Pub. Date:
Labyrinth of Ice: The Triumphant and Tragic Greely Polar Expedition

Labyrinth of Ice: The Triumphant and Tragic Greely Polar Expedition

by Buddy Levy


$16.99 $18.99 Save 11% Current price is $16.99, Original price is $18.99. You Save 11%.
View All Available Formats & Editions
Choose Expedited Shipping at checkout for delivery by Thursday, September 23


National Outdoor Book Awards Winner

Winner of the BANFF Adventure Travel Award

A thrilling and harrowing story. If it’s a cliche to say I couldn’t put this book down, well, too bad: I couldn’t put this book down.” —Jess Walter, bestselling author of Beautiful Ruins

“Polar exploration is utter madness. It is the insistence of life where life shouldn’t exist. And so, Labyrinth of Ice shows you exactly what happens when the unstoppable meets the unmovable. Buddy Levy outdoes himself here. The details and story are magnificent.”
Brad Meltzer, bestselling author of The First Conspiracy: The Secret Plot to Kill George Washington

Based on the author's exhaustive research, the incredible true story of the Greely Expedition, one of the most harrowing adventures in the annals of polar exploration.

In July 1881, Lt. A.W. Greely and his crew of 24 scientists and explorers were bound for the last region unmarked on global maps. Their goal: Farthest North. What would follow was one of the most extraordinary and terrible voyages ever made.

Greely and his men confronted every possible challenge—vicious wolves, sub-zero temperatures, and months of total darkness—as they set about exploring one of the most remote, unrelenting environments on the planet. In May 1882, they broke the 300-year-old record, and returned to camp to eagerly await the resupply ship scheduled to return at the end of the year. Only nothing came.

250 miles south, a wall of ice prevented any rescue from reaching them. Provisions thinned and a second winter descended. Back home, Greely’s wife worked tirelessly against government resistance to rally a rescue mission.

Months passed, and Greely made a drastic choice: he and his men loaded the remaining provisions and tools onto their five small boats, and pushed off into the treacherous waters. After just two weeks, dangerous floes surrounded them. Now new dangers awaited: insanity, threats of mutiny, and cannibalism. As food dwindled and the men weakened, Greely's expedition clung desperately to life.

Labyrinth of Ice tells the true story of the heroic lives and deaths of these voyagers hell-bent on fame and fortune—at any cost—and how their journey changed the world.

Related collections and offers

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781250782069
Publisher: St. Martin's Publishing Group
Publication date: 02/16/2021
Pages: 400
Sales rank: 201,214
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.30(d)

About the Author

BUDDY LEVY is the author of over seven books, including Conquistador: Hernan Cortes, King Montezuma, and the Last Stand of the Aztecs; River of Darkness: Francisco Orellana’s Voyage of Death and Discovery Down the Amazon. He is co-author of No Barriers: A Blind Man’s Journey to Kayak the Grand Canyon and GERONIMO: Leadership Strategies of An American Warrior. His books have been published in eight languages. He lives in Idaho.

Table of Contents


The Crew of the Lady Franklin Bay Expedition
1. The Lady Franklin Bay Expeditionary Force
2. Fort Conger
3. Preparing for Darkness
4. The Long Night
5. Farthest North
6. The Neptune
7. Winter of Discontent
8. "I Am Not a Lady Franklin"
9. Farthest West
10. The Proteus and the Yantic
11. Vigil
12. Nipped
13. Farewell to Fort Conger
14. A Game of Cat and Mouse
15. Adrift
16. Forsaken
17. An "Irrepressible Little Band" of Men
18. Labyrinth of Ice
19. Eskimo Point
20. Camp Clay
21. Henrietta's Powers of Persuasion
22. Darkness Descends
23. "Son of a Gun"
24. A Four-Man Relief Board
25. "This Ghostly Procession of Emaciated Men"
26. Henrietta's "Bounty Plan" and a Gift from the Queen
27. The End of the Longest Night
28. Relief Preparations
29. Triumph and Tragedy
30. A Flotilla of Rescue Ships
31. "To Strive, to Endure, to Live"
32. From the Crow's Nest
33. A Race against Whalers and Time
34. "Did What I Came to Do"
35. "Preserve Tenderly the Remains of the Heroic Dead"
36. "Home Again, Home Again"
37. "No Law, Human or Divine"
38. "A Blue-Ribboned, Star-Shaped Medal"
Epilogue: Weyprecht's Dream
Author's Note on the Text and Sources

Customer Reviews