Rummanah Aasi
  Are you looking for a book that you can't put down? Were you a huge fan of Lauren Hillenbrand's Unbroken, the best selling nonfiction book that stayed on the New York Bestsellers List for over 80 weeks? If so, be sure to check out Mitchell Zuckoff's Frozen in Time for another pulse pounding adventure of true heroism and survival.

Description: In Nov. 1942 a cargo plane crashed into the Greenland ice cap, the B-17 sent on the search-and-rescue mission got caught in a storm and also crashed, miraculously all nine men aboard survived. A second rescue operation was launched, but the plane, the Grumman Duck, flew into a storm and vanished. The survivors of the B-17 spent 148 days fighting to stay alive while waiting for rescue by famed explorer Bernt Balchen. Then in 2012 the U.S. Coast Guard and North South Polar mount an expedition to solve the mystery of the vanished plane and recover the remains of the lost plane's crew.

Review: Hollywood seems to be running of ideas fast and should consider turning to exciting nonfiction narratives such as Frozen in Time for inspiration or adaptation. The plot of Frozen in Time seems completely implausible. Many times while this cinematic book, I thought it was fiction and not nonfiction.  Zuckoff's complex and nail biting narrative involves the fates of three downed missions to Greenland in late 1942, juxtaposed with the events of the modern-day search effort, led by an exploration company in August 2012 and joined by the author. 
  The narrative though incredibly well detailed and researched can be confusing at times, particularly when referring to their location and the numerous characters involved in the story. Thankfully there are maps and a list of character names that I found helpful to refer back to when I got lost. I found the two different timelines of the rescue, the original and the present equally fascinating. The book starts off in an adrenaline pumping retelling of the crash of the original lost cargo plane, which contained five American servicemen, was part of the wartime Operation BOLERO's so-called Snowball Route from the U.S. to Britain; on November 5, 1942 and crashed on an ice cap near the southeast coast of Greenland. Due to terrible winter storms, the plane's radio messages grew increasingly weak, making it impossible to locate the plane for the subsequent B-17 bomber that took off days later on a rescue mission. Carrying nine crew members, the B-17 hit a whiteout and crashed into a glacier. Our hearts continue to pound as the broken-off tail section remained intact, allowing the survivors to take shelter, but one man had already fallen through an ice bridge, another grew delusional and another had his feet frozen. The details of their physical state while trying to survive are a bit graphic and gory as Zuckoff doesn't flinch from giving this information. 
  Despite rescuing some of the survivors, the Duck vanished in a storm, remaining unclaimed until Lou Sapienza's expedition of 2012. A Grumman "Duck" plane was launched, carrying pilot John Pritchard and radioman Benjamin Bottoms. Zuckoff gives a play by play narrative concerns the plight of the crews, as well as the elaborate outfitting for the Duck Hunt. I was lost many times with the military jargon and the specifics when it come to the planes, but I completely captivated by this story. As a result, you feel as you have personally gone through the same ordeal as these characters. Frozen in Time is a multi-layered at times confusing but nonetheless exciting account involving characters of enormous courage and stamina. I really wouldn't be surprised if the book rights have already been bought by a major movie production powerhouse.

Rating: 4 stars

Words of Caution: There is some language as well as graphic and gory images of wounded soldiers. Recommended for teens and adults who love nonfiction narratives of survival stories.

If you like this book try: Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand, Lost in Shangrila by Mitchell Zuckoff
4 Responses
  1. Loved Unbroken. Haven't read much about this one. Thanks! I think I'll add it to my list.


  2. Reading something like this, interesting as it may be, requires a lot of mental energy, and I tend to be an escapist who prefers easy reads. On the other hand, I adore everything that has anything to do with WWII, so this would probably be very interesting for me, even though it was often so confusing and overwhelming.
    Thank you for sharing your thoughts.


  3. Candace Says:

    This kind of stuff is fascinating to me but I have no patience for reading it. This is the kind of stuff I love to watch on TV, the real thing, not the fictional movies. I hadn't known about this, but it definitely sounds fascinating!


  4. This does sound like an interesting movie and real life stuff is always so fascinating. I am very curious about this one!


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