Compass is author Murray Lee’s darkly comic debut novel which delightfully deflates the legend of the heroic white, male explorer who conquers the polar wilderness.
We can’t all be heroes. Some try and succeed. Others posture and pretend. And a few—just a few—set off on their hero’s quest only to discover that failure was within them all along.
Guy has made a career out of shilling stories. Under the employ of a pre-eminent international geography magazine, he has traveled the world dressed up like Indiana Jones and recounted the puffed-up exploits of long-dead explorers to auditoriums full of armchair adventurers. “They are good stories,” he tells us. “They are all lies.”
Called out on his dishonesty, Guy makes the impulsive decision to mount an adventure of his own. He flies due north, into a land of rotting ice and endless sun, and sets off by snowmobile for the Arctic floe edge, the mystical place where the ice shelf ends at the open polar sea. Accompanied by Simeonie, his wry and well-liked local guide, Guy knows just enough to draw both men into mortal danger.
When an ice floe breaks free and Simeonie disappears, the narrator ends up alone and adrift in the hostile northern sea. He draws on his knowledge of historic expeditions to craft his own, inept, attempt at survival. As time passes and he becomes increasingly disoriented, his obsession with Sedna, the Inuit goddess of the sea, becomes terrifyingly real.
Estimated Ship Date: May 10th, 2022