I will update this page with reviews of N-4 DOWN: the hunt for the Arctic airship Italia.
Lit Hub also published with sister site CrimeReads an extract from my new book as…The Airship Italia: A Mystery at the of the Golden Age of Polar Exploration
“Mark Piesing in N-4 Down explores the least remembered of this forgotten era: the story of Roald Amundsen, Umberto Nobile, and their airship adventures in the Arctic, one of the greatest aeronautical feats of all time.” – Robert S. Davis, Hunt for the Arctic Airship Italia, New York Journal of Books.
“Almost half of the book prepares the reader with sufficient background for the gripping telling of the story of the crash of N-4 Italia and the deadly attempt at rescue.” – Davis
‘The Arctic of that time loomed large in the media and the public’s imagination. More than 1,000 men died trying to reach the North Pole by various means. It had real-life mysteries such as the disappearance of the Franklin expedition..such background makes the detailed account of Amundsen’s and Nobile’s adventures so much more than a high adventure in a deadly, unforgiving environment.” – Davis
“N-4 Down is an engrossing read where the author seamlessly tells a great adventure including adequate background but without distraction from his storyline. It makes a fast and engaging read.” – Davis
“In compelling prose, Piesing draws us into the feverish efforts to conquer the Arctic by air.” –Bruce Dorminey, When Airships Raced To Conquer The Arctic, Forbes.
“N-4 Down works in large part because it is refreshingly well-written… It was a pleasure to be captivated by a working journalist like Piesing’s ability to put together a swath of prose that actually made me want to turn the page.”– Dorminey.
“Piesing’s narrative latches hold in part because although we live in an era in which there’s a lot of talk about pushing the limit of aerospace exploration, it’s been decades years since Amelia Earhart, Richard Byrd and Amundsen routinely risked their lives for the sake of aeronautical exploration.” — Dorminey.
“Piesing deserves credit for bringing this forgotten bit of aerospace history back to light.”– Dorminey.
“One of the greatest polar rescue efforts ever mounted, a saga that journalist Mark Piesing retells in N-4 Down.”- Diana Preston, N-4 Down Review: Above The Ice, The Wall St Journal
“Mr. Piesing writes with obvious enthusiasm for his subject. His depictions of airship flight are gripping, whether he’s discussing the Norge’s 1926 journey over an icy wasteland traversed by Arctic foxes and polar bears or the doomed Italia’s final hours.” – – Preston
“This is a book with much to enjoy and a good illustration of what human curiosity, determination and courage—and sometimes a healthy dollop of vanity—can achieve.” — Preston
“Mark Piesing evocatively brings to life a lesser-known tale in the ill-fated history of polar exploration. Like the stories of Franklin and Shackleton, it combines triumph, disaster, heroism, hubris and mystery—but unlike them it features dashing aviators in airships and seaplanes. It is an epic tale that deserves to be far more widely known.” — Tom Standage, New York Times bestselling author of A History of The World in 6 Glasses
“A meticulously researched and utterly gripping account of adventure, airships and adversity, Mark Piesing’s N-4 Down is a brilliant book. Packed with a cast of vivid characters, magnificent flying machines, political machinations and tales of survival against all imaginable odds, it depicts one of the most extraordinary stories of not just aviation and exploration, but the twentieth century as a whole. You will never forget General Nobile, the airship and the endless ice they faced.” — Michael Bhaskar, author of Human Frontiers: The Future of Big Ideas in an Age of Small Thinking
“N-4 Down is a gripping, detailed tale of exploration, betrayal and rescue. Mark Piesing has crafted a fascinating recounting of a liminal time when flying and polar expeditions were equally risky, so of course people tried to combine them. Think The Terror, but with airships.” — Charles Arthur, author of Social Warming and Digital Wars, former technology editor at The Guardian
“The author has visited the places about which he writes, and his sketches of remote locales make for interesting reading. He also offers useful insights on the strange blend of competition and cooperation that characterized Arctic exploration. … Of interest to would-be Arctic explorers and armchair adventurers.” — Kirkus Reviews
Pre-ordering the book really helps the author. So if you want to pre-order then click on one of these links…
Barnes and Nobile