Arctic Solitaire; A Boat, a Bay, and the Quest for the Perfect Bear.

Author:Silverstein, Barry
Position:Book review

Paul Souders; ARCTIC SOLITAIRE; Mountaineers Books (Nonfiction: Ecology & Environment) 26.95 ISBN: 9781680511048

Byline: Barry Silverstein

Across a three-year period, photographer Paul Souders took four unaccompanied boat trips to Canada's Hudson Bay. His objective was to find "the polar bear of [his] dreams" and photograph the wild animal "living, hunting, and swimming among the melting Arctic sea ice." Souders ultimately succeeded, but he got much more than he bargained for. Arctic Solitaire documents the author's escapades in a personal narrative that is engaging, sometimes harrowing, and often very amusing.

Souders faces all manners of challenges on C-Sick, his appropriately named boat, including raging seas, suspicious natives, supplies that wash overboard, and dangerous encounters with all kinds of wildlife. Along the way, the author's keen eye for observation and his talent for firsthand reportage make for a riveting story. His ability to mock his own shortcomings and misadventures lends a particularly humorous aspect to his storytelling. In one instance, when Souders is convinced that he's finally found that perfect polar bear, he begins to snap frame after...

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