Hammond Innes: The Blue Ice



Stand out against others was probably the attention to detail about Norway and its landscapes In Blue Ice 1948 by Hammond Innes Big Bill Gansert has given up his job as ProductionManager with Base Metals and Industries BMI He all set to board his personally redesigned and outfitted sailing Hammond Innes books are like travelogues and adventures combined He may take you to the Arctic Circle to sub Saharan Africa to the Canadian Rockies and you will get a flavorful experience of the lands and the people while embroiled in illings natural disasters and lots of excitement except for this one The Blue Ice is surprisingly boring with minimal action until the very end After a long sea voyage to western Norway in search of a mysterious Norwegian WW II underground member named George Farnell or Bernt Olsen who may have the secret to a rich mineral reserve near a glacier in the interior the searchers fight each other as well as various interlopers who want the secret Not as exciting as it sounds But there certainly is a wealth of detail about sailing navigation and the conditions in the North Sea The story line is convoluted as some of the dialogue is in Norwegian and one of the characters is a cockney who switches between a cockney accent and English The cockney is written phonetically so I is written as Oi and so forth All of this detracts from the plot and frustrates the reader who just wants to now what is going on instead of trying to translate the dialogue For a better Hammand Innes experience try Campbell s Kingdom or Maddon s Rock these were terrific adventures Innes was scrupulous in visiting every location he wrote about Extensive travels in Norway in the late 40s yielded two novels this and The White South up soon on the reading li Interesting learning about sailing and whaling in Norway Would be a great way to see some of the country The chase through the mountains got a bit long. D out and Gansert found himself caught in a maze of ambition and treachery with roots lying deep in years of German occupatio.

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BOOKS The Blue Ice BY Hammond Innes – cafe1919.org

A solid thriller from an author I rate close to Alistair McLean and Douglass Reeman The plot is not really surprising but it has a classic elegance of the 1940 1950 noir style with several shady characters chasing a McGuffin across a North Sea storm a nausea inducing whaling station the fjords and iced mountains of Norway There s even the mandatory femme fatale one I ept picturing as Veronika Lake in one of her less brooding roles One harrowing skiing epic reminded me of Hammond Innes first book The Lonely Skier Straightforward prose vivid imagery and tight control of plot puts this book in my recommended reading category The Master s TouchI ve always read for adventure to live with the characters and join them on their uest share their ups and their downs be a part of whatever it is they re doing As a guide to adventure Hammond Innes has never let me down This book Blue Ice is another in the series of adventures Innes has shared with his readers In many cases if not most or even every he has himself undertaken similar adventures if only to trace the tracks of his characters The result is an authenticity and an immediacy to his writing and a heightened experience for the reader casual or otherwise Blue Ice is one in a series of wonderful adventures with all the twists and turns the opening of new and wonderful vistas that any reader could hope for Like many of Hammond Innes books this has a superb story line that eeps you hooked all the way through The descriptions of the surroundings are so vivid adding atmosphere One of my favourites of his Having just finished a couple of Innes early World War II novels The Trojan Horse and Wreckers Must Breathe what is most striking about The Blue Ice Innes fourth postwar novel is how much of a leap the author has made as a writer between 1940 41 and 1948 Just before The Blue Ice Innes had also published The Lonely Skier perhaps best considered. George Farnell's legacy came to light ten years after his disappearance Two lines of poetry and a lump of mineral ore were al.

As his breakthrough novel At any rate in both books the storytelling is not only tight the pace and reveals of the plot are intense It s clear that Innes has hit his stride and figured out an adventurethriller formula that works He would follow it for the most part for the rest of his lifeHere the story is of Bill Gansert whisked away from his job and intended early semi retirement to go on a mission to find George Farnell who has disappeared into the frozen glaciers and mountains of Norway This is largely Farnell s story told indirectly by Gansert And once again Innes is borrowing from the pattern that established this techniue in Conrad s Lord Jim the ur text of modern adventure fiction Also present the intimate coterie of fellow adventurers who gradually crack and reveal their cowardice bravery greed lust sadism and madness Gansert is literally at the center of a maelstrom of powerful personalities and lit up emotions intent on revenge or redemption Ho hum It s not very demanding full of incident and features a large cast of characters These are shallow waters though and there s something slightly hasty and unresolved in a bad way about the ending To be fair I thought this was a Boys Own version of The Third Man until I discovered this preceded that film and novella I suspect Graham Greene was influenced by this rather than the other way around However I don t begrudge Greene taking some of the basic ideas of Innes book and doing something far interesting A little less chasing a little depth and a bit care might have made this something than the average adventure story it is And do people really make their life s work out of finding metals What exactly did Farnell want to do with his discovery if not just make money There s something sadly hollow about the whole thing Ski chases daring train stunts midnight grave exhumation this book has it all A fun adventure thriller What made this. L he left Yet they were enough to send mineral expert Bill Gansert to Norway But word of Farnell's findings had already leake.

Ralph Hammond Innes was an English novelist who wrote over 30 novels as well as children's and travel booksHe was awarded a CBE Commander Order of the British Empire in 1978 The World Mystery Convention honoured Innes with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Bouchercon XXIV awards in Omaha Nebraska Oct 1993Innes was born in Horsham Sussex and educated at the Cranbrook School in Kent