Into the Abyss: Explorers on the Edge of Survival by Benedict Allen - review by Tom Stacey

Tom Stacey

Dire Straits

Into the Abyss: Explorers on the Edge of Survival


Faber & Faber 266pp £17.99

Benedict Allen makes a living out of being what his publicity people call an ‘explorer’. Indeed, his publishers call him ‘one of the UK’s most daring explorers’, no less. He has edited The Faber Book of Explorers. He has made several television films about his exploring. His exploits as an explorer include trekking across the Mongolian steppe and the Gobi Desert, walking the length of Namibia’s Skeleton Coast with three camels, crossing the Amazon basin, traversing the mountainous spine of New Guinea, and so on. 

Now his exploring has him off on a journey by dog-sled ‘a thousand miles’ through the scattered coastal settlements of the western perimeter of the Bering Straits, in ‘the worst winter in living memory’, prior to his own quest to cross the Bering Straits to Alaska on the ice. This

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