corner corner Andrée's Story


Andrée's Story
by S. A. Andrée, Nils Strindberg, K. Fraenkel, Edward Adams-Ray | Biographies & Memoirs
Registered by wingGoryDetailswing of Nashua, New Hampshire USA on 10/3/2008
Average 7 star rating by BookCrossing Members 

status (set by Bug2004): to be read

7 journalers for this copy...

Journal Entry 1 by wingGoryDetailswing from Nashua, New Hampshire USA on Friday, October 03, 2008

8 out of 10

After reading By Airship to the North Pole, I was reminded of this book. In 1897, Swedish explorer Salomon August Andrée 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...

I've owned a copy of the 1930 hardcover edition (marked "boy's edition" on the spine and title page, though I have no idea what the difference is between that and the adult edition - my book seems pretty complete), and don't intend to part with it, but I managed to find this fair-condition 1960 paperback edition for not much more than its original cover price (a mere $1.45, not bad even for 1960!), so I can keep my copy and release this one.

The story's a classic tragedy of exploration: over-confidence in their technology, pressure to perform from sponsors, and a bit of bad luck, leading to the party's becoming stranded in the Arctic. They had prepared for this possibility and were not without resources, yet after the balloon drifted away in 1897 the party vanished into the north and wasn't seen again for over thirty years.

The fact that their final camp was found at all is, perhaps, a bit 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...)

[Interested folk can find a description of the expedition, along with other references, in the Wikipedia entry on the expedition.] 

Journal Entry 2 by wingGoryDetailswing from Nashua, New Hampshire USA on Tuesday, November 11, 2008

This book has not been rated.

I'm offering this book for an international bookray; see forum thread here, and reply to that thread if interested! [The book is a fairly slim softcover and weighs between 8 and 9 ounces, so I hope that international postage won't be very high.]

Bookray instructions:

1. When you receive the book, please journal it, and PM the next person in line for their address so you'll have it ready when you've finished the book. Note: even if you've sent books to that person before, please PM them before mailing this one, to confirm that the address is correct and that they're able to take on a bookring book at this time.

2. Try and read the book promptly - ideally, within one month of receiving it. (If you expect to take longer, you can request to be put at the end of the list. If you find you're swamped with other books when the person before you contacts you about the bookring, you can ask to be skipped, and then let me know whether you'd like to be moved down the list or dropped entirely. If you receive the book and find it's taking longer than you'd planned to get through it, I'd appreciate an update in its journal entries or on your profile, just to let me and the other participants know you haven't forgotten it.)

3. When you're ready to pass the book along, please make another journal entry or a controlled-release-note containing your comments about the book and indicating where you're sending the book next. [If you find that you're having problems contacting the next person in line, or don't think you can manage to mail the book as originally agreed, please let me know; I'll be glad to try to work something out.]

Participants, in mailing order:

Stacers1973 [OR]
perryfran [MD]
ETMadrid [UK]
bearyfriend [Singapore]
Bug2004 [NE] 

Journal Entry 3 by wingGoryDetailswing at Gladstone, Oregon USA on Tuesday, November 25, 2008

This book has not been rated.

Released 9 yrs ago (11/25/2008 UTC) at Gladstone, Oregon USA



I'm sending this book to BCer Stacers1973 in Oregon to kick off the bookray. Hope you enjoy the book! 

Journal Entry 4 by Stacers1973 from Gladstone, Oregon USA on Friday, November 28, 2008

This book has not been rated.

That was a quick journey for this book! It arrived already this morning. Hubby and the kids were interested in looking it over and Hubby commented, "Gee this is from the year I was born, better handle with care." Which of course I will. Pmed perryfran for an address also, so now all I need to do is get reading :)
Thanks for sharing GoryDetails! 

Journal Entry 5 by Stacers1973 from Gladstone, Oregon USA on Sunday, December 07, 2008

This book has not been rated.

Andree’s Story was a good read, full of adventure and misadventure. These men set out with such faith and high hopes for their technology. It was tragic that they ignored some factual things before hand, like Andree adding hydrogen when the balloon lost pressure more quickly than expected. If they could have nipped some of these problems in the bud they might have seen success. Sadly, we can only theorize about the deaths of these men, who were on the path of adventure and fame. An interesting story, a bit of a dry read in spots that led to a bit of skimming, but interesting enough that I Googled their story to find out a little more. That the explorers from the 30’s found so much intact was amazing, and the photos were a bit eerie. I loved the lists throughout, even though sometimes you weren’t sure what the outcome was: in one spot they told you the list for ¼ & 1/5 of the supplies, but never told you which amount they actually took/left. The shoes were bothersome, that they found the mauled/ruined shoes at the campsite, this bothered me for some reason. Thanks for sharing this bit of history GoryDetails, it is definitely a story I would have missed had I not found Bookcrossing!
I have rec'd perryfran's info and plan to put this book in the mail sometime tomorrow. 

Journal Entry 6 by Stacers1973 at Gladstone, Oregon USA on Monday, December 08, 2008

This book has not been rated.

Released 9 yrs ago (12/8/2008 UTC) at Gladstone, Oregon USA



Mailed first class so I hope it gets there soon, safe and sound. Enjoy! 

Journal Entry 7 by wingperryfranwing from Elk Grove, California USA on Friday, December 12, 2008

This book has not been rated.

Received in the mail today. Thanks GoryDetails for including me in this bookray and Stacers1973 for mailing it so quickly. Looking forward to reading this. I do have a couple of other ring books in front of it but should get to this by the end of the year. 

Journal Entry 8 by wingperryfranwing from Elk Grove, California USA on Friday, January 16, 2009

This book has not been rated.

Just a quick note to let everyone know I haven't forgotten about this book. With the holidays and a few other family obligations popping up, I haven't been able to do a lot of reading in the past few weeks. I'm close to finishing a bookray - "The Swarm" - a 900 page eco-thriller. Hope to have it finished this weekend. I'll then start on Andree's Story. Sorry for the delay.

Edit 1/18/09: Began reading today. 

Journal Entry 9 by wingperryfranwing from Elk Grove, California USA on Sunday, January 25, 2009

8 out of 10

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 Andrée expedition so I am glad bookcrossing gave me this opportunity 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 Andrée 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 article the theory that the men succumbed to trichinosis that they got from eating undercooked polar bear meat is suggested along with some other theories (highly suggest reading this article in addition to the book).

This is the 3rd book in a row that I've read where most of the story takes place in the Arctic - brrrr! I'm ready for some reading about the South Seas or anywhere warm.

Thanks GoryDetails for sharing this one. I have ETMadrid's address and will be getting the book off to the UK tomorrow. 

Journal Entry 10 by wingperryfranwing at Bookray, A Bookray -- Controlled Releases on Sunday, January 25, 2009

This book has not been rated.

Released 9 yrs ago (1/25/2009 UTC) at Bookray, A Bookray -- Controlled Releases



Mailing to ETMadrid in the UK to continue this bookray. Enjoy! 

Journal Entry 11 by ETMadrid from London, Greater London United Kingdom on Wednesday, February 04, 2009

This book has not been rated.

I expect the snow delayed its journey to me these last couple of days, but it's arrived and still in good nick. I'm looking forward to reading it - thank you. 

Journal Entry 12 by ETMadrid from London, Greater London United Kingdom on Friday, February 20, 2009

7 out of 10

I have just finished this and found it fascinating. In 1893 and a few times in later years (I don't know the exact dates) my great great uncle made sea trips to Siberia via the North West Passage. I need to look again at the book to see which places they might have overlapped in, but there is no mention of meeting a British commercial boat (no surprise, but I couldn't help hoping!) I'd never heard of this attempt to reach the North Pole either. The morale that the three men appear to maintain throughout is deeply impressive, and the conditions unimaginably harsh. Where the book perhaps slightly disappointed me is the style in which it's written, particularly towards the end unashamedly repetitive and rather dry. I don't suppose I'll read of a state funeral in such detail ever again, although from it one does gain an insight into the close relationship and history that the Scandinavians have with the Arctic regions.

I know that they needed to eat them to survive, but I guess if Arctic exploration was more accessible, polar bears might already be extinct at the rate they seemed to shoot them. And I'm not against hunting, but the butchery did at times make me feel a bit queezy (how dare I? I ask myself at the same time as I read about this life or death story)

I kept wondering whether the leads mentioned that they had to keep crossing are pronounced 'led' or 'leed' - does anyone know?

I also was interested especially to read about the other main theory of how they met their end on Wikipedia. I found the introduction and its postscript confusing in its message. I'd have appreciated a map of their complete journey within the book, and a map of the route taken by the 'rescue' boats.

The book will be travelling once more next week.

(As well as liking the contents!) I like the feel of this book and the look of the front cover. I hope it's read by many more people :) 

Journal Entry 13 by ETMadrid at Dunsford, Devon United Kingdom on Thursday, February 26, 2009

This book has not been rated.

Released 9 yrs ago (2/25/2009 UTC) at Dunsford, Devon United Kingdom



Posted surface mail to Singapore. It'll take a little while to reach its destination, but I'm optimistic that the voyage will be more successful than that of the balloon and its passengers. 

Journal Entry 14 by bearyfriend from Singapore, Singapore Singapore on Sunday, April 26, 2009

This book has not been rated.

Got it - It's sitting in my flooded mailbox together with another BC book but not sure the exact arrival date, having just returned from my trip yesterday night. But no worries now, the voyage has been successful and I'll let it travel on after reading. Thanks. 

Journal Entry 15 by bearyfriend from Singapore, Singapore Singapore on Tuesday, May 19, 2009

This book has not been rated.

Done, will pm'd the next in line for add.

Sad read. I'm always interested in reading about people who participates in dangerous and life-threatening adventures or expedition which in the end results in injuries or deaths. And after many years gone by, when their bodies were being found by other expedition group, eerily they were being so well-preserved because of the cold climate that when looking at their faces, sitting positions and left-behind items you would just imagine how he/she had looked like when alive or what went through their head before they breathed their last in such kinds of unforgiving environments.

Wonder if on that fateful day, Andrée had stuck with his reluctance to start the flight, would things have turned out differently. Perhaps it's also good that his mom had gone before him saving her the grief. 

Journal Entry 16 by bearyfriend from Singapore, Singapore Singapore on Thursday, May 21, 2009

This book has not been rated.

Sending book now to GWF, as the order has changed. I'm really impressed by your balloon pics and your courageous passion. It must be wonderful to be on top of the world.

Also thanks to Bug2004 for your address. I'll keep it for future surprises. 

Journal Entry 17 by GWF from Milford, New Hampshire USA on Tuesday, June 02, 2009

This book has not been rated.

Received today all the way from Singapore in good condition and am anxious to start reading. Thank you bearyfriend for sending it and also GoryDetails for including me in the ray. 

Journal Entry 18 by GWF from Milford, New Hampshire USA on Tuesday, June 23, 2009

8 out of 10

This was a fascinating read for me. It was a triple play of sensory stimulation. I received the book from a distant and exotic location where I’ve always wanted to travel, Singapore! That was the start of my enjoyment. Add to that the smell, feel and allure of a very old and well traveled book. Top it off with a subject matter that is more than a passing interest of mine, rather a passion, and that pretty much sums up my experience.

I can’t begin to imagine the commitment set forth in endeavoring an expedition of this magnitude. The size of the balloon alone boggles the mind. To relate, for those of you lucky enough to have ever seen an average hot-air balloon inflated or in flight, the balloons we fly are between 75,000 and 95,000 cubic feet. Andrée’s Eagle was 160,000 cubic feet. Just the logistic in handling, launching and navigating an airship that size is difficult to fathom, particularly in light of the level of technology in that era. Factor in all the challenges the Artic presents and I’m in awe. And I guess I’m not the only one. One of the most interesting things I got from the book was the telling of the attitude of the sailors who while hunting seals and walruses came upon the crash site and victims. They too were struck by the courage and commitment of the explorers and treated them and the artifacts with the utmost reverence.

Although I agree with ETMadrid that there are parts of the book that are a bit dry and poorly written, I find more than enough redeeming value in the inclusion of all the great illustrations to still rate this book with very high marks. They brought life to the story and I’m so glad for those pictures that could still be developed from the film that was more than thirty years old. I’ve included the one of the Eagle at the crash site in 1897 with this journal entry.

The book has been mailed to Bug2004. Thank you Gory for sharing this with all of us and thank you bearyfriend for sending this from Singapore. That marks the furthest distance traveled of any book I’ve received or released since I joined BookCrossing.

Journal Entry 19 by GWF at to the next participant, A Bookray -- Controlled Releases on Tuesday, June 23, 2009

This book has not been rated.

Released 8 yrs ago (6/23/2009 UTC) at to the next participant, A Bookray -- Controlled Releases



Mailed off to Bug2004. Enjoy. 

Journal Entry 20 by Bug2004 from Omaha, Nebraska USA on Monday, June 29, 2009

This book has not been rated.

Re'cvd today. Have several in front of it, but promise to extend the ray when I'm done. Thanks for sharing! 

Are you sure you want to delete this item? It cannot be undone.