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The Ice Museum: In Search of the Lost Land of Thule Hardcover – Bargain Price, February 2, 2006
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Top Customer Reviews
To me, the strongest section of the book is when Kavenna grapples with the most hateful mannifestation of the Thule ideal - its expropriation by the Nazis as pristine mythico-historical homeland where snow white Aryan purity reigned. The Thule Society was one of many esoteric/political organizations that flourished in Europe, and one of the handful that served as an early focus and gathering place for what was to become the Nazi party. This confluence of modernist and fascist elements is as troubling as it is seemingly inevitable, and Kavenna approaches this treacherous territory with the proper measure of fascination and abhorrence.Read more ›
Kavenna does a lot of hard-core travel in this book, including hitching up the coast of Greenland. She goes to Scotland, Iceland, Norway, Greenland, Spitzbergen. I really enjoyed her account of the US Air base in GReenland - that could have been a standard piece of anti-AMerican ranting, but she manages to show what a weird posting it must be for the soldiers without mocking them. As a writer, Kavenna is very unegotistical - she is much more interested in the people she meets and describing the places around her than in her own personal quest and her own biographical details. The subjects she is describing are really interesting and there's a lot of fascinating geographical and historical information about the countries she visits - some of them remote, like GReenland, and not very easy to visit. I have not visited the places she goes to, except Scotland, and I really wanted to travel there by the end, especially to Norway, which Kavenna writes about with particular enthusiasm. I enjoyed her love of the North, whcih comes through very clearly - she communicates that love without becoming sentimental.Read more ›
In this interesting book, the author does a good job of combining two different stories into one narrative. First and foremost, it is the story of Ms. Kavenna’s visits to the northern lands that could have been Thule – the Shetland Islands, Norway, Iceland, Greenland and Svalbard. Secondly, this is the story of the idea of Thule, from Pytheas’s history and its ancient detractors, through the Romantics, the Victorians and even the Nazis.
Overall, I found this to be quite an interesting book. The author is not an archaeologist, so you will not find any startling information on the ancient north. And she is also not an environmentalist, so while the tale of pollution of the north is described, it is far from being an important part of the book. Instead, what you have is the story of Thule, Thule as it was dreamed of in the past, and Thule as it exists today.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Very well written and interesting book. We are traveling next year to the arctic so the contend was very significant for us.Published 20 months ago by Christel Kollar
I loved this book from the first word to the last.
An exciting adventure for all those seeking a new and different journey. A trip you will never forget.!
Nobody really knew where the mythical land of Thule was, save the assumption that it was "the most northerly place in the ancient world. Read morePublished on February 9, 2010 by Deb
This is not an adventure, travelogue or history, but at one time or other it is all three or some combination of the three. Read morePublished on April 18, 2007 by Grey Wolffe
To the ancients Thule was considered a lost icy Eden of strange beauty, fueling the imagination of poets, explorers and now writer Joanna Kavenna, whose journey in search of the... Read morePublished on June 21, 2006 by Midwest Book Review
This book is kind of cool. It's quite a bizarre book, and I wasn't sure when I started. But it's really moving in the end. Read morePublished on March 15, 2006 by Anyway
WOW! This book blew my mind! What was Thule? Where is it? I want to know! And KAvenna is too subtle in the end to tell me where it is for sure - she instead says we will always... Read morePublished on February 27, 2006 by Staggered in Seattle