"In the Land of White Death" by Valerian Albanov.

Essay by vovalosHigh School, 10th gradeA+, May 2003

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Book review for "In the Land of White Death" by Valerian Albanov

In his book Albanov tells about his journey over the frozen ice of the arctic sea, trying to escape from the frozen ship. Albanov was the navigator on board of Saint Anna, a Russian explorer, which left Murmansk in August 1912 in search for new hunting grounds in the polar waters. The ship was frozen in ice in late October of the same year and drifted in the northern direction, trapping the crew aboard. After spending two winters on board in the spring of 1914, Albanov sets of to reach land. Albanov, who was one of the 13 people trying to reach land, tells us the story as he saw it, relying on his diary. The theme, which can be seen throughout the book, is the men's ability to show great endurance and push oneself to the extreme in the event of great need.

Unlike most other novels dealing with adventures in the sea, this one doesn't start with the ship leaving the port. Albanov starts his story when he was on the ship for more than one and a half years and finally chooses to leave the ship. He believed that the ship, which was frozen in ice for two winters, was a death trap and decided to head for the Franz Josef Archipelago. Although, initially he wanted to go alone, soon 13 other crewmembers decided to join him. Together they built seven sledges and seven kayaks from the pieces of the ship which were not needed, and set off for land in spring of 1914. Although 13 people started this journey, only two - Albanov and Konrad, ever made it. From the rest of the group - two people decided to return to the...