Thursday, June 13, 2013

Guest Review: Frozen in Time

Summary: Two harrowing crashes . . . A vanished rescue plane . . . A desperate fight for life in a frozen, hostile land . . . The quest to solve a seventy-year-old mystery
The author of the smash New York Times bestseller Lost in Shangri-La delivers a gripping true story of endurance, bravery, ingenuity, and honor set in the vast Arctic wilderness of World War II and today. 

On November 5, 1942, a U.S. cargo plane on a routine flight slammed into the Greenland ice cap. Four days later, a B-17 on the search-and-rescue mission became lost in a blinding storm and also crashed. Miraculously, all nine men on the B-17 survived. The U.S. military launched a second daring rescue operation, but the Grumman Duck amphibious plane sent to find the men flew into a severe storm and vanished. 

In this thrilling adventure, Mitchell Zuckoff offers a spellbinding account of these harrowing disasters and the fate of the survivors and their would-be saviors. Frozen in Time places us at the center of a group of valiant airmen fighting to stay alive through 148 days of a brutal Arctic winter by sheltering from subzero temperatures and vicious blizzards in the tail section of the broken B-17 until an expedition headed by famed Arctic explorer Bernt Balchen attempts to bring them to safety. 

But that is only part of the story that unfolds in Frozen in Time. In present-day Greenland, Zuckoff joins the U.S. Coast Guard and North South Polar—a company led by the indefatigable dreamer Lou Sapienza, who worked for years to solve the mystery of the Duck’s last flight—on a dangerous expedition to recover the remains of the lost plane’s crew. 

Drawing on intensive research and Zuckoff ’s firsthand account of the dramatic 2012 expedition, Frozen in Time is a breathtaking blend of mystery, adventure, heroism, and survival. It is also a poignant reminder of the sacrifices of our military personnel and their families—and a tribute to the important, perilous, and often-overlooked work of the U.S. Coast Guard. -- Harper

I remembered how much my father enjoyed LOST IN SHANGRI-LA (his review), so I had a feeling that he would want to read the author's latest book FROZEN IN TIME: AN EPIC STORY OF SURVIVAL AND A MODERN QUEST FOR LOST HEROES OF WORLD WAR II by Mitchell Zuckoff. Not to pat myself on the back or anything, but I was right! Here are his thoughts:

I had thoroughly enjoyed reading and reviewing Mitchell Zuckoff’s LOST IN SHANGRI-LA, so I was excited to review FROZEN IN TIME, an epic story of survival and a modern quest for lost heroes of World War II. While Lost in Shangri-La told the story of a downed military plane in the jungles of New Guinea, FROZEN IN TIME chronicles three plane crashes in Greenland, the fate of the crews and rescue teams and recounts a 2012 mission to find one of the aircraft and crew.

On November 5, 1942, a US C-53 cargo plane on a routine mission crashed landed on the Greenland ice cap. All five crewmen initially survived the crash. Four days later a B17 with a crew of nine, one of the 44 search and rescue missions sent out to locate the C-53, also crashed. Again all crew members survived the crash. On November 24 the F16 was spotted and relief supplies began to be delivered to the crew until a rescue plan could be developed A Grumman Duck amphibious plane was sent to rescue the B16 crew. After rescuing two of the crew, a second rescue attempt resulted in the plane’s disappearance with its two man crew and one B17 crew member on board.

At the end of the ordeal the five C-53 crew was never found and two B17 crew members and three would-be-rescuers perished. By the time the last three B17 crew members were rescued they had survived 148 days exposed to the bitter Greenland weather and harsh terrain.

In 2012, 70 years after the ordeal, author Mitchell Zuckoff joined the Coast Guard and a volunteer group called North South Polar, Inc. on a mission to Greenland to find the Grumman Duck and return the crews’ remains to the United States.

Zuckoff moves deftly back and forth between the events of 1942-43 and the mission of 2012 to tell his story. Zuckoff brings the story to life with his portraits of the crash victims and rescuers and his detailed descriptions of the ordeals they faced. His account of the 2012 mission, although not as suspenseful as the 1942-43 crisis, gives the reader a sense of the suspense, danger and politics associated with that search.

FROZEN IN TIME is a nonfiction narrative that reads more like a suspense novel. Zuckoff’s clear writing style brings out for the reader all the danger, suspense, desperation, courage and life and death struggles experienced by the stranded men and their rescuers. FROZEN IN TIME is a book that will appeal to all readers but will be of particular interest to those interested in World War II stories.

Thanks to the publisher for providing a review copy of this book and to Booking Pap Pap for his great review.


Beth F said...

what an ordeal -- lost planes, lost people. Wow. I've never heard of this before.

rhapsodyinbooks said...

I've been trying to talk Jim into reading this one. Can't wait to show him this review! :--)

bermudaonion said...

That's the kind of nonfiction I love!

Anna said...

I've heard nothing but good things about Zuckoff's books. I'm definitely going to have to give them a try.