Monday, 26 December 2011

seventy-four.

Dark Matter by Michelle Paver (2010)

"It's all over, I'm not going. I can't spend a year in the Arctic with that lot. They arrange to 'meet for a drink', then give me a grilling, and make it pretty clear what they think of a grammar-school boy with a London degree. Tomorrow I'll write and tell them where to put their sodding expedition."
Jack Miller is joining an expedition to Gruhuken, Spitsbergen in 1937. The expedition will consist of five men and they will spend a year in the Arctic. But the expedition has bad luck from the start, and only three men end up going. And the captain of the sealing boat they're hitching a ride with, refuses to go all the way to Gruhuken.

Yes! A ghost story from the High Arctic is exactly what I needed at the darkest time of the year. This book had me right from the start and I couldn't put it down. I'm glad I read this (and reading the Shining) in a house full of people and dogs instead of alone in my small apartment. 

I didn't just like the book because it was scary, I really enjoyed the historical background and the details from how to take meteorological readings and using a wireless to the description of the (fictional) Gruhuken. And the pictures from Svalbard! 

"Fear of the dark. Until I came here, I thought that was for children; that you grew out of it. But it never really goes away. It's always there underneath. The oldest fear of all. What's at the back of the cave?"

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