I wrote a Russian language version of this “Books About North” article quite a long time ago, but then it was lost due to closing my The Black Sessions Project. Nevertheless, this article is relevant to The Boreal Post, and I decided to translate it into English with several improvements here and there.
Books About North
As this article is not a particular book review, I will hold my hands away from any ratings. I will talk about featured books later with in-depth analysis. So here we go.
Click images to enlarge.
1Sailor Song by Ken Kesey
I just can’t miss this book by my all-time favourite Ken Kesey! Sailor Song is an epic and complex novel unfolding the story of hard-working fishermen of Alaska. The coldness, dangerous working hours in the sea, fishy-smelling robes, male solidarity and the spirit of competition, a love-story. Ken Kesey managed to write a very eclectically diversified book: you can find comedy elements here neighbouring with drama and science-fiction elements. This book is like a narcotic trip. You’ll never know what’s awaiting you on the next page!
2The Crystal Horizon by Reinhold Messner
The Crystal Horizon is the autobiographical book of the famous mountaineer, adventurer and explorer who made the first ascent of Mount Everest without any oxygen supplies. I enjoyed the author’s style and various illustrations. Never being a professional writer, Reinhold Messner has written an open book filled with emotions, despair and hope. I thought a lot of adding this book to my collection since it’s not a book about North as Everest is in the Himalayas. But as this book is about confronting the man and Nature, it’s ok. The Crystal Horizon containing tonnes of snow, mountains, wind and ice!
3Zavoloche by Boris Pilnyak
Boris Pilnyak was a Russian writer. Zavoloche unfolds the terrifying story about Soviet scientists lost somewhere in the Arctic while exploring the nature of weather. What’s forcing people with families and children to abandon everything and embrace cold winds and almost unbearable circumstances where every day is a fight to the death with brutal Nature? This book is not an easy-reading. The writing style of Boris Pilnyak is uncommon, with a considerable amount of old words he used to describe the human nature and emotions of despair and faith.
4The Year of the Hare by Arto Paasilinna
Once upon a time in Finland lived a journalist named Vatanen. He wasn’t satisfied with his life and work that much, and one day Life throws a Chance in his face, or should I say – a hare under wheels of his car. He cured the injured hare somehow and decided to abandon his life and go on the journey across Finland. He visited several places and became a local hero saving people from various disasters. Humour, a joy of life and childish spontaneity are filling every Arto Paasilinna book. The Year of the Hare is not an exception. You feel like love and happiness have touched your heart.
5La Pell Freda (Cold Skin) by Albert Sánchez Piñol
Cold Skin is very straight-forward and predictable book by Albert Sánchez Piñol. There’s a lighthouse somewhere at the end of the world, a pack of sea monsters sieging this fortress every night and the endless question: “Who is a real enemy?”. This book is referring to canonical zombie horror movies, where people trapped in the house in the middle of zombie hordes and trying to survive. I included this book on my list only because it’s about North. The lighthouse located near the Antarctic Circle force survivors to fight demons and harsh Nature environments as well.
It was my “Books About North” collection! I hope you find it interesting!