Empire of Ice and Stone: The Disastrous and Heroic Voyage of the Karluk, by Buddy Levy, WSU professor of English tells the terrifying story of a 1913 expedition gone wrong.

In 1913, the Karluk, flagship of the Canadian Arctic Expedition, became trapped in the Arctic ice. Over months of constant darkness, the old ship drifted away from land, carrying a party of explorers, engineers and Inuit hunters toward near-certain death. With every mile, the ice squeezed harder. And the walls of the ship began to crack.

“She creaked and groaned and, once or twice actually sobbed as the water oozed through her seams,” wrote the Karluk’s captain, Robert Bartlett. “There is nothing more human than a ship in ice pressure.”

Buddy Levy.

Buddy Levy’s Empire of Ice and Stone tells the story of the Karluk, the ice and the 25 people who were trapped between them. It is a sickening, terrifying tale, told in book form more than once before — a testament to the idiotic optimism with which white men first blundered across the Arctic and the sacrifices required to bring them home. Through it twists a single question: How do you prepare for hell?

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New York Times