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From avalanches to glaciers and seals to snowflakes, from igloos to icebergs, permafrost to hoarfrost, chilblains to frostbite, Bill Streever unearths the consistent, ongoing influence of cold on the planet.
Evoking history, myth, geography and ecology, Streever’s quest for icy, forty-below cold gains purchase in July, while he’s taking a dip in an Arctic swimming hole; in September, while excavating our planet’s ice ages; and in October, while exploring animals’ hibernation habits, from humans to wood frogs to bears. In March he even does his best to escape it, bundling up in layers of polyester, spandex and Primaloft fill to face thermometers reading twenty-three below.
Streever visits an underground Cold War-era tunnel, where preserved remains mingle with new-fangled machinery and gear; weighs in on the scientific quest to reach absolute zero (-459° F); and describes how refrigeration evolved from worldwide ice shipping to the chemical coolants we know today.

Reviews

A poetic, anecdotal narrative complete with polar expeditions, Ice Age mysteries, igloos, permafrost, and hailstorms...A wonderful collection of one man's first-rate observations and commentary about the history and importance of cold to the earth and its occupants.
PUBLISHERS WEEKLY 'Mr Streever writes with passion and fills his book with entertaining facts’
- ECONOMIST 'He sculptures lucid explanations and fires them with fine writing'- NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW 'Mr Streever's prose does what E L Doctorow says good writing is supposed to do, which is to evoke sensation in the reader
The New York TIMES