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.
Potter's attempt to create an Essex Taj Mahal was a lovely treattv
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Woman accidentally shoots herself in the head while posing for a selfie
- 2 Isis burns woman alive for refusing to engage in 'extreme' sex act, UN says
- 3 Puerto Rico, island of lost dreams: People are leaving the debt-hit territory in droves as near neighbour Cuba's star rises
- 4 Female Muay Thai champion hustles coaches to give them a beating
- 5 16-year-old girl beaten and burned alive by lynch mob in Rio Bravo, Guatemala
As a white man, I'm surprised more women aren't tweeting the hashtag #KillAllWhiteMen
Scotland may have to leave the EU even if it votes to stay in, David Cameron confirms
The day that Britain resigned as a global power
Almost a third of school pupils believe 'Muslims are taking over our country', study claims
SNP fury as HS2 finds 'no business case' for taking fast train service to Scotland
Gay marriage 'Bert and Ernie' cake bakery found guilty of discrimination in Northern Ireland