Big Franklin Book wins praise in Winnipeg

In 1819, John Franklin began his first Arctic expedition using York Boats

Big shoutout to Winnipeg author Dave Williamson, who reviewed Searching for Franklin in today’s Winnipeg Free Press. The headline read: “McGoogan brings Franklin expedition’s cast of characters to life in his latest dispatch.” Williamson went over the top with his flattering first sentence: “Two names are synonymous with exploring the Arctic: John Franklin and Ken McGoogan.” But, hey, I’ll take it. He notes that Franklin made three major expeditions in search of the Northwest Passage, and that “author McGoogan has devoted much of his life to learning about Arctic exploration and passing his knowledge on through books, articles, and workshops.”
Williamson writes that “one of the many strengths of the book is the bringing to life of men who accompanied Franklin” on his first overland expedition — among them  Chipewyan Dene leader Akaitcho.  “The contrast of leadership styles — Franklin’s and Akaitcho’s — is a major highlight of the book.” Williamson adds: “McGoogan presents amazing details of the treks Franklin and his men made over ice, snow and rocky hills, how they attempted to stay warm, how they froze, how they carried the heavy supplies. Not being able to carry a lot of wood and equipment, they built snow huts for overnight resting. They often had to repair a canoe which had smashed into ice or rock; sometimes that meant remaking a wrecked large canoe into a small one.” He demonstrates considerable familiarity with at least two  of my previous  books, and concludes:  “Searching for Franklin is a book to wallow in, best read in a warm room with a hot drink by your side.”


Leave a Comment