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Ice Ghosts

The Epic Hunt for the Lost Franklin Expedition
Narrated by: Malcolm Hillgartner
Length: 12 hrs and 23 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (25 ratings)

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Summary

Ice Ghosts weaves together the epic story of the Lost Franklin Expedition of 1845 - whose two ships and crew of 129 were lost to the Arctic ice - with the modern tale of the scientists, divers, and local Inuit behind the incredible discovery of the flagship's wreck in 2014.

Paul Watson, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist who was on the icebreaker that led the discovery expedition, tells a fast-paced historical adventure story: Sir John Franklin and the crew of the HMS Erebus and Terror setting off in search of the fabled Northwest Passage, the hazards they encountered, the reasons they were forced to abandon ship hundreds of miles from the nearest outpost of Western civilization, and the decades of searching that turned up only rumors of cannibalism and a few scattered papers and bones - until a combination of faith in Inuit lore and the latest science yielded a discovery for the ages.

©2017 Paul Watson (P)2017 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

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Really good story

Probably not the most extensive book on the topic, but really good summary and good work done to prepare it. Amazing narrating - finished it over one weekend.

Some unnecessary for the story comments on the modern Canadian politics (which are probably not really interesting for non-Canadian readers) in the end slightly spoil it, but otherwise great book.

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Interesting but... Author igets bogged down

In Canadian & Environment politics during the second half, which is a shame and unnecessary Richard

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  • Gillian
  • 31-03-17

Flawed Writing Dashes High Hopes :(

I'm an "explorer" story nut. I've loved "Endurance", "South", "The Man Who Ate His Boots"; you name it: I'm THERE!
So I was grievously disappointed to come across a story that could have been: Men Plan, The Arctic Laughs.
Expect a LOT of jumping around in time, a lot of things like the man one psychic was married to; the hiking trip that the man who lent Louis the Inuit books went on; the grand search to own scuba gear one diver went on, etc. etc. People, and there are so many people in this weaving of two stories, are mentioned, are given much information on, and are never mentioned again. It really, really took away from the story.
When Watson does manage to reel himself in, this is a 4-Star story, complete with intrepid explorers, loyal friends, bumbling and dismissive Admirals, a determined/obsessed wife, psychics, archaeologists, historians, and divers going for the "money shot". It tracks Inuit oral traditions, and the one Inuit man who made it his mission to get those stories, cross-exam and cross-reference them. And the end, the discovery of the vessels is exciting as it's all so new. It's like "The Man Who Ate His Boots" with a tremendously glorious epilogue.
Was it worth the credit? Maybe, 'cause I really like stories like this. But did I hang on every single word?
Not quite...

22 of 25 people found this review helpful

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  • S. R. Schwankert
  • 25-01-19

Get to the point

This is a detailed account of one of the most popular stories in Arctic exploration history. The average reader may find the level of detail to be overwhelming. The book fails to convey sufficiently why Franklin is such a matter of obsession for some people. Franklin is portrayed as a bumbler, whose wife pushes him to return to the Arctic. About one-third of the book is devoted to Lady Franklin's efforts to launch searches for her husband and his crew, including an almost seance-by-seance account of her attempts to use the paranormal for that purpose. This is really misplaced in the telling of this story and detracts both from her determined legacy and from the Franklin history overall.

This book needed a better editor. Part one: Franklin. Why is this guy significant, what are his contributions to geography and science, what led to the loss of two ships and 129 men? Part two: various significant attempts to find Franklin and his party. Part three: The actual search and actual discovery. Especially for the audiobook, where the listener may not have ready access to a map of the area, the regular references to islands in the Arctic and their relation to each other is confusing.

Lastly, the author is at his worst when attempting to use metaphors, some of them mixed. The account is solid, if not cumbersome. Forget the attempts at clever phraseology and tighten up the story.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Sammy
  • 11-12-18

excellent book

This book covered the franklin expedition from beginning to end. History, the science of the revelations and the searches from earlier times to the present. Highly recommended.

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  • Lorena L.
  • 17-07-18

Maritime History -cutting edge science

This is the story of the Franklin Expidition and the fate of the crew and the ships. History buffs have pribably heard of it but this book will especially appeal to shipwreck stories. I watched a Nova special and that is what made me pick it. Expecting a history book about polar exploration (and Murphy's Law) I gound the combination of modern technology and Inuit folklore fascinating.

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  • Johnanna Greiner
  • 23-05-18

Great book!

as a Franklin Expedition addict, this was one of the best compilations I have read. Succinct historical overview, details about the Inuit input, and up-to-date information right up through the discovery of the Terror in September 2016. Even more satisfying than the 2015 Nova presentation, Arctic Ghost Ship.I highly recommend this for all those interested in Arctic exploration.

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  • Winifred Hinson
  • 19-05-18

Arctic Adventure

I was mostly interested in Inuit culture and ice geography but also learned a lot about the Royal Navy and Parks Canada