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Monday, May 13, 2013

Frozen in Time by Mitchell Zuckoff

Frozen in Time: An Epic Story of Survival and a Modern Quest for Lost Heroes of World War II by Mitchell Zuckoff
HarperCollins
ISBN: 978-0062133434
Published May 2013
Hardcover, 400 pages

Have you ever read a thriller novel where extraordinary and harrowing things happen to the characters but somehow they get through it against all odds? Well, that's what it was like reading Frozen in Time, except that it's not fiction, it's the true-life thrilling story of how a handful of WWII officers crashed into the barren and frozen Ice Cap of Greenland and survived for months. The story also alternates with the present story of a quest to find the lost Grumman Duck plane and the frozen remains of three officers.

Just as he did with Lost in Shangri-La, Zuckoff once again blew me away with his writing, bringing to life through narrative prose these valiant men, their adventures, their survival stories, and their families. By the end of the book, I felt like I knew these people personally. This is the gift of Zuckoff's writing. He allows the reader to truly get to know the people he writes about—not just facts, but their hopes and dreams—making the reading experience a touching one.

I didn't know a thing about Greenland, but Zuckoff makes sure the reader understands what kind of land it is just so one could appreciate all the obstacles the survivors encountered and how miraculous their survival really was. There were several times I choked up with tears as I read about these men's self-sacrificing acts and their mental anguish.

This was a suspenseful read. I could feel the relentless cold, hear the howling wind through the many snowstorms and feel the fear as the men had to trudge through snow and watch out for hidden crevasses that were bottomless. I kept marveling at the men's resilience and ingenuity. One of the things that kept the men's hope alive was the power of prayer. Zuckoff writes that they prayed daily, stating, “There were no atheists in their ice hole.”

Zuckoff makes it clear in his note to the reader that he takes no liberties with facts, dialogue, characters, details or chronology. This nonfiction work is based on his thorough research in the form of declassified documents, maps, photographs, interviews and previously unknown journals. He also joined the expedition team that travelled to the remote glacier in Greenland in search of the lost Grumman Duck plane. He tells us firsthand all about it.

I am counting this book as a favorite of 2013. I am a big fan of Zuckoff and will read anything by him, knowing that I am in for a well-written, exciting, and grand story.

Note: This book is rated C = clean read with the exception of 2 f-words when quoting the words of a US Coast Guard commander.
For more reviews, please visit the TLC Book Tour Page.

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About the Author:
Mitchell Zuckoff is the author of Lost in Shangri-La, a New York Times bestseller and winner of the Winship/PEN New England Award. His previous books include Robert Altman: The Oral Biography and Ponzi’s Scheme: The True Story of a Financial Legend. He has written for national and regional publications and is a former special projects reporter for the Boston Globe, where he was a Pulitzer Prize finalist for investigative reporting. He is a professor of journalism at Boston University and lives outside Boston.

Find out more about Zuckoff at his website, connect with him on Facebook, and follow him on Twitter.

Reviewed by Laura

Disclosure: Thanks to the publisher and TLC Book Tours for sending me this book for review. I was not compensated in any other way, nor told how to rate or review this product.

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