The Black Penguin
by Andrew Evans
Wisconsin. 288 pages, $24.95
SEVEN YEARS AGO, when he was 34, a man whose dream since childhood had been to work for National Geographic pitched an idea to the editor of their travel magazine at its headquarters in Washington, DC: to take a trip from Washington to the South Pole, by bus, while blogging for an on-line audience along the way. To his great surprise, the editor agreed. And so, we have a book that will remind you of the very reason you began reading books in the first place—the thrills and chills of vicarious life: specifically, a kind of travel that most of us are capable of only when we’re in our twenties and find hard to believe we ever did when we look back.
The Black Penguin is a thrilling book not only because Evans survives a bus trip to the bottom of South America but also because the Mormon Church disapproves of his homosexuality—a story that forms, in alternating chapters, a tale as harrowing as his journey to Antarctica.