Andre's Story Author:S. A. Andr?e, Nils Strindberg, K. Fraenkel, Edward Adams-Ray In 1897, Swedish explorer Salomon August Andr?e set off with two companions in a hydrogen balloon in an attempt to reach the North Pole by air. Their attempt failed, and for over thirty years nobody knew what had become of them- until their final camp was found quite by chance... — The fact that their final camp was found at all is, perhaps, a bi... more »t of a miracle; so many explorers wandered into wildernesses all over the world never to be found. But the Arctic can preserve as well as destroy, and the diaries, notes, and even some exposed film were recovered. (The book includes some of the photographs produced from the recovered film; that it was possible to develop them at all after so much time still amazes me, and the images themselves seem a bit like voices from beyond the grave...)« less
Finished reading this today. It always amazes me how early explorers had the courage to do what they did. This is especially true of polar exploration. I mean what would it take to head off into the polar regions in a balloon?? Prior to reading this book, I had never heard of the Andree expedition so I am glad was able to read about it. This book reminded me of some of the biographies I read growing up in the 1960s - it was nostalgic in a way. I was also a fan of Jules Verne growing up and this expedition could have come straight from his pen! Overall a very fascinating story. It is definitely amazing how the story and photos were preserved and discovered over 30 years after the fateful balloon voyage. The mystery of why Andree and his crew perished is also very interesting. The writer of the introduction to the book is quite sure they perished by carbon monoxide poisoning from their cooking stove, however, if you read the Wikipedia.com article on the expedition, the theory that the men succumbed to trichinosis that they got from eating undercooked polar bear meat is suggested along with some other theories. Recommend this book to anyone interested in early exploration of the polar regions.