If I only accomplish a third of what Peter Freuchen accomplished in his lifetime I shall be very happy. Except for the self-amputation of part of his own foot. I'll leave that well enough alone. Freuchen led an incredibly exciting life and this book is one that is hard to put down.
Viking is Freuchen's autobiography. Born in Denmark, he was a
disturbing child that performed many hijinks. As he grew up, he
realized University was not for him and instead joined an expedition to
Greenland and the arctic. Here he would stay many years running a
trading post and marrying, but Greenland wasn't the last of his travels
and he also went to Siberia and to Hollywood to make movies. During
World War II he was part of the resistance and was arrested several
times by the Gestapo. And those are only some of his stories.
this book was only about Freuchen it would still be remarkable. He did
so much with his life and made an impact on so many people. While I
think he was a little socio-pathic as a youth, he grew out of that and
helped a lot of people. Most of the people he mentions in this book are
spoken of fondly. He obviously loved his first wife, Navarana, and
missed her deeply when she died. His second wife, Magda, was more
distant and based on his descriptions I'm not sure what he saw in her.
She certainly didn't have any redeeming qualities that I could see. His
third wife, Dagmar, also didn't play much of a role in the book, but at
least seemed a stronger person than Magda. People you knew he
definitely didn't like were Hitler's regime. As part of the underground
movement, he made a lot of trouble for the Gestapo in Denmark.
goes on a lot of adventures in this book. Some of them good, some of
them bad, and he comes close to dying a few times. But that doesn't
stop him. I like the way he added such detail to his books. You get
the full effect of the taste of rotting seal or the fear of hiding from
the Germans. Freuchen gets his emotions across very well. And while
some of these descriptions might not be for everyone (the aforementioned
seal), I hazard a guess that everyone will find something they like in
this book. Just the section on Hollywood and his experiences making
movies was exciting. I now want to find his Eskimo movie and watch it
as he does actually act in it.
A fantastic life and I'm glad he
shared it with us. Between this book and the Book of the Eskimos I read
from him, I'm very much now a fan.