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











4.8 million Legos all at sea by Adam Clark Estes,




Dredging activity near corals can increase frequency of diseases by ARC Centre of Excellence Coral Reef Studies,




Understanding the Ocean's role in Greenland Glacier melt by Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI),




Three Defensive Docking Strategies for Sailors by Captain John Jamieson, Florida


Revealing report on Search for American yacht Nina released *Feature by Rob Kothe and the Sail-World team,














Baby Nemos finding their way home by ARC Centre of Excellence Coral Reef Studies,










The real ‘Supermoon’ story by Sail-world.com,




Sailor rescued after Facebook call for rescue by RNLI/Sail-World Cruising,










The Galley Guys' favourite shrimp recipe by Andy Adams and John Armstrong,




BoatUS speaks out about 'Ethanol-at-all-cost Agenda'
Tidal current installations will increase boating hazards
Eco-Sailboat of the future - Catherine Chabaud at work
Calling yachts in the South Pacific - rally to New Zealand
The final touch - which wax should I use on my boat?
ARC Baltic sets sail to discover Europe's 'east sea'
Another boom death. Australian sailor dies, hit by swinging boom
Galley Guru vital to the life of the cruising sailor
'Boat Handling in Marinas' by Rob Gibson - and how to get it reliably
Heart-stopping moment as whale capsizes Zodiac
If we stop killing parrotfish we can bring back Caribbean coral reefs
Climate change could stop fish finding their friends
Vanuatu ups their welcome to cruising sailors with new approach
Criminal charges mooted for owners of sunk HMS Bounty
Red faces after authorities inadvertently aid boat thief to get away
Mobiles drive traffic - 72% increase in Sail-World.com page view *Feature
Sail Estonia: a VERY new idea
Tie This 'Lifesaving' Bowline in Seconds - the easy way!
A Beer Bummel on the Thames River
Online weather routing - possible? Predict Wind says yes
Why Boats Sink: Ten best tips on prevention   
The North West Passage calls: Who will answer this year?   
Polish adventure sailor in second try at North West Passage   
Whale research - new techniques expand for non-lethal methods   
Jessica Watson, solo sailing star, four years on...   
Americas solo non-stop circumnavigator crosses Pacific for research   
What is an El Niño and how will it affect my sailing? (Part 1)   
The Dinghy Nav Light Solution- a brilliantly dumb idea   
Spike in water temperatures evidence of ‘irreversible’ El Nino *Feature   
Sailing crew's battle to save yacht lost in the Indian Ocean   
Five Top Tips for selecting the best boatyard   
Tips for selecting the best boatyard   
Predictwind unlocks more features on free accounts   
Composite Rigging launches new campaign for ECsix   
When is a Captain not a Captain?   
Free app for managing your yacht   
Amazing MOB survival - 13 hours floating, rescued by fishermen   
Boater hit by lightning survives: 'It was the worst pain ever'   
Inauguration of the new Yacht Club Monaco - Images by Carlo Borlenghi   
Lessons for sailing clubs - how does YOURS rate?   


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 WAS Cru USA
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT