The Balloonist by Macdonald Harris
A Novel

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Synopsis

As in the best of Jules Verne or Albert Sanchez Pinol, The Balloonist is a gripping and surreal yarn, chilling and comic by turn, that brilliantly reinvents the Arctic adventure.

It is July 1897, at the northernmost reach of the inhabited world. A Swedish scientist, an American journalist, and a young, French-speaking adventurer climb into a wicker gondola suspended beneath a huge, red-and-white balloon. The ropes are cut, the balloon rises, and the three begin their voyage: an attempt to become the first people to set foot on the North Pole, and return, borne on the wind. Philip Pullman says in his foreword: "Once I open any of MacDonald Harris’s novels I find it almost impossible not to turn and read on, so delightful is the sensation of a sharp intelligence at work. In The Balloonist , we see all of his qualities at their best."
 

About Macdonald Harris

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DONALD HEINEY (MacDonald Harris was a pseudonym) was born in 1921. After serving in the Merchant Marine and the Navy, he joined the faculty of University of California, Irvine, where he taught writers including Michael Chabon. He died in 1993.
 
Published October 30, 2012 by Overlook Books. 230 pages
Genres: Humor & Entertainment, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Balloonist

The Wall Street Journal

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"The Ice Balloon" draws upon the journals from the expedition and the international news reports that followed the balloon's disappearance, supplementing this with anecdotes from other Polar expeditions, including those of Henry Hudson, Adolphus Greely, Fridtjof Nansen, Sir John Franklin.

Oct 26 2013 | Read Full Review of The Balloonist: A Novel

The Wall Street Journal

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In 1897, three men set out to do what no one had done before—reach the North Pole—in a balloon.

Oct 26 2012 | Read Full Review of The Balloonist: A Novel

The Washington Post

SuperFan badge holders consistently post smart, timely comments about Washington area sports and teams.

Jan 09 2013 | Read Full Review of The Balloonist: A Novel

Bookmarks Magazine

By jonSun, 01/13/2013 - 20:45.

Jan 13 2013 | Read Full Review of The Balloonist: A Novel

Reader Rating for The Balloonist
75%

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