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Polar Dream: The First Solo Expedition by a Woman and Her Dog to the Magnetic North Pole Paperback – September 16, 2002


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Polar Dream: The First Solo Expedition by a Woman and Her Dog to the Magnetic North Pole + Three Among the Wolves: A Couple and their Dog Live a Year with Wolves in the Wild + Walking the Gobi: A 1600 Mile Trek Across a Desert of Hope and Despair
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 254 pages
  • Publisher: NewSage Press; 2nd edition (September 16, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0939165457
  • ISBN-13: 978-0939165452
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 6.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #247,204 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In March 1988, Thayer, a 50-year-old New Zealander, set out from Resolute, NW Territories, to ski to the North Magnetic Pole, located just south of King Christian Island; she pulled her supplies (160 lbs.) on a sled. Three days before departure, a hunter gave her a black husky, Charlie, as protection against polar bears. The animal proved to be an ideal companion, saving her life and her sanity. It was a grueling journey: woman and dog fought off polar bears, barely escaped drowning, survived storms. Near the end, a gale blew away most of Thayer's food supplies; her daily ration during the final week was a handful of walnuts and a pint of water. After 364 miles, 27 days, Thayer and Charlie were picked up by plane on Melena Island--mission accomplished. This is an exciting story of human endurance and of a remarkable animal. Photos. First serial to Cosmopolitan; author tour (with dog).
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

In 1988, 50-year-old Thayer became the first woman to ski alone to the North Pole. In this account, she tells of pulling all her food and gear on a sled, without the use food drops. She is accompanied only by her dog, Charlie, who provides protection against polar bears. Charlie not only saves her life but shows trusting companionship and heartwarming love. Thayer describes lyrically yet unromantically the dreamlike quality of the Arctic landscape, with its fluctuating ice conditions and eerie, depth perception-skewing atmosphere. Recounting terrifying encounters with polar bears and ferocious icy storms, she tells a gripping tale of courage and determination. She faces severe frostbite, winds, dehydration, frozen clothing, loneliness, and shifting ice with gentle humor, remarkable patience, and welcome modesty. Readers will be enthralled and inspired. Recommended for public libraries.
- Kathy Ruffle, Coll. of New Caledonia Lib., Prince George, B.C.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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And we are lucky that she writes so well about her amazing stories.
Sabrina Oesterle
For those unfamiliar with the story, it basically is about Helen's solo journey to the magnetic north pole with her friend an companion, Charlie the Inuit Dog.
"icapote"
When most of us read a book like this one, I think we are looking for just that." Tell me that I can do what I have only dreamed of doing before.
Andy Crowley (acrowley@bellatlantic.net)

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 23, 2002
Format: Paperback
Without a snowmobile, dog team or resupply, Helen Thayer walked and skied alone to the Magnetic North Pole with her Eskimo dog Charlie. This true story of the trust that bonded woman and canine companion together is a classic. Frostbite, storms, broken sea ice, a tent fire, near starvation, and polar bears, never deterred this amazing five-feet-three-inch, 50 year old woman from her goal. A recent shattering crisis in my life left me without hope until a friend gave me this book. It changed my life, enabling me to set a goal, look ahead with optimism and never give up just as Helen Thayer did in her quest to reach the M.N.Pole. Her writing style is fast moving and delightfully descriptive and portrays a humble down to earth individual who absolutely adores her Charlie who saved her life from a polar bear. The writing style makes you feel as if you are right there traveling with Helen and Charlie. This second edition has many more photos than the first and the updated first chapter and the new Epilogue enhance an already great book. A definite must read!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Tom Bruce on August 16, 2004
Format: Paperback
I am a big fan of stories of artic adventure, and this is one of the best. In this day of snow mobiles and ATVs, we have a woman at 50 -- author Helen Thayer -- setting out to walk to the magnectic north pole, pulling her own sled and accompanied by an Inuit dog she had only known for a couple of days. On her first day out, she suffers such terrible frostbite of her fingers they become almost useless. (I would have called it quits right there.) Then come polar bears -- one the world's most deadliest creatures. And they keep on coming. Some curious, some life-threatening. But, she continues on her amazing journey, not for fame or fortune, but for scientific information for her program Adventure Classroom. There are some fantastic photos included and very helpful maps. Her writing style is breezy and compelling. It's trimph of the human spirit and the bonding of a dog and companion. What a terrific book.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on February 8, 2003
Format: Paperback
Polar Dream is the personal memoir of Helen Thayer, the first woman (and the oldest person at age 50) to travel on foot, unresupplied, to the magnetic North Pole. Her harrowing trek on skis for 27 days, aided only by a dog trained to warn her of approaching bears, is described in vivid, engaging detail, as are her seven encounters with polar bears which she survived through skill, luck and quick thinking. Black-and-white photographs, including ones taken by the author during her trek, enhanced a narrative of profound insights into the beauty and wildness of the arctic. Readers who appreciate true life adventure will enjoy the excitement and wonder of Helen Thayer's Polar Dream.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 29, 2003
Format: Paperback
An extraordinary true story of courage, determination and fortitude. Every chapter not only contains the wow factor but is an illustration of what the human spirit is capable of. Thayer is an accomplished writer who keeps the reader wanting more. An incredible story of a woman and her faithful dog Charlie, as they endure the hardships of polar travel on foot together with no dog teams or snowmobiles or resupply.
Sue White
Edmonton, Canada
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 8, 2003
Format: Paperback
I first read this book in a German translation and then attended a lecture in New York by Helen Thayer, the author. Because of her amazing world wide adventures from the Polar Regions, to the deserts and the Amazon rain forest I expected someone six-feet tall. Instead I listened as this five-feet-three-inch diminutive dynamo enthralled her audience with her solo walk to the magnetic North Pole at 50 years old and her subsequent adventures including a trek of almost 1,500 miles across the Gobi desert last year at 63 years old.
Polar Dream, the story of her solo walk to the magnetic North Pole with her Inuit dog Charlie is invigorating, with a down to earth humble look at life.
Charlie is loyaly devoted to Helen and saves her life from a polar bear. Polar Dream has been available for ten years. The first edition was excellent and the second edtion is even better with many more photos. I bought 14 books in English, 4 books in German, and one in Dutch for Christmas presents and all recipients are inspired and can't wait for Thayer's next book.
The fast moving, highly descriptive story is sentitive and not afraid to expose vulnerable inner thoughts and feelings.
This is a great book for men and women as proven by my Christmas gift list.
And kudos to wonderful Charlie, Helen's devoted dog-assitant and life saver on the journey.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By B on March 30, 2007
Format: Paperback
Great book. Helen Thayer set off in her 50s to walk to the magnetic North Pole. She did it only with Charlie, the polar bear wonder dog, given (sold) to her by the Inuit who were sure she wouldn't survive without a dog team who knew how to fend off polar bears. She finally agreed to taking one dog, who became her true partner in the journey (and afterward). The story is an outstanding tale of what she learned about herself and how she and Charlie so totally bonded, mutually dependent on each other. Helen prepared well and clearly fully respects Nature in all senses. It is also a wonderful tale about Charlie--about the intelligence of dogs we people would see more often if we just give them a chance to be themselves. This is an outstanding book for anyone of any age and hopefully will help more people understand the criticality and fragility of Nature, and the importance of treating animals (in this case, dogs) with true respect, care, compassion, and love. The book clearly shows the intelligence not just of Charlie, but also of the various polar bears Helena encountered (and successfully avoided attack from, without killing them). It also is an excellent book to get people thinking about themselves and their thoughts. Some of the lessons Helen learned, for example, included early on learning to say "no" as well as the importance of remaining positive and in control even when Nature seemed to be in control via a strong storm whirling around her for several days at a time. She includes photos from her journey, which also are amazing. An exciting, excellent book. I highly recommend this for everyone.
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