Across the Top of the World: To the North Pole by Sled, Balloon, Airplane and Nuclear Icebreaker

David Fisher, Author Random House (NY) $25 (0p) ISBN 978-0-679-41116-1
Only July 27, 1991, the Sovetskiyok/gs Soyuz , a Russian nuclear-powered ship, sailed from Murmansk on a three-week luxury cruise across the polar ice cap. Fisher ( Fire and Ice ), a nuclear physicist from the University of Miami, was among the passengers. Into this engaging day-by-day account of the voyage, he deftly intersperses stories of earlier expeditions in search of the Pole--those of Hansen, Andree, Peary, Cook, Byrd and others. To Fisher, the cruise was of scientific interest; to most of his fellow-passengers, it was simply an exciting trip to nowhere, with the thrill of danger. Fisher found his cabin too hot, the menus elaborate, the food awful. The early explorers experienced life-threatening situations daily; the cruise passengers enjoyed champagne-and-vodka parties on the ice. The voyage ended at Provideniya, easternmost city in Siberia. Fisher gives a vivid portrait of the extensive pollution there. Photos not seen by PW. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 11/02/1992
Release date: 11/01/1992
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