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Summary

Now a major Netflix film co-written by and starring Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Game of Thrones)

The harrowing, amazing, and often amusing personal account of two mismatched Arctic explorers who banded together to keep themselves sane on an historic expedition gone horribly wrong

Ejnar Mikkelsen was devoted to Arctic exploration. In 1910, he decided to search for the diaries of the ill-fated Mylius-Erichsen expedition, which had set out to prove that Robert Peary’s outline of the East Greenland coast was a myth, erroneous and presumably self-serving. Iver Iversen was a mechanic who joined Mikkelsen in Iceland when the expedition’s boat needed repair.

Several months later, Mikkelsen and Iversen embarked on an incredible journey during which they would suffer every imaginable Arctic travail: implacable cold, scurvy, starvation, frostbite, snow blindness, plunges into icy seawater, impossible sledding conditions, Vitamin A poisoning, debilitated dogs, apocalyptic storms, gaping crevasses, and assorted mortifications of the flesh. Mikkelsen’s diary was even eaten by a bear.

Three years of this, coupled with seemingly no hope of rescue, would drive most crazy, yet the two retained both their sanity as well as their humor.

Indeed, what may have saved them was their refusal to become as desolate as their surroundings….

Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, who co-adapted the book into a screenplay, provides a new foreword to this brand-new edition of the classic exploration memoir, which was one of The Explorer's Club’s 100 Best Books of the 20th Century. 

Originally published as Two Against the Ice: A Classic Arctic Survival Story and a Remarkable Account of Companionship in the Face of Adversity. Translated from Danish by Maurice Michael.

©2022 Ejnar Mikkelsen (P)2022 Random House Audio

Critic reviews

"One of the Hundred Best Books of Twentieth-Century Exploration"The Explorer's Club

"Readers will be amazed and amused by the way the two explorers keep their spirits about them and downplay the terrifying dangers as though it were all in good fun. Fascinating and fun reading."Booklist 

"Mikkelsen is an artisan of cold places, and if his labors are mighty and consuming, they are also of love."Kirkus Reviews  

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  • Lori J
  • 22-01-22

FABULOUS.

I had trouble enjoying this at the beginning as I am a dog lover. However, the story gripped me in my guts and occupied my mind. There is no way to describe the struggle and isolation these men survived- you must hear it in their words. I often listen to audios while 'doing other things' but not with this one.
I have finished it and want to say that I feel a profound gratitude for all the comforts of life that I enjoy.
And a happy ending. What more could a history/adventure buff desire?
Shelve it beside Shakleton's Endurance.

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  • j s good
  • 12-06-22

Just like Being There

I couldn’t stop listening. The narrator made me feel like I was listening to the explorers themselves.

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  • Sarabeth
  • 03-03-22

Accent

wow that accent is rough. Just find a danish guy or a decent impersonation. Think I'll read this one