Fragile planet

“This is a brilliant, beautifully written testimony to the resilience of the human spirit. The book tells Earl de Blonville’s own story as the leader of Australia’s first expedition to the Arctic in 1985-86. It illustrates the power of one man’s vision and the courage of the author and his men to rise above extreme…

Utterly engrossing

“When I first sat down with this book I expected to read a few chapters a day. Just 36 hours after opening it, I closed the last page at midnight and collapsed into bed. The action is utterly engrossing. However, with each harrowing tale I expected to learn how leadership saved the day and how…

Appalling weather

“Throughout the expedition, danger was ever-present. The crew faced appalling weather conditions, as well as cramped living quarters, so it was no surprise that tensions boiled over on a number of occasions. It would have been miraculous if it had happened otherwise. I’m sure that without Earl’s doggedness and leadership, the expedition would have been…

Thought provoking

“I started reading this book expecting to find instructional advice on leadership, what I found was an exciting journey and a story I couldn’t put down. It was a great read! The insights into what makes people tick was thought provoking for me, the abilities to push beyond what seems possible was inspiring. I’m glad…

Incredible survival

“I discovered this book in a box, covered in dust, half way across the Gobi Desert. We were travelling by 4WD from Melbourne to London via Mongolia. It was autumn. Camels drifted past as freezing winds swirled down from snow-capped mountains, billowing our exposed tent. The book was a perfect choice for such a wild…

Gripping tale

“This engrossing book tells the story of two Arctic expeditions. In 1930 a 23-year old Englishman named Gino Watkins took a motley band of young adventurers to East Greenland, ostensibly to explore the possibility of a trans-Arctic air route. Some 60 years later another remarkable young man, Earl de Blonville, returned to the same unforgiving…

What makes a leader?

“If there was a golden age of Australian adventuring, it was the late 20th century. From the 60s to the 90s there was a palpable spirit of possibility, an alchemy with our affinity for wilderness and an almost nation-defining pride in the Big Crazy Undertaking. Earl de Blonville was a part of this mix, from…