NYRB Classics collector. Reads anything, so long as it's good. Sometimes historian. Frequently grumpy: you've been warned. Also at aliceunderskies.tumblr.com.
I know quite a lot about polar death, so it's remarkable that this book kept me relatively riveted despite treading familiar ground. It gives some fascinating insights into British imperialism while managing to tie itself to present day issues of global warming--always nice to read a history book that explicitly states its relevance. (I am being slightly facetious with this last comment but I do mean it: I am not a historian, just an interested freelancer, and I appreciate mightily when history is made relevant without bombarding me with a constantly restated thesis. Brandt struck a really nice balance, making a lot of larger connections that illuminated my own [very literature-centric:] experience with the British Empire while expanding my existing knowledge of polar death. Frankenstein is suddenly a lot more interesting when placed in its proper historical context and for that alone I am indebted to Brandt.)