Fram

Steve Himmer. Ig (Consortium, dist.), $16.95 trade paper (248p) ISBN 978-1-935439-98-1
This mordant, funny novel from Himmer (The Bee-Loud Glade) pokes fun at modern American government. Oscar has worked for the Bureau of Ice Prognostication (BIP), a secret “basement” federal agency in Washington, D.C., for 10 years. He downplays his position of prognosticator as “pretty dull stuff” to discourage any questions about it, even from his wife, Julia, from whom he is drifting apart. When Oscar’s fiery boss, Director Lenz, dispatches him on an assignment to BIP’s Northern Branch in the Arctic, a lifelong fantasy becomes reality. Oscar obsesses over the annals of Arctic explorers, what Julia calls his “polar fever.” He keeps a reference set of National Geographic magazines on hand and studies the exploits of the Norwegian polar adventurer Fritjof Nansen and his ship the Fram, designed to reach the North Pole on a drifting pack ice. While on the eventful journey north, Oscar learns that other shadowy interests believe he knows the location of valuable uranium deposits, which he denies. He feels as if he’s entered a game of “international intrigue and espionage” while he tries to stay in touch with Julia. Himmer’s story is fun and exhilarating, especially as it heads toward its heroic climax. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 12/22/2014
Release date: 01/01/2015
Hardcover - 248 pages - 978-1-63246-001-1
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