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Bruce Barcott…[a] timely, passionate and comprehensive survey of polar bear history, lore, biology and politics. Ellis is a prolific and graceful writer who's written some of the best natural history books of the past decade…On Thin Ice, like a number of his books, includes excerpt-stuffed sections that ride the line between history and anthology. One gets the sense that he starts each new project by gathering everything ever written about, say, polar bears, stacking the volumes in great piles, and consuming them in marathon pipe-and-slippers sessions. If you seek moments of poetic observation a la Barry Lopez, Ellis is not your guy. But if you're looking for a complete digest of the history of human-polar bear relations, there's nobody better.
—The New York Times