And so Chapter 1 is narrated by the Welshman Taffy Evans who kicks off the story in south Wales in the summer of , describing the preparations preliminary to the voyage, the round of parties and civic receptions thrown in honour of the officers and the men, the intimate leave-takings and the hollering, hallooing farewell of the crowds. It's all very prelapsarian, all in the full flush of that hat-throwing Edwardian innocence - two years before the Titanic, two years before the disaster that befell Scott's party, and a full four years before the mass slaughter of the Great War got underway.
Still, Taffy Evans' no-nonsense narrative voice is a thing to marvel at - taciturn and pragmatic, the salt of the working class who lets his actions do the talking and has little time for sentiment.
The Birthday Boys
This extraordinary act of channeling sets up the rest of the book. Dr Wilson, Scott's friend and ally, takes over in Chapter 2, describing the sea voyage down to the southern latitudes.
An idealistic man of learning, a woolly dreamer if one were to be unkind, he looks past Scott's manifest follies and character failures and chooses to look at the good in the man he calls Con. The devoted Taffy calls Scott 'the Owner'. The man himself gets his say in Chapter 3. His whiny blame-shifting and pompous finger-pointing takes up the next odd pages and grates throughout. He really must have had some force of personality, a kind of inner magnetism to induce so many to follow in his suicidal footsteps.
BB sheds some charitable light on this aspect in the last chapter through the normally-jaundiced eyes of Captain Oates.
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The catalogue of Scott's stubborn incompetence dereliction even! When he sneers at Amundsen you can call it undigested jealousy, but pretty soon you realize that Scott sneers at anyone who doesn't kow-tow or see eye-to-eye with him. Such an invincible superiority complex mixed up with a penchant for serial bungling could only ever be a recipe for disaster in the unforgiving climes of Antarctica. This book too I have a personal relationship with. Sitting behind the glass of a display case was a fat Penguin Travel book with a stark cover and a most curious title.
The name of the author was, if anything, even more curious: Apsley Cherry-Garrard. I had found it at last. Alongside Lawrence's Seven Pillars of Wisdom , this was one of my two touchstones of those years, epics of adventure, heroism and the limits of human endurance. The book cost takas, if memory serves. I didn't have the dough with me then, so I came back the next day and bought it and started to read it that same night, snug in the warmth and comfort of my bed in dusty, tropical Nakhalpara.
Ah, what times we had. Bowers' evocation of the polar landscape, of the stormy nights and the spangled skies makes this my favorite chapter of the book.
- The Mark Hayes Vocal Solo Collection: 10 Hymns & Gospel Songs for Solo Voice (Medium Low Voice): For Concerts, Contests, Recitals, and Worship.
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When one imagines the very unlikelihood of it, three men plodding across the surface of Antarctica's immensity in utter darkness, their way lit only by a single candle, relentlessly battered by blizzards and temperatures unheard of - all to collect some bird eggs! That such men lived through such days and nights on this planet of ours And so, on to the inexorable disaster of the last chapter, like a train of doom rushing down the tunnel. Titus Oates describes how the four-man team for the final push became five, how they got to the South Pole only to find that the superbly professional Amundsen had got there before them, how the despondent slog back to safety turned instead into a death-march.
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Taffy Evans went first, and when Oates walked out into the stormy night, he was only the second to go, the deaths of Scott and the other two were still a fortnight away. But that's where Bainbridge ends her story. Because really, all that needs to be said has already by then been said. An epic tale. View 2 comments.
crowpettevadeal.tk Sep 26, Beverly rated it it was ok. Gets inside the heads of the fated explorers of Scott's doomed polar expedition. There are many fine reviews of this book already in the Goodreads database. I can add very little except to emphasize that a basic understanding of the events surrounding the Terra Nova Expedition led by Captain Robert Falcon Scott in was essential to my appreciation of this short novel. The author does not provide any sense of the chronology of the expedition. Obviously, there are huge gaps in the story.
The effect for me was of having parachuted into the chronology and, after two chapters, I was scratching my head in confusion. My choice was to abandon the book or risk spoiling the ending by doing basic historical research. I chose the latter and then began again at the beginning of the book. I am happy with that decision. The contrast between the patriotic send-off of the ship in June and the ultimate defeat is beyond tragic. This is one of the most memorable stories that I have ever read.
Nov 30, Trelawn rated it it was amazing Shelves: challenge If not for the GRI continental challenge I would never have come across this book. That would have been a shame because for such a short book it gives a fascinating overview of the Terra Nova Expedition from the point of view of Taff Evans, Dr Wilson, Captain Scott, Lt. Bowers and Captain Oates. Each chapter charts a different stage of the journey to the South and the awful conditions the team endured.
I am in awe of anyone who would undertake such a journey knowing all the risks and b If not for the GRI continental challenge I would never have come across this book.
I am in awe of anyone who would undertake such a journey knowing all the risks and brutal conditions involved. While this is a fictional account, it is clear the Bainbridge has done her research and the five men come alive on the page and tug at your heart. Delighted I came across this book and would recommend it as a good starting point for finding out about the polar expedition. Cleverly, each of the five victims who made the final assault tells a segment of the chronology.
This makes for a variety of viewpoints as the reader is treated to the inner dialogue of each after hearing that of the other — a perspective-shifting device. This story is about teamwork in the harshest of conditions almost incomprehensible, if anything the author does not include enough of the physical deprivations and use of senses and will resonate with anyone familiar with sport or adventure teams.
For example, the leader Scott is forever assayed for his decisions and, according to the author, quite wracked with self doubt, perhaps fatally. Being a person who dislikes being cold, the accounts of severe conditions in were rather terrible, and I learned of fresh horrors such as losing all ones teeth spitting out like ice chinks once the nerves in the jaw are damaged by severe low temperatures. Apparently the travel to collect Emperor Penguin eggs was the first attempt to travel 20 miles in 60 days!
But this is a very brisk read, well told, and entertaining as an adventure tale to nearly everyone.
Perhaps it is one of those little things that men hold onto when all the rest of their world is foreign, threatening and upside down. A nice touch, I thought. Slang and turns of phrase were very delightful in this book, derived from British, Scotch and Welsh, yet not entirely lost as some of these relics can be found today in American English. This book is kind of hard to find, from a British publisher. And I want to thank my goodreads friends for turning me on to this, something I would never have found or read. Apparently Donald Ray Pollock is a fan. Perhaps this little seed of inspiration will spark a movement and this book from will become re-discovered and spark a whole movement or movie series!
View 1 comment. Shelves: , netgalley. The summary sounded appealing and last evening I downloaded the book. How can I say No? A free book in exchange for a review - that is a no-brainer. I had full intentions to begin reading last evening; but, Showtime was showing The Hound of the Baskervilles. So, even though I have viewed this film many times, I got suckered in. I should have read instead. With my Cinderella chores completed, I will begin reading today.
Many Thanks to Netgalley for this opportunity. Netgalley always sends just the right book recommendation at just the right time. Please give me a day or two and I will post a proper review. Bainbridge captured the thoughts of the men of the Terra Nova Expedition on point.
Each of the five narrators relays his story in his own words and these stories and words ring true. I felt as though I were a part of this ill-fated Expedition.
Please do yourself a favor and read this well-written book. Together, you and I will share our reading experience and ensure that the men of the Terra Nova Expedition are not forgotten.