch
Fake GPS signals detected when cruising the high seas
Our new Cruising Editor editor remembers his first offshore adventure
Blue Planet Odyssey - Jimmy Cornell playing catch up on North West Pa
World ARC 2014 reaches Australia
Venezuelan Port Control lift recent port restrictions.
Seismic survey ship operating north of Aruba and Curacao
Predictwind helps you pick the best time to depart
Watch this whale lift a Kayak clear out of the water
World ARC reaches half-way point in Australia
Northern Scotland: Voyage to Orkney and Shetland Isles (Part 2) *Feature
Drowning or electric shock? What you need to know to help save a life
Costa Concordia - the $2.25 billion salvage operation ready to begin
Northern Scotland: Voyage to Orkney and Shetland Isles, more photos *Feature
Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show - New location and attractions
Long Island waters could become more taxing this summer
4.8 million Legos all at sea
Tranquil, colourful and funky, Genoa Bay is a must stop for West Coast *Feature
Scientist pioneered tracer to reveal hidden ocean flows
Sail-World 2.0 - the Beta version- Please take a look   
Dredging activity near corals can increase frequency of diseases   
World ARC heading out of the Pacific   
Understanding the Ocean's role in Greenland Glacier melt   
Desolation Sound added to Salish Sea Pilot free cruising guides   
Three Defensive Docking Strategies for Sailors   
Revealing report on Search for American yacht Nina released *Feature   
PredictWind's Weather Routing opens your navigation options - try it!   
Sail-World Cruising Founding Editor Nancy Knudsen says farewell   
Book review: Weather - you like it or not   
Vaavud launches generation 2 wind meter   
The drama begins - North West Passage sailors rescued from ice   
Entering an unfamiliar bay - decision time   
Baby Nemos finding their way home   
High Latitude Sailing - Book of the Week   
Will the Olympics make a difference to Rio pollution? *Feature   
Blue Planet Odyssey, around world rally, begins   
Africa Europe Cruising Challenge now open for entries   
The real ‘Supermoon’ story   
Warm and noisy welcome for Oceans of Hope in La Rochelle   


For this week's complete news stories select    Last 7 Days
   Search All News
For last month's complete news stories select    Last 30 Days
   Archive News







Sail-World.com  


















Switch Default Region to:

Social Media

Asia

Australia

Canada

Europe

New Zealand

United Kingdom


http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/Twitter_logo_small.png http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/FaceBook-icon.png  

United States

Cruising Northern

Cruising Southern

MarineBusiness World

PowerBoat World

FishingBoating World

 

Contact

Commercial

News

Search

Contact Us

Advertisers Information

Submit news/events

Search Stories/Text

Feedback

Advertisers Directory

Newsletter Archive

Photo Gallery

 

Banner Advertising Details

Newsletter Subscribe

Video Gallery

Policies

 

 

 

Privacy Policy

 

 


Cookie Policy

 

 



This site and its contents are © Copyright TetraMedia and/or the original author, photographer etc. All Rights Reserved.  Photographs are copyright by law.  If you wish to use or buy a photograph contact the photographer directly.
XLXL NEW Cru USA
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT