As winter arrives, and temperatures drop across the country, readers have lapped up Linda Howard’s novel Ice: A Novel. I downloaded it just because it seems like the kind of book to read while the freezing cold surrounds your every move outdoors. The narrative isn’t really my style, but it’s a thrilling premise that would make a pretty good mediocre film. Guy on leave gets sent to rescue woman from ice storm, meth heads with guns chase them through the Maine wilderness.
It’s like reading Jaws on summer vacation at the beach. With meth heads instead of a shark.
Speaking of movies, when it gets cold like this, and I start to feel too chilled, I remember Alive. I try to make a point of seeing that pretty good mediocre movie as often as I can, to remind myself that no matter how cold I’m feeling, I’m fine. I’m not really cold. Try 72 days in the Andes with very little shelter, leg broken, being buried by an avalanche, dealing with death constantly, and somehow making it out alive after all that time.
The others who had clustered around Roy, upon hearing the news, began to sob and pray, all except Parrado, who looked calmly up the mountains which rose to the west. Gustavo [Coco] Nicolich came out of the plane and, seeing their faces, knew what they had heard… [Nicolich] climbed through the hole in the wall of suitcases and rugby shirts, crouched at the mouth of the dim tunnel, and looked at the mournful faces which were turned towards him. ‘Hey boys,’ he shouted, ‘there’s some good news! We just heard on the radio. They’ve called off the search.’ Inside the crowded plane there was silence. As the hopelessness of their predicament enveloped them, they wept. ‘Why the hell is that good news?’ Paez shouted angrily at Nicolich. ‘Because it means,’ [Nicolich] said, ‘that we’re going to get out of here on our own.’ The courage of this one boy prevented a flood of total despair.
Update 14 December: Having read 78% of Ice, I can officially declare it a piece of crap that no one should ever read. I also want to wish scorn on those who made this a bestseller. I’d rather listen to Kanye, and that’s sayin’ a lot. Ice is a bad, bad novel, and we didn’t get a snow/ice storm here anyway. Bring on Under the Dome!