As a small boy growing up in Europe, I idolized Roald Amundsen. I read everything I could find about him and someday wanted to be an explorer like he. So, when I discovered a new book about Amundsen, I was anxious to read it and to relive my childhood dreams. Thus it pains me to give the book such a low rating. On the positive side, I appreciate the author's thorough research of the technical aspects of aerodynamics, aircraft and lighter-than-air craft specifications, etc. However, the book is terribly written. What could have been treated as a can't-put-it-down adventure story is written like a technical report. There's no passion, no human interest. Most of all, there is no excuse for Cameron and his publisher not having had the book edited (if it was edited, shame on the editor!). On the average, every other page contains an error: a misspelling, a grammatical mistake... Moreover, the author seems to have an aversion to commas; their absence often makes it necessary to go back and reread a sentence. Some paragraphs are more than a page long. Perhaps the best part of the book is its cover: it's very well done. I'm still an admirer of Roald Amundsen, but I cannot recommend this book to likeminded readers or those who are discovering him for the first time.
I'm sorry to have to rate this book unfavorably. It's clear that the author has passion for the subject but simply did not complete enough and/or accurate research prior to publishing. Several inaccuracies plague the otherwise interesting information presented, and sometimes it seems like the author just gives up on correctly identifying aircraft or other facts. Author could have benefited from an editor to catch mistakes and correct writing style. Unfortunately can't cite in professional or academic papers.
I enjoyed this book. I knew something of Amundsen’s expeditions and knew he had flown to the North Pole in the airship Norge but not that he had such a long standing association with aviation. The review above criticises the author’s identification of the aircraft types and some of his facts so I showed the book to a friend with an interest in the history of aviation who tells me the aircraft are correctly identified and the technical data given in the book are accurate. I did some fact checking and can’t find any significant historical errors. The author is a commercial pilot and flying instructor and I found his insights into the technical aspects of the story to be interesting and enriched it. I recommend this book to anyone with an interest of either Arctic exploration or the history of aviation.