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Coming from a legal background in South Africa, Neil went on to found Cobalt and Oryx Pharmaceuticals and served as chairman until its sale in Home of the best documentaries from around the globe. Learn more. An independent film distribution company focused purely on non-fiction features.

Documentary films. Committed to finding great docs from around the world. Robin Smith. Neil Tabatznik. Experienced industry professionals that are passionate about film. Farnell is a complicated man--single-minded in his pursuit of metals before the war, he had felt no compunction at forging the name of his partner to gain funds for his research.

Caught and convicted he managed to escape imprisonment, fled to Norway and joined the Norwegian forces under the name of Bernt Olsen, earning hero's honors in the war. Recently, Olsen's body had been found after a snowstorm on the Jostedal, Europe's largest glacier and papers on the body revealed the connection between Olsen and Farnell. How did this man send a package if he was already dead? If the scraps of legible writing are true and the thorite sample represents a tiny portion of the treasure trove Farnell had found in the glacier area of Norway, then somebody could get rich quick.

Gansert had worked with Farnell and knew that the man knew his metals and knew those mountains like the back of his hand. He can't resist trying to piece together Farnell's last days and have a shot at finding the thorite himself--not for his own gain, but because he loves the thrill of discovery. He and his crew head to Norway to solve the mystery--but they aren't the only ones interested in Farnell and what he discovered. It will all end on the glacial mountains themselves with a high-speed ski chase and a last-ditch effort to catch a speeding train.

Innes writes a fairly compelling adventure story.


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It is a treasure hunt filled with treachery, missing men, tough double-crossing fishermen, nefarious moneyed mangers, and a hint of romance. We get adventure on the high seas on the journey to Norway and danger in the mountains when Gansert goes searching for Farnell's secrets.


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Innes also provides terrific descriptions of the dangerous, brooding landscape. He delivers more good storytelling in an action-packed genre. The second half of the novel moves more quickly and packs more action than the second half and the ending is satisfying, if a bit abrupt. First posted on my blog My Reader's Block. Please request permission before reposting. May 04, Algernon Darth Anyan rated it really liked it Shelves: The plot is not really surprising, but it has a classic elegance of the noir style with several shady characters chasing a McGuffin across a North Sea storm, a nausea inducing whaling station, the fjords and iced mountains of Norway.

There's even the mandatory femme fatale, one I kept picturing as Veronika Lake in one of her less brooding roles. Straightforward prose, vivid imagery and tight control of plot puts this book in my recommended reading category. Oct 30, Alton Motobu rated it it was ok Shelves: search-rescue. Hammond Innes' books are like travelogues and adventures combined. He may take you to the Arctic Circle to sub-Saharan Africa to the Canadian Rockies, and you will get a flavorful experience of the lands and the people while embroiled in killings, natural disasters, and lots of excitement - except for this one.

The Blue Ice is surprisingly boring with minimal action until the very end. After a long sea voyage to western Norway in search of a mysterious Norwegian WW II underground member named Ge Hammond Innes' books are like travelogues and adventures combined. After a long sea voyage to western Norway in search of a mysterious Norwegian WW II underground member named George Farnell or Bernt Olsen, who may have the secret to a rich mineral reserve near a glacier in the interior, the searchers fight each other as well as various interlopers who want the secret.

Not as exciting as it sounds. But there certainly is a wealth of detail about sailing, navigation, and the conditions in the North Sea. The story line is convoluted as some of the dialogue is in Norwegian and one of the characters is a cockney who switches between a cockney accent and English.

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The cockney is written phonetically so "I" is written as "Oi" and so forth. All of this detracts from the plot and frustrates the reader who just wants to know what is going on instead of trying to translate the dialogue. May 13, Niall O'Leary rated it liked it Shelves: Ho, hum It's not very demanding, full of incident, and features a large cast of characters.

These are shallow waters though and there's something slightly hasty and unresolved in a bad way about the ending. I suspect Graham Greene was influenced by this rather than the other way around. However, I don't begrudge Greene taking some of the basic ideas of Innes' book a Ho, hum However, I don't begrudge Greene taking some of the basic ideas of Innes' book and doing something far more interesting.

A little less chasing, a little more depth, and a bit more care might have made this something more than the average adventure story it is. And do people really make their life's work out of finding metals? What exactly did Farnell want to do with his discovery if not just make money?

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There's something sadly hollow about the whole thing. Ski chases, daring train stunts, midnight grave exhumation, this book has it all! A fun, adventure thriller. What made this stand out against others was probably the attention to detail about Norway and its landscapes. This book was originally published in with the story being set in the s.

So, today, it reads a bit like historical fiction with plenty of action and a little romance thread woven in. George Farnell, a mineralogist, disappeared 10 years ago. Bill Gansert, another mineral expert, reluctantly heads to Norway to investig This book was originally published in with the story being set in the s. Bill Gansert, another mineral expert, reluctantly heads to Norway to investigate the possibility of a rich thorite deposit. Jill Summers joins the team at the last minute along with two questionable characters with murky pasts, Mr.

Dahler and Mr. Dick Everard. The description of this book makes it sound like an action-packed suspense novel but then we have Everard.

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No worries! This book truly is an adventure novel full of Norwegian ski escapades, whale meat, aliases, war stories, and sailing. Dick Everard truly is just a trusty sidekick and he has nothing to do with the minor romance in the novel. Jill Summers turned out to be quite the gem in this book. I was delightfully surprised when she had a significant role in the book.

She grew up sailing, skiing, and speaking Norwegian so she gets to do everything the men do in this book. I found this awesome, especially since this was originally published in Both Bill and Jill knew him and have their own ideas about his disappearance. Now a body matching his description, but under a different name, has turned up on a glacier. The thorite sample smuggled out of Norway adds a financial incentive, and this later leads to some steep competition for finding the source of that mineral sample.

The story starts off a little slow, but once Jill joins the group along with Mr. Dahler, who she knew when she was a child, things really pick up. Narration: Jerry Farden did a really good job with this book. He did a decent job with the Norwegian accents and the bits of Norwegian. I picked this from my shelf to read, despite the 'adventure' genre not exactly being an area I am massively familiar with, because I read earlier in the week that it was a century since Hammond Innes' birth. I wasn't wholly sure what to expect, and was slightly anxious that, being written in the s, it would feel dated.

But no, it wasn't awkward or dated in the expected manner. This tale of sailing and skiing and industrial espionage and adventure was slightly 'Boys Own' in places and a touch I picked this from my shelf to read, despite the 'adventure' genre not exactly being an area I am massively familiar with, because I read earlier in the week that it was a century since Hammond Innes' birth. This tale of sailing and skiing and industrial espionage and adventure was slightly 'Boys Own' in places and a touch unbelievable, but the writing style was so straightforward and storytelling, it kept me utterly involved - despite my not being particularly interested in the genre.

I'm not going to rush to read more Innes, but this was a decent little tale and I've certainly developed an appreciation of his oeuvre.

The Blue Ice by Hammond Innes

You'll need a good map of Norway to follow this story. I have to write them down to keep track of them. A great tale in the Innes tradition. I you'll never fail to learn a great deal of geography reading an Innes novel.

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Jul 15, Mary rated it really liked it. I am so glad I picked up this book. The attention to detail is amazing, and it is obvious that the author has experienced what he is writing about. As the setting was so well described and the content so interesting I didnt realise until quite near the end that I was slightly confused as to what was really going on and that there were a couple of characters that I really didnt know very well. However, despite the slightly gory ending of one of the characters at the end, this book kept me reading I am so glad I picked up this book.

However, despite the slightly gory ending of one of the characters at the end, this book kept me reading because I wanted to understand what was going on. The ending I think was quite fast, but that may just be because I kept reading until I had finished!

enter site Aug 02, Mark rated it really liked it. A good book in parts. Chiefly the plot is clear and entices the reader to continue, however the story is slowed by periods of lucidly described scenery when in my case, a faster pace would have been appreciated. The chief protagonists all have well developed characters and are portrayed in an interesting manner, there aren't too many to keeps tabs on either.