My Penguin Year: Living with the Emperors

Lindsay McCrae. Morrow, $27.99 (304p) ISBN 978-0-06-297136-4
Filmmaker McCrae energetically relates the 11 months he spent living in Antarctica filming a colony of emperor penguins for the BBC in this swift, but surface-level, debut. McCrae’s choice to travel to Antarctica while his wife was expecting their first child allows him to contrast his own experience with that of the birds he’s filming, as the females leave their unhatched eggs in the care of their mates as they depart to feed in advance of the birth of the next generation of penguins. However, the comparison falls flat and does not achieve the hoped-for feeling of kinship among species. McCrae is at his best when simply relating his experience of natural wonders, such as when the penguins all huddle together in the face of a threatening storm, a collective action which presents him with a “seemingly motionless mosaic of row upon row of emperors.” Despite brief expressions of concern for the future of the Arctic world, most references to the changing climate are surprisingly oblique for such an existential crisis. Beautifully captured individual moments won’t be enough to allow the reader to entirely warm up to this uneven Antarctic tale. (Nov.)
Reviewed on : 10/09/2019
Release date: 11/01/2019
Genre: Nonfiction
Ebook - 304 pages - 978-0-06-297138-8
MP3 CD - 978-1-09-402696-1
Compact Disc - 978-1-09-402695-4
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