Eskimos have more than a dozen words for sea ice; compared with Gosnell, they're downright thrifty. A self-professed "pagophile" ("lover of ice"), Gosnell exhausts the matter of frozen water in this needlessly long and maddeningly repetitive tome. A former Newsweek science reporter and author of Zero Three Bravo, she writes smoothly and wrings a measure of interest from her various subjects—sea ice, lake ice, river ice, space ice, ice games, frostbite, John Wayne Bobbitt (yes, that Mr. Bobbitt). But this book is an often mystifying precipitate of facts, curious words and anecdotes that could be slashed in half with no ill effect. The book also suffers from an overdose of distracting literary quotations on nearly every page. To be sure, ice is not a trivial substance. At the caps it locks up the vast majority of the world's fresh water; it confounds land and sea travel and commerce; it's a major hazard and a major source of winter fun. All this Gosnell argues convincingly. The trouble is, she's like a speed skater who can't stop going in circles. 16 pages of photos. (Nov. 18)
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Former Newsweek reporter Gosnell is an attentive and patient observer who traveled around the globe for this compendium of the human and natural history of ice. She opens with a description of the sound and sight of a small lake freezing, expanding from there to discuss the seasonal advance and retreat of ice, as on the Great Lakes or Lake Baikal. Taking the next natural step, the persistence of ice through the summer, brings Gosnell to the 1800s origin of glaciology in Louis Agassiz's study of Mont Blanc's Mer de Glace, and subsequently into the contemporary specialty of ice cores in ice-age research. En route through the science, which Gosnell condenses from the technical literature, the author imparts eclectic information through excerpts from poems, adventure and disaster stories, and discussions of ice sports and diversions. Gosnell conducts a bright, curious, and omnidirectional tour that will entrance nature readers. Gilbert Taylor
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
I was astounded when I first rented this book from a library as a child. I only made it 200 pages in before I had to return it, and it drifted out of my mind for several years. Read morePublished 20 months ago by Aaron R
everything you ever wanted to know about solid water is here in this book. there is a lot of stuff to know about icePublished on June 20, 2013 by sean flint
Whoa! Need details on a disappearing substance? This is the book for you. Details are, well, detailed! Read morePublished on March 31, 2013 by Doc jojo
"Ice" is an wonderful book. It is well written and should be interesting to almost anyone of intelligence, regardless of their field of normal interest. Read morePublished on March 20, 2011 by John McRaney
Living in the Northeast I can attest as could anyone living in the northern expanse of North America that this past winter was one heck of a polar punch in the gut. Read morePublished on March 5, 2011 by Richard Dicanio
Frozen water. What else is there to say about it? It's H2O that's lost so much energy it turns from a liquid to a solid. Big deal, right? Read morePublished on July 30, 2010 by My Fake Name
If you liked Kurlansky's COD and SALT then ICE is for you, excellent work and intelligently written... Highly recommended.Published on July 24, 2009 by Peter N. Gill
Ignore the PW print review: This is a wonderful treasure chest of science, stories, lore and quotes about ice in all its many, many forms. Read morePublished on March 24, 2007 by The Sanity Inspector
Mariana Gosnell is a former Newsweek reporter and pilot, and her so her exploration of the science and nature of ice reads easily for the general-interest reader - yet contains... Read morePublished on April 24, 2006 by D. Donovan, Editor/Sr. Reviewer