Non-fiction: Peter Matthiessen: End of the Earth (National Geographic Society, 2003)
This is the worst Antarctica book I’ve read so far. Its crimes include pointlessness and a lack of content, but far worse is its surprising ability to resist reading. Whether I’m tired or feeling sharp, after reading half a page my mind wanders and after a while I’m not sure where I’m going on the page. Then I guiltily skip a paragraph or two, pretending to myself I read them already.
The subject is actually new to me. The book is about two bird-watching expeditions to the archipelagoes surrounding the continent, moving in a Finnish-built Russian icebreaker inside the pack ice. It could be interesting if the writer was not phoning it in in this atrocious fashion.
I can’t remember the last time two hundred pages took me this long to read.