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My Farthest North

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    Available in PDF - DJVU Format | My Farthest North.pdf | Language: English
    Annette Freeman(Author)

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During three weeks in the High Arctic our heroine reaches her ʻfarthest northʼ as well as her ʻcoldest northʼ. With a wry sense of humour, this fictionalised memoir introduces us to a diverse cast of characters, including polar bears, reindeers, walrus, a Polish Arctic explorer, a Russian sea captain, a quirky expedition leader...and the shadowy Eduardo. As she journeys on, our narrator tells Eduardo about everything she is seeing, experiencing, learning and reading. We learn gradually that Eduardo is stuck in his office and couldnʼt make the trip with her. Are they lovers? In northern Norway, night disappears along with the 3G signal. Bravely facing the rickety steps down the side of the ship to the inflatable dinghy, learning to make wet landings, and how to - and how not to - approach walrus, our narrator learns a few things about herself and the difficulty of remaining cheerful in spite of a very cold butt. In Svalbard, euphoria at a polar bear sighting gives way to a ho-hum glacier expedition. In Greenland, Heidi the Inuit Girl welcomes the expeditioners in full Traditional Dress and with walrus canapes, and an Inuit grandmother offers roasted polar bear. In Iceland various threatened species adorn the cafe menus. In reading our heroineʼs journal written for Eduardo, we are eavesdroppers on her uncensored thoughts. Her bouts of bad temper and her unreasonable expectations are all here, along with her wry assessments of her fellow Arctic travellers. If youʼve ever wondered what it was like to sit in a small boat above the Arctic Circle, with nothing around you but fog, the disappearing sea ice, the chance of a bear sighting and a severe bout of unrequited love, this story is for you.
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Book details

  • PDF | 204 pages
  • Annette Freeman(Author)
  • Ben Hyron's Cottage Pty Ltd (March 27, 2013)
  • English
  • 3
  • Biographies & Memoirs

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Review Text

  • By Jennifer Cameron-Smith on December 10, 2015

    Presented as a fictionalised memoir written to (or for) Eduardo, most likely set in 2010 (although I’m guessing), this is an account of three weeks spent in the High Arctic region of the world during the northern hemisphere summer. Our heroine – let’s call her Annette – sets off from Sydney Airport on Saturday, the 17th of July and returns on Tuesday, the 10th of August. What does she do between these dates, and who is Eduardo?‘If you don’t hear from me in two weeks, send a search party. With champagne.’From the tedium of long-distance air travel to the challenges of wet landings in the High Arctic, Annette’s account is observant and humorous. Her experience of life aboard ship, largely disconnected from electronic forms of connection through eMail and mobile telephone, gives insight into life lived in the confined quarters of a ship. Annette remains vigilant for signs of motion sickness, and hopeful of seeing wildlife in the Arctic. And there is wildlife: polar bears, whales, reindeers and walrus. While some of Annette’s fellow travellers are excited about the birdlife, she’s not quite so keen on the birds. There’s some beautiful description of space, of days without nights, of the beauty of ice. There’s a balance between the beauty (mostly) of the surroundings and the mundaneness (sometimes) of travel. Time on ship includes lectures about wildlife and surroundings (I especially loved the information about whales), while journeys off-ship (those wretched wet landings) don’t always go according to plan. Still, there are Inuit in Greenland, and endangered species to eat (or not) in Iceland.‘To be at water level amongst the sea ice — how can I describe it? It is moody and evocative of danger; it is remote and empty and silent, except for the splashing of the cold ocean against the ice edges.’It took me a while to get comfortable with reading an account of the journey directed specifically to Eduardo. At times I felt like an intruder, a trespasser in an account of a journey not intended for any third party. Eventually I moved past this feeling of intrusion, and just enjoyed Annette’s account of a trip (with some great photographs) that I’m never likely to make myself.If you enjoy travel memoirs and have an interest in the High Arctic, I recommend this book.Note: I was provided with a copy of this book for review purposes.Jennifer Cameron-Smith


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