A truly great survival story, written by the Russian ship Navigator; Albanov displays courage, perseverance, character and outstanding leadership skills. I wonder why this story is so little known. I suggest the reader not read the dust jacket, the preface, or the introduction until after completion of the book - to do elsewise detracts a little from the telling of the events.
An OUTSTANDING book! Five stars or six! A superbly written narrative/diary which was first published soon after the actual events happened. A real page-turner!
This is an excellent account of the fate of the Russian ship, the Saint Anna, and the twenty-five men and one woman who were on board. The Saint Anna left Russia in 1912 to look for new Arctic hunting grounds and then became trapped in ice in the Kara Sea. It drifted north for almost 1 1/2 years before the 32 year-old navigator, Valerian Albanov, left with 13 members of the crew to try to find help. This book is Albanov's account of what happened after leaving the ship.
Make sure you do not read the introduction unless you don't mind knowing the outcome. I was disappointed when I was told who survived and who didn't, even before starting the book! Even so, it was a well-written narrative and harrowing to say the least. I can't believe what these men had to endure. It made me appreciate every little blessing I have.
The preface states that the book is told in Albanov's own words, as entries in a daily journal. I believe that some of the book, however, is told in retrospect. Nevertheless, this is a wonderful read for those who enjoy reading about other people's ordeals and how these people overcame obstacles.
Good reading. A good example of how man can survive anything if one does not lose the will to live.
Read it some years ago. Can still reference how well it was written, with such nimble and fragile experience had been tested in such a foray of written literature.
It's a must read. I will read it again, given it is still available at HPL. Maybe I'll buy it. A favourite.
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