Race to the Pole, by James Cracknell & Ben Fogle
Sunday 30 May 2010
There's something heart-warming about the ripping adventures of James Cracknell and Ben Fogle. Not simply the fact that the pair seem to pit themselves against unspeakable odds, but also that they do so with a combination of sincerity, dignity and pragmatism. After their Atlantic jaunt, their latest endeavour is up to the mark.
For the first time since Amundsen and Scott raced each other in 1911, six teams competed to be the first to reach the South Pole on foot. Cracknell, Fogle and a third participant, Dr Ed Coats, lash on the skis.
The book of the trip is a tennis match of recollections, with the narrative bouncing between the pair. Fogle has the calmer demeanour and emerges like the Edwardian diplomat in James Hilton's Lost Horizon. Cracknell, as befitting a successful Olympiad, has the drive of a man possessed. His passages are full of "I let rip," "I was busy swearing" and "This is crap." As Fogle succinctly puts it: "We were both worried about his frame of mind." A great escapade told with refreshing frankness.
TVJamie's Sugar Rush reveal's campaigning chef's new foe
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Refugee crisis: Sweden the only European country with a majority favourable towards non-EU immigration
- 2 'Heartbreaking' Syria orphan photo wasn't taken in Syria and not of orphan
- 3 Bob Geldof offers to take four refugee families into his home 'immediately' as he condemns humanitarian crisis as a ‘f**king disgrace'
- 4 Malnourished two-year-old found being breastfed by dog in Chile
- 5 Bryan Cranston speaks candidly about wealth
Anne Hathaway is already being stung by Hollywood ageism, aged 32
No Escape, film review: Thriller generates plenty of excitement but soon collapses
From The Prisoner to Mad Men, elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series
The Lobster trailer: Colin Farrell has 45 days to find a lover or he'll be turned into an animal
Spanish town saved by botched restoration of century-old Christian 'Ecce Homo' fresco of Jesus
Britain to take more refugees as Cameron bows to pressure after more than 250,000 back our campaign
Senior British politicians tell David Cameron: When dead children are being washed up on beaches – it's time to act
Jeremy Corbyn calls Osama bin Laden's killing a 'tragedy' - but was it taken out of context?
If these extraordinarily powerful images of a dead Syrian child washed up on a beach don't change Europe's attitude to refugees, what will?
If you're not already angry about the refugee crisis, here's a history lesson to remind you why you really should be
Make your voice heard: Sign The Independent's petition to welcome refugees