January 1937. Jack Miller has just about run out of options. His shoes have worn through, he can't afford to heat his rented room in Tooting, and he longs to use his training as a specialist wireless operator instead of working in his dead-end job. When he is given the chance to join an arctic expedition, as communications expert, by a group of elite Oxbridge graduates, he brushes off his apprehensions and convinces himself to join them.
As the young men set sail from a gloomy Britain on the verge of war, Jack feels the overwhelming excitement of not knowing what lies ahead. Little can he imagine the horrors that await him in their destination, Gruhuken, a place that cannot escape the savage echo of its past.
©2010 Michelle Paver (P)2010 Orion Publishing Group Limited
I'm open to any book as long as it is true to itself.
As I live in the North myself, I can tell you that Paver captures the feeling of the cold and isolation extremely well. A simple premise, but Paver explores relationships between friends and man and dog effectively. Class issues permeate through the relationships between the men and the main character comes to new understandings through his experiences and is a changed man by the end of the book. A unique book which I would highly recommend. The narration was excellent.
I felt a lot more tense while listening to this than I expected to. Its pretty short so I was able to listen to it on one long evening drive which made it much more immersive. Definitely a well executed chilling ghost story.
Tell us about yourself!
I am just one third of the way through this novel and I am already going to pieces, as it is making me very giddy.. Paver is skillfully weaving a most suspense ridden story while Northam's realistic reading, makes me not want to listen to it after night falls. That is quite significant to me, as I live on sunny St. Thomas, the complete opposite of Spitsbergen. Will update later.....
Yes I would listen again. After listening to this book, I can imagine what total darkness, cold, and lack of human contact can do to the human mind...especially with something haunting your every move.
The time frame was one of my favorites. The fact that this was an expedition is also one of my favorite settings for horror.
Jack. Probably because he was there for all of the expedition, where all other characters were there only part of the time. Jack endured all the little island could throw at him until the end. He also became a dog lover in the end as well.
Inside the mind of a man, alone, literally at the end of the earth, with only darkness and a dog as constant companions. Or, is there something else out there?
I liked this book, a lot. It's descriptions of the terrible loneliness in the dark is amazing. I think this is a ghost story comparable with the Shining, which I think it's another amazing book. Highly recommended.
A suspenseful, gripping story that immediately submerses the reader in an alien world replete with hidden dangers. The narration is one of the best I have ever listened to. Don't miss it!
Creepy atmosphere, building up tension throughout the story. I really had no idea how it was going to end. I was on the edge of my seat. Great narrator, too, with a natural-sounding accent, good reading pace, added atmosphere to the story.
Characters were complex & believable. I really enjoyed this story all the way through.
"Hypnotic and Engrossing"
The story builds up slowly, the environment as much a character as expedition members. A story to listen to attentively.
"Gripping - a classic ghost story"
I was surprised at how much of a page turner this was, it's not as predictable as you might think and very atmospheric. Initially I thought the readers voice was going to be quite boring to listen to but I was wrong, just the right timbre for the story. Very absorbing, quite scary and brought neatly to a satisfying conclusion.
This story had me from chapter one. Utterly gripping and superbly narrated. I cannot recommend it highly enough.
"A very worthwhile listen"
A beautifully written book which chronicles the trials of a young man unfortunately left alone on an expedition lust before WWII. His descent into near-madness is hard to read but utterly compelling. I didn't quite get exactly what Jack's feelings towards Gus were, but I feel that may be deliberate. Is Jack gay or just overwhelmed with finally having a friend? At 6 hours, (for the Audible book), I felt this was just the right length. I can't say this was uplifting, but it was very interesting and Ms Paver uses English exquisitely. At times I felt so cold it was almost as if I were there. The only reason I've given it 4 instead of 5 stars is because, once again, the strap line lets the book down. It says "a ghost story", and I'm not convinced that it is a ghost story. The main story is about Jack and his feelings and state of mind as he starts to believe the island is haunted. When will strap lines become accurate? It drives me bonkers!!!! I'm pleased to recommend this book as a worthwhile read
I loved this audiobook! It's definitely one of my all time faves. The narrative was perfect & couldn't have been any better & the story was exactly what I like in a horror/thriller. I could really imagine everything that was said & I felt like I was there. Will check out the authors other books.
"A chilling tale"
A beautifully written adventure/horror story where the lines between sanity, madness and the paranormal are blurred. The narrator did an excellent portrayal of the main character and it was easy to get sucked into his reality as the plot developed.
Beautifully written and equally well narrated.
Haunting, mysterious and engaging. Eagerly anticipating each chapter as the story moved on.
"loved this book !"
The narration is perfect for this tale, suitably solemn-sounds like he was really there!
"Cold, Creepy, & Utterly Absorbing!!"
You know, I'm not the biggest fan of "ghost" stories, and so it was with some trepidation that I selected this. The story describes a mesmerising and, at times heart-wrenching account of a doomed 1937 three-man polar expedition to Gruhaken in Norway, a wilderness purported to be haunted by the malevolent spirit of a dead Norwegian trapper. The expedition proceeds reasonably well at first (weather readings, glacial research), but the real fun ensues when two team members are forced to withdraw because of illness to a town two days distant (by boat). Much of the story then focuses on the gradual emotional disintegration of Jack Miller, the team member forced to remain alone at the camp for several weeks of "endless night" in an effort to keep the expedition from failing. It is during this time that Jack experiences the haunting! The author's attention to detail - historical, geographical, and psychological - deserves much applause, as does the inspired choice of a first person narrative device (Jack Miller's diaries) to drive the story forward and keep the reader engaged. Jeremy Northam sets a wonderfully hallucinogenic narrative pace, very effectively projecting Miller's sense of creeping paranoia and ultimately, paralysing fear, that accompanies the everlasting winter darkness. In my view, the darkness is the real villain of this story. I mean, who isn't afraid of the dark, especially when there is no light to follow it?
I wish the language was a little more of its time as I really enjoyed the narrators 1940s / 50s accent at the start. I was really surprised how good the book was. Usually this type of book tapers off into something generic and boring. This kept me guessing. One of the best books I've listened to in ages and I get through a lot.
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