Amundsen’s Way

Amundsen’s Way is aptly titled. It is the story of a man so single-minded and driven that there is simply no other way but his way. It is the true story, told as fiction, of the Norwegian explorer’s grit and persistence as he leads his team to be the first men to reach the South Pole in December 1911.

Grochowicz spares no details in revealing how the merciless polar landscape and plummeting temperatures affect the physical condition of the explorers, as well as the test of mental strength they must endure to reach their goal. The teams of dogs play a crucial role in getting the men to the South Pole. There are engrossing and enlightening descriptions of their ongoing fight for survival and the ultimate planned end for many of them.

The writing is clear and crisp and the story glides along at a very satisfying pace with a steadily building sense of excitement. The chapters are short, some of them ending with a hint of foreboding as loyalties and tensions among the team are revealed. A handful of chapters delve into Amundsen’s childhood and earlier expeditions, giving a helpful insight into how his passion developed. Delightful illustrations of the sleigh dogs that have such a fundamental role in the success of the mission precede every chapter. A team drawing, illustrated maps and a collection of photographs complement the story and help to make it a very engaging read.

Enlightening, educational and thoroughly enjoyable.