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Retro Reading: Ice! by Arnold Federbush


Whenever I start something off with. “What did I just (fill in the blank)?” you know it can’t be good.

Such is the case with this very bad disaster novel.

Ten year old Danny Magnassum meets Mark Haney, a reknowned meteorologist for a Cub Scout badge, but the mature lad has more than a badge on his mind. He wants Haney to look over his weather data and his homemade instruments.

After he sees where Danny lives, he meets with his mother Karen, an anthropologist. Karen invites him to dinner and the two sleep together, which turns into a relationship.

Haney defends his weather position since he feels something is about to happen and the two head to Greenland.

On the flight home, a crippling blizzard hits most of the northern hemisphere that dumps feet’s of snow along with stories high snowdrifts.

Once the blizzard passes the glaciers begin their descent south as another blizzard cripples the continent.

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Haney and a few others seek passage on a ship and then the ship gets stuck in the ocean by it icing over. Karen leads everyone back to New York City where she becomes the leader of the group.

The only good part about this book is the first blizzard since Federbush does a really good job describing the terror. Otherwise, everything else is very boring.

A timeline isn’t really established and many characters that are introduced in the beginning disappear and return again for the last half of the book.

To give you an idea, the Bjork family is introduced in Ohio. Mrs. and Peggy survive and a few pages later, they are living in California, house sold and they’re raising cattle. I scratched my head.

The same holds true for Danny when he’s in the hospital after the blizzard and I don’t know how long he was bedridden at home. I again scratched my head because Karen is an unfit mother and would rather spend her time making love to Haney.

Eveything runs together and there are no chapters to speak of.

But, the best part of the book (other than finishing the last sentence) the publisher offered an 18”x18” reproduction of the cover art.

It sold for $10 and I wonder if they still have some.

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