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Frozen in Time: An Epic Story of Survival and a Modern Quest for Lost Heroes of World War II Hardcover – Deckle Edge


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Harper; First American Edition edition (April 23, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062133438
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062133434
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.3 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (518 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,562 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

An Amazon Best Book of the Month, April 2013: Talk about bad luck: In 1942, a United States cargo plane crash-landed while flying over Greenland, stranding the crew on sea of ice. A rescue flight was quickly dispatched--it crashed in a November storm, stranding its own nine crewmembers. The third time was not the charm: a second rescue mission disappeared in another blizzard, leaving neither clues nor apparent survivors. Subsequent attempts--some with fatal results--failed under the harsh conditions, forcing the men to weather the Arctic winter in makeshift shelters, including the tail section of a broken bomber. This tale of survival in the deadliest conditions would be enthralling on its own (and it is), but Zuckoff's meticulous research led him to a modern-day group dedicated to solving the mystery of the third flight. As a chronicler of their mission, Zuckoff is swept into their adventure, and his project becomes much more than an interesting World War II subplot. Part Alive, part Shackleton, Frozen in Time is a thrilling story of courage, perseverance, and loyalty that spans decades. --Jon Foro

From Booklist

It sounds so implausible that you think it must be fiction: in 1942, a U.S. military cargo plane crashed in Greenland; soon after, a B-17 bomber, assigned to the rescue mission, also crashed; and, not much longer after that, a Coast Guard rescue plane carrying one of the B-17 survivors disappeared in a storm. Facts, not fiction. Nearly seven decades later, Lou Sapienza, a commercial photographer who documented an earlier effort to find lost WWII planes, put together an expedition to Greenland aimed at finding out what happened to that Coast Guard plane. Author Zuckoff tagged along, chronicling the adventures of the colorful Sapienza while also telling us, through flashbacks, the story of the survivors of the B-17 crash and their months-long ordeal to stay alive while awaiting rescue. Zuckoff, who also wrote 2011’s Lost in Shangri-La (about a different but equally compelling WWII crash-and-rescue story), juggles the modern-day and historical stories adroitly, making us feel as though we are right there with the crash survivors, fighting against the bitter cold. --David Pitt

More About the Author

Mitchell Zuckoff is a professor of journalism at Boston University. Previously, he was a reporter and writing coach for The Boston Globe, where he was a finalist for a Pulitzer Prize in investigative reporting. He won the Distinguished Writing Award from the American Society of Newspaper Editors, The Livingston Award, and The Heywood Broun Award, among other national honors. He received a master's degree from the University of Missouri and was a Batten Fellow at the University of Virginia. He lives outside Boston. His website is www.mitchellzuckoff.com

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Customer Reviews

The book was a great read and well written.
Sody
He allows the reader to truly get to know the people he writes about--not just facts, but their hopes and dreams--making the reading experience a touching one.
Laura Fabiani
I also read and liked his first book, Lost in Shangri-La: A True Story of Survival, Adventure, and the Most Incredible Rescue Mission of World War II.
Gerard F. Zemek

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

146 of 155 people found the following review helpful By feemeister VINE VOICE on April 5, 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This book was RIVETING! One of those where I just couldn't put it down. WORD OF WARNING! This book was written in two different time periods. If you are like me, and do not want to be interrupted with a different time period, you might want to skip the newer time period chapters to read afterwards. (I also do not like ''spoilers'' and had I read the newer ones at the same time it would have really taken away from the story for me.) Each chapter has the timeframe right under the ch. number, so it's easy to flip ahead to what you want to read. So I read it as two different stories, completely through. The way the book is set up, you can read it this way and not miss a beat!

The author did a great job of taking you right into the middle of all the action (and severe nonaction, at times). Before I read this book, I had no CLUE what kinds of horrific conditions were in store for rescuers and would be rescuers. I had no idea about all the crevasses that people fell into, and that would open up under your feet. The weather conditions and the difficulties the planes faced in trying to land and take off. The starvation, the hope, the desperation and despair. If you had told me before I read this that a plane could have gone down, that it was known exactly where the plane was, and that it could have taken THAT long to rescue the people, I would have thought you were nuts!

This story was beautifully told and truly showed the valor and strength of spirit of some little known heroes. I hope this book will immortalize them as they deserve. You can feel the involvement of the author all through this story. A phenomenal storyteller!
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66 of 72 people found the following review helpful By Michael P. Lefand VINE VOICE on April 8, 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
"Frozen in Time" is a story of hell in a frozen wasteland. For the first time the tragedy and heroism of downed airmen over the frozen wastes of Greenland while ferrying planes and cargo to our Allies in England during World War II is told by Mitchell Zuckoff. This is a fascinating story of how the U.S. Coast Guard also played a vital role in the search and rescue of many of the aircrews.

Zuckoff recounts the misfortune of the C-53 Skytrooper Cargo plane lost over Greenland that initiated the air and sea search which resulted in the loss of a B-17 (PN9E). In a rescue attempt for some of the crew of the B-17 a Grumman "Duck" was lost after being launched off the Coast Guard cutter Northland.

Zuckoff conveys to the reader the horrendous conditions the crew of the B-17 suffered; from the physical conditions of facing starvation and dealing with frostbite to the mental deprivations derived from isolation upon a frozen wasteland with little chance of rescue.

In a way without distracting from the main focus of survival of the air crews, Zuckoff tells the story of a present day team that has set out to retrieve the remains and reveal the truth about what really happened to those lost. This story is told in concurrence with the survival tale. In some ways I found this distracting, but not overly so. Only enough to reduce what I thought was a 5 star book down to 4 stars.

A historic note of interest:

As well as a way station for aircraft making their way to England, the United States had an early interest in Greenland at the outbreak of hostilities in Europe.
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28 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Randy Keehn VINE VOICE on May 16, 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
"Frozen in Time" is a compelling account of survival in one of the remotest corners of the world. The time is the early days of America's involvement in World War II and the place is Greenland. The author, Mitchell Zuckoff, gives us the background of the purpose of being there and the challenges that accompany that purpose. Within a relatively short number of pages, we encounter a US airplane that has crash-landed well into the barren and frozen tundra of Greenland. The 9 or so castaways (a few persons move in and out during the time this lasts) are far away from rescuing. There are efforts and failures and the story of these men is the story that will hold your attention. This book is the story of a great adventure and adventures don't always turn out the way you want.

Author Zuckoff starts intersplicing the castaways with a modern tale of a quest to bring home some of the ones who never made it back. The quest is honorable and worthy...but it adds little emotion, excitement or pathos when compared to the day to day struggle for life with no sign of relief. Zuckoff gives us a great story and there is some advantage to stealing away from the castaways just to have us anxiously reinserted into their oblivion again. Still, I think the book could have included the modern day return as an epilogue of good faith and rememberance.
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67 of 78 people found the following review helpful By Brian Reaves TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on April 5, 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Zuckoff has given us an incredible true tale that takes place in two time periods. First there is the initial rescue attempts taking place around WW2 in Greenland, then we flash-forward to a modern team attempting to find the remains and truths about what really happened to those lost heroes. Truthfully, I think you're better off reading this book as a clean slate rather than knowing exactly who makes it and who doesn't. You really begin to feel for the team and hope for the best, and as members are rescued and others are lost, you feel those historic moments unraveling just as they must have for those people gathered around their radios years before. And even as the modern team recreates what must have happened as they find wreckage, you'll wish for the best for the teams. The book moves along at a great pace, giving back story as needed but never wasting pages with it. Each character truly comes alive and the historic pictures included are perfect additions to put faces to the names of the heroes.
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