Labyrinth of Ice

The Arctic grail of Farthest North was never far from his mind.

Buddy Levy
Labyrinth of Ice:
The Triumphant and Tragic Greely Polar Expedition


At the time of this review – it’s still on sale for $3.99 on Chirp.

Publisher’s Synopsis:
Based on the author’s exhaustive research, the incredible true story of the Greely Expedition, one of the most harrowing adventures in the annals of polar exploration.

In July 1881, Lt. A.W. Greely and his crew of 24 scientists and explorers were bound for the last region unmarked on global maps. Their goal: Farthest North. What would follow was one of the most extraordinary and terrible voyages ever made.

Greely and his men confronted every possible challenge—vicious wolves, sub-zero temperatures, and months of total darkness—as they set about exploring one of the most remote, unrelenting environments on the planet. In May 1882, they broke the 300-year-old record, and returned to camp to eagerly await the resupply ship scheduled to return at the end of the year. Only nothing came.

250 miles south, a wall of ice prevented any rescue from reaching them. Provisions thinned and a second winter descended. Back home, Greely’s wife worked tirelessly against government resistance to rally a rescue mission.

Months passed, and Greely made a drastic choice: he and his men loaded the remaining provisions and tools onto their five small boats, and pushed off into the treacherous waters. After just two weeks, dangerous floes surrounded them. Now new dangers awaited: insanity, threats of mutiny, and cannibalism. As food dwindled and the men weakened, Greely’s expedition clung desperately to life.

Labyrinth of Ice tells the true story of the heroic lives and deaths of these voyagers hell-bent on fame and fortune—at any cost—and how their journey changed the world.

Rellim’s Thoughts:
I wish I could remember what book I read that mentioned the Greely Expedition &/or this book – unfortunately I can’t. Especially given how grateful I am to have experienced their story and this book in particular.

Buddy Levy has brought together a tremendous amount of research, helped considerably by the copious amounts of record the explorers themselves kept, to share the daring story of the Lady Franklin Bay Expedition. While a little over 13 hours, I was so engaged with this story I managed to finish it in two days. Levy manages to share details in such a way that I felt like I was on this voyage with them.

It’s disheartening to know that this expedition, to many, was reduced to unfounded accusations of cannibalism sensationalized by newspapers of the time. I learned so much about the time period, exploration, technology of the time, humanity, and the impact that this endeavor still has on science and our lives today. It was fascinating to learn about the preparation for such journeys, including the amount of supplies and the fact that they knew it could be months or even years before they were rescued.

I also appreciated that Levy brought a deep level of humanity to the experience. These men and their loved ones waiting for their return were people with families, fears, talents, flaws, and dreams. I was moved both by the loss of those who did not make it and the grief and elation of those who did.

Will Damron’s narration was excellent. I appreciated his ability to bring the emotional depth and respect necessary to what were sometimes horrific conditions and events. His delivery made clear the differences between Levy’s text, quoted journal entries, and quotes from various participants of the expedition and its rescuers.

About the author:
Buddy Levy is the author of seven books and his work has been featured or reviewed in The New York TimesThe Wall Street JournalUSA TodayThe Washington PostThe Washington TimesKirkus Book ReviewsPublisher’s WeeklyBooklist, and Library Journal. He has also appeared frequently on national radio—including The Dennis Prager ShowNPR, and Rudy Maxa’s World. He was the co-star, for 25 episodes from 2010-2012, on HISTORY Channel’s hit docuseries Brad Meltzer’s DECODED, which aired to an average of 1.7 million weekly viewers and is still airing as reruns today.

You can connect with Buddy Levy here:

About the narrator:
From his website: I’ve now voiced over 400 audiobooks in almost every genre: from literary fiction to fantasy, YA, memoirs, business, romance, children’s books, and historical fiction. In my oodles of spare time, I was revising and honing the story that became The Tercentennial Baron. And in October 2017, I was finally able to publish the book independently.

You can connect with Will Damron here:

My Favorite Quotes

The Arctic grail of Farthest North was never far from his mind. – Labyrinth of Ice by @buddylevy #audiobook narrated by @jwdamron @MacmillanAudio #NonFiction #TrueStory #Survival #History #PolarExpedition #FarthestNorth #GreelyExpedition

To force himself to keep going, he would throw his eyeglasses five or six feet ahead up the mountain, so he would have to ascend to retrieve them. – Labyrinth of Ice by @buddylevy #audiobook narrated by @jwdamron @MacmillanAudio #NonFiction #TrueStory #Survival #History #PolarExpedition #FarthestNorth #GreelyExpedition

She had no desire to become the widow of a famous explorer. – Labyrinth of Ice by @buddylevy #audiobook narrated by @jwdamron @MacmillanAudio #NonFiction #TrueStory #Survival #History #PolarExpedition #FarthestNorth #GreelyExpedition

they’d learned about the fate of their president from a packaged lemon, wrapped in newspaper, salvaged from a sinking ship. – Labyrinth of Ice by @buddylevy #audiobook narrated by @jwdamron @MacmillanAudio #NonFiction #TrueStory #Survival #History #PolarExpedition #FarthestNorth #GreelyExpedition

The death of my companion under these circumstances made a deeper impression on my mind than any experience in my whole life. – Labyrinth of Ice by @buddylevy #audiobook narrated by @jwdamron @MacmillanAudio #NonFiction #TrueStory #Survival #History #PolarExpedition #FarthestNorth #GreelyExpedition

Greely and his team demonstrated that, properly equipped and under the right leadership, it was possible to conduct laboratory-quality science in the field, and in the harshest environments on the planet. – Labyrinth of Ice by @buddylevy #audiobook narrated by @jwdamron @MacmillanAudio #NonFiction #TrueStory #Survival #History #PolarExpedition #FarthestNorth #GreelyExpedition

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