Monday, November 14, 2016

David Welky's "A Wretched and Precarious Situation," the movie

Featured at My Book, The Movie: A Wretched and Precarious Situation: In Search of the Last Arctic Frontier by David Welky.

The entry begins:
A Wretched and Precarious Situation is a nonfiction narrative about a remarkable Arctic expedition to explore a mysterious landmass that famous explorer Robert E. Peary spotted in the Arctic Ocean in 1906. Peary named his find “Crocker Land” in honor of a generous donor named George Crocker. Scientists dubbed Crocker Land “the last great geographical problem left to the world for solution,” and concluded that it encompassed around 500,000 square miles, which would make it the second largest island in the world.

In 1913 one of Peary’s acolytes, Donald MacMillan, assembled a party to follow Peary’s footsteps and explore Crocker Land. As is usually the case with these things, the expedition went horribly wrong (no one wants to read a book about the Arctic where everything goes swimmingly). The seven Americans who comprise the team endure shipwrecks, starvation, bitter cold, biting winds, brutal icepacks, and even murder during a four-year exile in the extreme north. They eventually unlock the riddle of Crocker Land only to reveal another, deeper mystery that hints at a dark secret that MacMillan could never have anticipated.

I actually wrote A Wretched and Precarious Situation with an actor in mind. In an ideal world, the part of Donald MacMillan would be played by Ed Harris. Harris, with his thinning hair, piercing gaze, and weathered look, is a dead ringer for MacMillan. His performance as astronaut John Glenn in The Right Stuff proves that he can play a sensitive leader of men, and his work in Westworld shows that he can stand tall against an Arctic blizzard.

Unfortunately, this is not an ideal world. Harris is sixty-six years old, whereas MacMillan was only thirty nine when...[read on]
The Page 99 Test: The Thousand-Year Flood.

My Book, The Movie: A Wretched and Precarious Situation.

--Marshal Zeringue