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The Ice Limit Mass Market Paperback – July 1, 2001


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing (July 1, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446610232
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446610230
  • Product Dimensions: 4.1 x 1.1 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (318 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #70,490 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Billionaire Palmer Lloyd is accustomed to getting what he wants--and what he wants for his new museum is the largest meteorite on earth. Unfortunately for Lloyd, it's buried on an inhospitable Chilean island just north of the Ice Limit in the most brutal, unforgiving seas in the world.

Fortunately for Lloyd, he knows people--people like Eli Glinn, the hyper-focused president of Effective Engineering Solutions, Inc.; Glinn's nonconformist, genius of a mathematician, Rachel Amira; and the uncannily able construction engineer, Manuel Garza. Lloyd's also tapped the brilliant but disgraced meteorite hunter, Sam McFarlane, and the exceptional supertanker captain, Sally Britton, whose career was unshipped by intemperance and a reef. Of course, such a team has a hefty price tag:

Lloyd's broad features narrowed. "And that is... "

"One hundred and fifty million dollars. Including chartering the transport vessel. FOB the Lloyd Museum."

Lloyd's face went pale. "My God. One hundred and fifty million... " His chin sank onto his hands. "For a ten-thousand-ton rock. That's... "

"Seven dollars and fifty cents a pound," said Glinn.

EES's plan is to obtain mining rights to the island, secure the allegiance of various Chilean functionaries via blinding sums of money, disguise a state-of- the-art supertanker as a decrepit ore rig, mine the rock, slip it into the ship, and zip back to New York to thunderous notoriety. Unforeseen, however, are a rogue Chilean naval captain, seas to make Sebastian Junger boot, and a blood-red meteorite of undetermined pedigree and a habit of discharging billions of volts of electricity for no apparent reason.

Like Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child's earlier collaborations (Relic, Thunderhead, and others), The Ice Limit tools along swiftly, blending nicely drawn characters (excepting, regrettably, the book's true protagonist, the meteorite), a reasonably exciting narrative, and enough graspable science and plausible-seeming theories to bring readers happily up to speed and keep them climax-bound. Not the authors' best effort, certainly, but a fine diversion nonetheless. --Michael Hudson --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

The summer-beach reader has few better friends than Preston and Child, who, beginning with Relic (1995), have produced one (generally) smart and suspenseful thriller after another, most recently Thunderhead. Their new novelDwhich, like its predecessors, skirts the edge of science fictionDis their most expertly executed (though not most imaginative) entertainment yet. Its concept is high and simple: a scientific expedition plans to dig out and transport to New York harbor the mother of all meteorites from its resting spot on an icy island offshore Chile. The mission is nearly impossible: not only will the meteorite be the heaviest object ever moved by humanity, but the Chileans, if they learn of the mission, may decimate it in order to keep the meteorite. Six strong if broadly drawn characters propel the premise into action. There's bullheaded billionaire Palmer Lloyd, who funds the expedition, and three (of the many) people he hires to get the rock: world-class meteorite-hunter Sam McFarlane, disgraced for his obsession about possible interstellar meteorites; Captain Britton, disgraced alcoholic skipper hired to ferry the meteorite to the U.S.; and Eli Glinn, cold-blooded mastermind of an engineering firm dedicated to getting incredible jobs doneDthis one at the price of $300 million. There's Commandante Vallenar, a Chilean naval officer exiled to his nation's southern wastes, who will stop at nothing to defend Chile's honor and property. Finally, there's the meteoriteDblood red, impossibly dense, possessed of strange and dangerous properties. Like the premise, the plot is simple, traversing a near-linear narrative that sustains serious tension as the expedition travels to Chile, digs out the meteorite and heads homewardDonly to face both Vallenar and a ferocious storm. What the novel lacks in sophistication, it makes up for in athleticism: this is a big-boned thriller, one that will make a terrific summer movie as well as a memorable hot-day read. (July)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Douglas Preston, who worked for several years in the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, is the author of the acclaimed nonfiction works Dinosaurs in the Attic and Cities of Gold, and the novel, Jennie. He lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Customer Reviews

This is an enjoyable book and one that I could recommend for a fun read.
Music Lover in Omaha
This book was very well written and most enjoyable - the characters were well developed and the story moved at a good pace.
Timothy A. Davisson
This is another book that will keep you turning pages long past your bedtime.
Roy E. Bode

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

71 of 77 people found the following review helpful By Lynn Harnett VINE VOICE on July 4, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Lots of ice and plenty of farfetched suspense make for perfect summer escapism with Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child's latest adventure thriller.
The book opens with a bang as a lone scientist on a desolate island just north of Antarctica makes the discovery of a lifetime, which promptly incinerates him. Cut to the seventh richest man in the world, American businessman Palmer Lloyd, who throws his financial weight around at a Christie's auction, much to the humbled participants' disgust and admiration, then flies off to the Kalahari to buy a prominent meteorite hunter.
Lloyd is building the world's greatest natural history museum and the meteorite hunter, Sam McFarlane, is going to help him acquire his centerpiece - the world's largest meteorite - found by Sam's former partner on that Chilean Antarctic island. Lloyd also acquires an engineer to plan the expedition, a humorless perfectionist who prides himself on his flawless success record. Eli Glinn plans for every contingency, human nature included. The party sets out on a state-of-the-art tanker, disguised as a rustbucket on an ore mining job. Like Glinn and McFarlane, its dignified female captain has been made wiser by a career-blighting error.
The expedition attracts the attention of a bitter and suspicious Chilean destroyer captain, whose powerlessness is matched by his tenacity. And then Glinn, who thinks of everything, allows Sam to bury his former partner's body without inspecting it. Uh oh. But the initial digging of the meteorite goes off without a hitch. Palmer Lloyd jumps down on the surprisingly red rock and presses his cheek to it without ill effect.
Still, the thing is strange.
Read more ›
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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Christopher B. Jonnes on December 23, 2000
Format: Hardcover
These boys did their homework. The Ice Limit is a complete work. The premise--an expedition to retrieve the world's largest meteorite from an inhospitable Chilean island near Tierra del Fuego for a billionaire's museum--is worthy. The plotting is above par. Plenty of twists and page-turning suspense. And the surprise ending, foreshadowed throughout but difficult to predict, is a special treat, ratcheting the tale up another notch on the Richter scale of excellence.
But two things make The Ice Limit a best-seller and sure candidate for a movie. One is the characterizations. With nearly ten major characters, it must have been a daunting task to keep them well-defined, easily identifiable, and fresh. Readers want characters, not caricatures. Child and Preston make their efforts look easy and transparent. My favorite was Eli Glinn, head of the engineering firm hired to scoop up the heaviest object ever moved by Man. He was unique, sort of a mixture of Roddenberry's Spock and Verne's Captain Nemo.
The other bonus was the science. I almost thought they had overdone it at times, but by book end I was simply left impressed. And it's not the depth of their understanding of one particular subject; it's all the subjects. They researched everything. Meteorites, Chile, Antarctica, navigation, oil tankers, periodic charts, meteorology, structural engineering, naval ordnance, electronics, and on and on. They don't necessarily beat you upside the head with it. But they do prove that they're two smart guys. Bravo! --Christopher Bonn Jonnes, author of Wake Up Dead.
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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Cory D. Slipman on April 29, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Palmer Lloyd, eccentric billionaire and 7th richest man in the world is an obsessed collector of all sorts of museum quality specimens. He is presently building his own museum to overshadow all of the most famous museum collections. He learns of the discovery of what could be the largest meteorite ever found. He naturally will go to any expense to obtain this spectacular prize.
He assembles a team of experts to not only excavate but retrieve and transport what will be the heaviest load ever moved (5 times the weight of the Eiffel Tower). Unfortunately the location of the meteorite is the frigid, icy, inhospitable Isla Desolacion in the Cape Horn islands south of Tierra del Fuego. The price tag is 300 million dollars. Eli Glinn, head of Effective Engineering Solutions, a Mission Impossible like team of engineers, scientists and mercenaries heads the project. He is ably assisted by oil tanker captain Sally Britton and meteorite hunter and planetary geologist Sam MacFarlane. Together they endeavor to overcome incredulous physical obstacles along with a relentless commendante of a Chilean naval destroyer who is determined to thwart their efforts.
The novel is well thought out and extremely suspenseful but is spoiled by a very disappointing ending. The last page diminshed what was 400+ pages of an excellent story.
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28 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Tung Yin VINE VOICE on July 28, 2000
Format: Hardcover
At this point, Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child have refined their formula for writing bestsellers: (1) an sometimes eccentric, usually obsessive person (2) wants to achieve some goal (3) which requires that a team of highly skilled professionals (4) equipped with super high-tech toys (5) and brimming with (over)confidence (6) go into the wild and face Mother Nature, one another, and Big Science, (7) and although every contingency should be planned for, (8) things go wrong.
"Mount Dragon" was about microbiologists dealing with a killer virus, "Riptide" was about treasure hunters, "Thunderhead" was about archeaologists, and "The Ice Limit" is about engineers and a geologist on a meteor hunting expedition.
Preston and Child actually care enough about the characters to imbue them with more characterization than usual for thrillers, although the breakdown in one of the central characters isn't hard to predict. There's some science of meteorites, a naval skirmish, something of a love affair, and a lot about engineering. The gore level is relatively low, although there are a number of deaths. Like "Riptide," there is a mystery buried within the adventure story, and the reader is kept guessing to the last page.
Among their books, I would rate "The Ice Limit" on a par with "Riptide," just below "Mount Dragon," and above "Thunderhead" and "Reliquary."
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