Communicator (communicator) wrote,

Cold Earth

Cold Earth by Sarah Moss is a very quiet and low key novel, which I think is strongly influenced by Jared Diamond's Collapse. Some young archaeologists spend six weeks one summer camping in Greenland, excavating abandoned Viking ruins. There is some talk on the Internet of bird flu outbreaks and then all their communications go dead. Winter comes on, and they start to freeze and starve. Is civilisation gone, or have they just screwed up the travel arrangements?

Meanwhile they may be being menaced by the ghosts of dead vikings, or they may be going a bit bonkers from stress.

The story is told through a series of 'last letters home' written by each of the team. For a story featuring the possible extinction of the human race it is subdued and introverted, more of a chamber piece. I thought it was an easy fast read, enjoyable, probably got enough substance to make a decent low-budget film.

BTW there is a long standing sub-genre - which I don't think has a name (?) - in which a modern person uncovers some old text or diary, and then her life parallels the historic person, probably in alternating chapters. This seems to be a new variant - shenanigans on an archaeological expedition, with something being uncovered. This is the second such novel I have read in a month (the other was The Hidden).
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