Sunday, 8 May 2011

The White Darkness by Garaldine McCaughrean

I have been in love with Titus Oates for quite a while now—which is ridiculous, since he's been dead for ninety years. But look at it this way. In ninety years I'll be dead, too, and the age difference won't matter.
Sym is not your average teenage girl. She is obsessed with the Antarctic and the brave, romantic figure of Captain Oates from Scott's doomed expedition to the South Pole. In fact, Oates is the secret confidant to whom she spills all her hopes and fears.
But Sym's uncle Victor is even more obsessed—and when he takes her on a dream trip into the bleak Antarctic wilderness, it turns into a nightmarish struggle for survival that will challenge everything she knows and loves.
In her first contemporary young adult novel, Carnegie Medalist and three-time Whitbread Award winner Geraldine McCaughrean delivers a spellbinding journey into the frozen heart of darkness


Did you know that Antarctica is classified as a desert? One of the driest places on earth? No? Well I didn't either. Amazing that!
I love this book. I first read it when I was part of the Carnagie book awards group at my secondary school and it was one of the books we were to read. I loved it then, and I am so glad to see that my feelings for it haven't changed.

So, as I have said this was a re-read from a few year ago (well-re-listen actually)

The funny thing though about this book is that, despite loving it, I have a hard time trying to explain it. It is one of those books that seems to explain itself as you read. It is easy to explain to a point anyway.

Sym, a teenage girl, gets taken to Antarctica by her uncle where his dastardly plan comes to light and she finds out that everything that she had thought about her life was a lie. Easy yeah? But then you have the added drama of Sym having 32 year old Titus Oates in her head. Is he imaginary? Is he real? You think you know until you read the end and then you are left with the question. Just what is he?

This is a great read! Sym is a great heroine who has humor, wit and a maturity that meant that I could re-read (listen :)) this at 20 and her attitude to things didn't grate on my nerves.

One matter that hasn't changed since my first read is how little Titus in in the book. I loved reading the conversations that went on between the two of them within Sym's head and I wish there were more moments like that as they mostly consisted of very funny banter between the two of them.

I would love to see a sequel.

Narrator - Ruth Sillers, Richard Morant
Length - 9hrs 20mins
Published - 01/10/2008

This was fantastic fun to listen too, especially since I could compare the audio experience to the straight forward reading. The thing that made all the difference to the audio was having a male reader for Titus - and Richard Morant as the voice of Titus was great. Although the women readers on the audios I have listened to in the past have done great jobs of playing male voices actually have a man to do the voice was what made this audio for me. Ruth Sillers had a lovely voice that I had no problem listening to for the majority of the audio. 

5 out of 5 for this audio *****

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