Mighty Bad Land: A Perilous Expedition to Antarctica Reveals Clues to an Eighth Continent

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Mighty Bad Land is an excellent memoir. Author Bruce Luyendyk, geologist and namesake of Antarctica’s Mount Luyendyk, writes of his and his team’s dangerous, exciting, and eventful expedition to Antarctica. With the objectives of exploration and discovery, Luyendyk and his team are looking to find the when, how, and why of the supercontinent Gondwana’s split. After years of approval for funds, Bruce is beyond excited to undertake the adventure and opportunity of a lifetime: to explore the wilderness of Antarctica.

Reading this book, I was amazed at the sheer willpower of Bruce and his team to even arrive at this barren land. The book begins on a shaky plane from New Zealand to McMurdo Station, a base for scientists, researchers, and essential personnel in Antarctica. Immediately in this first chapter, you begin to see the grave danger Antarctica can pose, landing a plane on floating ice amidst a pending whiteout blizzard. Fortunately, Bruce and his team arrived unharmed, although a bit shaken. After settling into their dorm rooms and learning their way around, Bruce and his team are slammed with information on Antarctica’s conditions and safety procedures. After all, they have a very quick turnaround time before they must leave this base and go into the wilderness.

Just reading some of the weather classifications that Bruce and his team went through was incredible to me. With a good day at 19 degrees Fahrenheit and a bad day with a wind chill below -100 Fahrenheit, I still am in awe at how they managed to sleep in tents and simply survive. A testament to their dedication, drive, and grit to complete their research goals, Bruce and his team not only survived but thrived in this hostile environment.

The entirety of the book follows this team through their trek into Antarctica and back to McMurdo Station with their research samples. Along the way, the reader hears of team members’ conflicts, health issues, testimonies, and trials. This kind of terrain challenges one physically, emotionally, and mentally. I was glad Bruce dived into this aspect of his journey; it is one thing to make such an accomplishment physically, but another to do so under the adversity and conflict they faced.

Admittedly, I love true stories, so this book was right up my alley. However, all readers, especially those who enjoy adventure-type books and memoirs, would thoroughly enjoy this book!

Reviewed By:

Author Bruce Luyendyk
Star Count /5
Format Hard
Page Count 294 pages
Publisher Permuted Press
Publish Date 30-May-2023
ISBN 9781637588437
Bookshop.org Buy this Book
Issue June 2023
Category Biographies & Memoirs