The Birthday Boys, By Beryl Bainbridge

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The Independent Culture

Even those with no interest in Captain Scott's polar expeditions will be moved by the lyricism and depth of emotion in this re-enactment of his doomed Terra Nova venture, in which he led a party of five to the South Pole in 1912, only to be forestalled by a Norwegian crew.

Scott and his comrades all perished on the way home. Narrating from the point of view of each of the men, chapter by chapter, Bainbridge dramatises their joys, squabbles and glorious moments of insight amid the sublime silence of their landscape which renders their fates not so tragic after all.