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Dead Men Hardcover – May 24, 2012

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"An expertly told story that captures the detail and spirit of Antarctic adventure, then and now. Not only a compelling novel but an excellent tribute to Scott and his men" — Sir Ranulph Fiennes

"A book that had me captivated from start to finish. You don't have to be interested in exploration to enjoy this thrilling read." — Andrew Gulli, Editor, Strand Magazine

"A book that had me captivated from start to finish. You don't have to be interested in exploration to enjoy this thrilling read." — – Andrew Gulli (Editor, Strand Magazine)

"Sensual and intriguing, this is a story about passions: the passion between Adam and Birdie, the passion of the Antarctic explorers, and a passion for the truth. . . . Solid research and great attention to detail will appeal to Antarctic aficionados, while others will enjoy the engaging love story and touch of the paranormal." — Booklist

"This debut novel by Richard Pierce proves a poetically written narrative can also be riveting and engrossing. . . . a notable success. I highly recommend this novel." — The Washington Independent Review of Books

About the Author

Richard Pierce was born in 1960 and has lived in 21 different places since. He was educated in Germany and England. Dead Men is his debut novel.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: The Overlook Press; First Edition edition (May 24, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1590208684
  • ISBN-13: 978-1590208687
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 1.1 x 8.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,871,165 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Richard Pierce was born in Doncaster in 1960. He has lived in 21 different places since, including London, Cambridge, Germany and Norway. He still prefers moving around to staying still.

Educated in England and Germany, he speaks English, German, and Norwegian, which can be confusing for those around him, but helps with research for his writing. He administers 3 grant-making charities.

Richard has lived in Suffolk since 2006, and has no immediate plans to leave. He is married, has four children, a cat, a rusty 1966 Triumph Spitfire, a collection of epees, and thousands of books in boxes.

He also writes poetry and paints.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Arthur Kerns on November 29, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Who said literary works tend to be boring? This debut novel by Richard Pierce proves a poetically written narrative can also be riveting and engrossing. Dead Men is the story of Captain Robert Falcon Scott's ill-fated race to the South Pole. Arriving at his destination on January 17, 1912, Scott learned that the Norwegian, Roald Amundsen, had planted his flag there thirty-three days earlier. Returning north to his base, Scott and the four members of his party perished by starvation only eleven miles away from food and fuel. Scott and two others, Bill Wilson and Henry "Birdie" Bowers, were found frozen in their tent by Cherry-Garrard and other members of the expedition. They buried their comrades under a snow cairn in the tent where they had found them.
A century later we meet Birdie Bowers, an accomplished artist, named by her parents after their distant relative who died with Scott. She meets by chance Adam Caird, an older, introspective, computer wizard who drinks and smokes too much. He becomes obsessed with this erratic, spiteful, chameleon of a girl (any prospective mother-in-law's nightmare) who is obsessed with solving the mystery of how and why Scott and her namesake died.
The idea of obsession runs throughout. Birdie is obsessed to discover her namesake's grave and solve the riddle of why he died with Captain Scott when they had only eleven miles to go. Adam is obsessed with Birdie and trudges on in his effort to gain her love. Scott is obsessed with being the first person at the South Pole. Cherry-Garrard is obsessed with the thought that he was responsible for the death of his leader and the four other men. He also hears the voices and the songs.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Richard on July 10, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I love it when worlds that are completely separate from each other collide. I had such an experience in reading `Dead Men' and finding in the pages of this book a number of ways in which worlds therein came together to become something new. That, in and of itself, would have brought me great enjoyment. But my reading of this book was even better. It nicely crashed into my real world.
I've never liked Scott. My children attend a school where the `houses' are named for the great Antarctica Explorers. Our family is Shackleton. Of course, that is no reason to dislike Scott, but all I've heard of him in history lessons furthered my dislike. But my reading of `Dead Men' coincided with a walk through the new Scott Exhibit at the Canterbury Museum in Christchurch, New Zealand. Boom, those two experiences brought me into a new understanding of this great man and the excitement, pain, and disappointment of his life.
The story itself is about people and their experiences bringing them into a fresh understanding of life. A woman, named for a great explorer, meets a man so distant from her obsession, and yet together they set out on a great adventure of their own. There was no way these two characters will ever be the same again. I loved the way the author brought together the worlds of the great Explorers and these two main and rather unusual characters of the modern day. Their journeys, distanced by time, join together and we, the readers, find ourselves understand what drives people, past and present, from a fresh perspective.
This is a book for everyone. Adventure, romance, eccentric characters, history, and art, you can find it here.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on February 6, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Reading Dead Men felt shockingly personal, as Richard Pierce has created a story from two of my favorite topics: love and Antarctic exploration. (What an unexpected treat!) Beautifully written, the novel unflinchingly examines both of those topics. With a delicate complexity underscoring its straight-forward narrative, Dead Men is every bit as true as the historical facts around which it was built.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Kimberly Menozzi on July 18, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Dead Men

I pre-ordered Dead Men back in February when Richard Pierce first shared news of the book's imminent release. Richard is a friend of mine since our Authonomy days, and I was thrilled that one of his books was finally going to be released. Needless to say, I looked forward to being able to sit back with my own copy of his Antarctic-set work and read it at my leisure at long last.

The only problem with reading something written by a friend is that it can be hard to separate the friendship from the reading itself. It's only natural - and human, I suspect - to give a bit of leeway to a writer you know personally. As a writer myself, it's a concern I have when my writer friends read and review my work, or when I in turn read and/or review theirs. I do my best to keep my reading objective and unbiased, and sometimes that's quite a struggle to do.

However, with Dead Men, this wasn't a problem at all. From the very first pages I was swept up into the story, and found myself moved to tears before I'd gotten through the first chapter.

The novel alternates between scenes from the past which detail events during Captain Scott's expedition in 1912 and the aftermath of its sobering end, and scenes set in the modern day which tell the story of a pair of seemingly mis-matched lovers who meet by chance on the London Underground.

The surest proof I was involved in the story (aside from my emotional reaction to how Pierce details the passing of the men at various points in the book) was the fact I wasn't sure how to feel about Birdie Bowers, the woman with the dead man's name. Her often careless and contrary - almost spiteful - nature bothered me at first.
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