An extraordinary tale that warps actual history into something conjoined, poetic and thrilling . . . [A] marvel of a novel.
A spellbinding tale of adventures and explorers, spies and outlaws, of derring-do, self-sacrifice and impossible feats of endurance . . . In the sheer brio of its storytelling, it brings to mind Salman Rushdie's The Enchantress of Florence or David Mitchell's Cloud Atlas - profound, yes, but terrific fun, too.
In both concept and execution the novel is a serious piece of work at once vastly entertaining and ambitious.
A compelling and hugely ambitious novel.
The Franklin novel to end all Franklin novels. Never have so many different narrative threads been taken up and twined together.
With each novel, O'Loughlin is expanding his interests and his imaginative grasp - the first sign of a genuinely talented writer. He is rapidly becoming one of the most interesting novelists currently at work.
[A] brilliant paean to the obsessions of the polar explorers . . . stupendously good.
A novel wondrous in its tone and reach . . . the final pages seem inevitable as great endings must . . . The title is from Wallace Stevens poem The Snowman, where we're asked to behold the 'Nothing that is not there and the nothing that is.' It takes a good writer to take that on. It takes a great one to succeed.
Minds of Winter is a remarkable feat of imagination, empathy, and research. Past and present merge to convey the polar landscape's immense mysteries, and the lives of those voyagers compelled to seek answers in its icy expanses. Ed O'Loughlin is a skilled cartographer of both the Arctic and the human heart. What a magnificent novel.
Intricately structured . . . thoroughly researched . . . The Arctic itself is a central character.