Minds of Winter by Ed O'loughlinMinds of Winter by Ed O'loughlin

Minds of Winter

byEd O'loughlin

Paperback | February 4, 2017

Pricing and Purchase Info

$20.33 online 
$22.95 list price save 11%
Earn 102 plum® points

Prices and offers may vary in store


In stock online

Ships free on orders over $25

Available in stores


Finalist for the 2017 Scotiabank Giller Prize

Longlisted for the 2017 Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction

It begins with a chance encounter at the top of the world.

Fay Morgan and Nelson Nilsson have each arrived in Inuvik, Canada, about 120 miles north of the Arctic Circle. Both are in search of answers about a family member: Nelson for his estranged older brother, and Fay for her vanished grandfather. Driving Fay into town from the airport on a freezing January night, Nelson reveals a folder left behind by his brother. An image catches Fay's eye: a clock she has seen before. Soon Fay and Nelson realize that their relatives have an extraordinary and historic connection - a secret share in one of the greatest unsolved mysteries of polar expedition. This is the riddle of the "Arnold 294" chronometer, which reappeared in Britain more than a hundred years after it was lost in the Arctic with the ships and men of Sir John Franklin's Northwest Passage expedition. The secret history of this elusive timepiece, Fay and Nelson will discover, ties them and their families to a journey that echoes across two centuries.

In a feat of extraordinary scope and ambition, Ed O'Loughlin moves between a frozen present and an ever thawing past. Minds of Winter is a novel about ice and time and their ability to preserve or destroy, of mortality and loss and our dreams of transcending them.

Ed O'Loughlin is an Irish Canadian author and journalist. His first novel, Not Untrue and Not Unkind, was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize in 2009 and shortlisted for the Kerry Group Irish Fiction Award. His second novel, Toploader, was published in 2011. House of Anansi published his third novel, Minds of Winter, in spring of 2017,...
Title:Minds of WinterFormat:PaperbackDimensions:496 pages, 9 × 6 × 1.11 inPublished:February 4, 2017Publisher:House Of Anansi Press IncLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1487002343

ISBN - 13:9781487002343

Look for similar items by category:


Rated 5 out of 5 by from GREAT!! Really a great story and thought provoking indeed!
Date published: 2018-03-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Dense, interwoven historic fiction within a conspiracy-mystery frame story Remarkable work of historical fiction. Intricate in structure, convincing and meticulous in detail, and surprisingly engrossing in character, this novel avoids typical plot, organization, and closure in favour of more challenging choices. The modern-day frame story is of two lost souls in the high Canadian Arctic and, oddly, a historic marine chronometer. Nelson's brother (recent) and Faye's grandfather (long past) went missing in the area - but they're not there on a Dan Brown-esque mystery-thriller search for the truth. This case of missing, confused, and obfuscated identities resists such tidy progressions. Instead, the unlikely couple stumble their way into uncertain discoveries of questionable validity based on documents left behind by Nelson's apparently-missing brother. This modern day progression is interspersed with "found" documents and firsthand accounts of explorers, adventurers, and secret-history-movers of the last two centuries prodding at the edges of the unknown on journeys that range from Australia to the Arctic and very nearly everywhere in between. The dots don't connect - or maybe they do - but the real surprise is how enjoyable the ride is. I don't usually enjoy fiction that lacks the classic rise-and-fall story arc or that evade neatly-wrapped endings, but the unconventional format of this book somehow worked for me. Strong research, a talent for authentic(-seeming) voice, and telling details bring to life far-flung locations and eras long since passed. I couldn't keep track of the location, time, character, and (potential, suggested, unconfirmed) links between the jumps for most of the book - and in fact, once I thought I'd worked out the trajectory, this book happily dumped the drawer upside down on me once more. In effect, the experience is like reading a loosely-linked series of short stories or historic records. I'm not sure if it's the inherently fraught circumstances of so many of the players, the exotically far-reaching locales, or the promise of a mystery to untangle, but this dense, interwoven narrative completely held my attention. Highly recommended read.
Date published: 2018-03-26
Rated 3 out of 5 by from A Good Read! A somewhat of a challenging read but well worth it. I enjoyed it.
Date published: 2018-02-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fantastic Great story, relate-able characters, an enjoyable read
Date published: 2018-01-25
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great, deep read. a long and challenging read, but worth it in my opinion. I love when I learn this much from reading!
Date published: 2018-01-09
Rated 4 out of 5 by from great I loved everything about this book!
Date published: 2017-12-26
Rated 3 out of 5 by from my bad I misread this thinking I was buying a book about the Mines Of Winter and the need to demine the landscape in former war zones.
Date published: 2017-12-24
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Interesting One of those books that makes you think.
Date published: 2017-12-19
Rated 4 out of 5 by from interesting makes you think - I liked it
Date published: 2017-11-19
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Reads like a textbook For polar exploration enthusiasts, this book is probably great. Personally, I thought the topic was interesting but the book was hard to get through. Minds of Winter touches on multiple journeys to both the north and south poles, and northern Canada. Wrapped in the frame of two modern-day strangers trying to piece things together, all other characters are brought in for a chapter or two then never seen again. There are so many names and places I couldn't keep track of them all. Maybe if I was already familiar with the famous arctic explorers I would have gotten a lot more out of this, but as it is I think I missed half the nuances and was left feeling unsatisfied.
Date published: 2017-11-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Epic Journey with Stellar Writing Throughout Prepare yourself for an epic journey when you crack the cover of Ed O’Loughlin’s “Minds of Winter”. It is a novel of extraordinary scope, spanning the period of 1848 to 1941, in the search for the Northwest Passage through the Canadian Arctic and the subsequent polar experiences of the intrepid men who dedicated their lives to the task. A parallel plot in the present is based in and around Inuvik, Northwest Territories. Nelson searches for clues to the disappearance of his estranged older brother. Faye searches for answers to the vanishing of her adventuring grandfather Hugh. The two reluctantly join forces as it becomes apparent that their searches are overlapping. The connecting thread between past and present is the mystery of the “Arnold 294 Chronometer” and the missing years between its presence in the doomed Sir John Franklin expedition and its reappearance in Britain a century later. “Minds of Winter” progresses through the perspectives of a variety of characters whose life experiences span the globe from the Canadian Arctic to England, Ireland, Antarctica, Korea, Siberia, New York City and several Canadian locales. Stitching all of this together coherently is a monumental task. O’Loughlin pulls it off with great skill and dexterity. The quality of the writing throughout is stellar. Truly a novel you can become engrossed in and be convincingly transported to other times and places.
Date published: 2017-10-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from love love it, couldn't put it down!
Date published: 2017-10-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from interesting book, adding this to my collection interesting book, adding this to my collection
Date published: 2017-10-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved it This book crosses a couple of genres and deals well with them. This is an excellent nomination for this years Giller
Date published: 2017-09-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Curious adventure On the cover, The Daily Mail calls this book 'ambitious novel', I highly agree ! The depth of research and connective writing. I was constantly looking up the 'characters ' Meares, Oates, Amundsen and geographical locations To see if it was correct and also to enhance information. An incredible story of the arctic and explorers, fantastic historical fiction, well done author!
Date published: 2017-03-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Ambitious O'Loughlin has written an incredibly ambitious novel that kept me ensnared throughout. For anyone interested in the Arctic and Arctic exploration, this was a fascinating and entertaining read.
Date published: 2017-02-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Haunting I've just started this book, but I have been blown away by the writing and narrative. Everything historical fiction should be.
Date published: 2017-02-07

Editorial Reviews

"A tour de force." - Kirkus Reviews "[A] complex tale of historical intrigue about 19th-century polar explorers." - Publishers Weekly "Minds of Winter is a profound ode to land, legend and love. . . . beautifully drawn and expertly told, Minds of Winter is gripping from the start." - National Post "Bright moments from the distant past spring up beside dark moments from the present, things hidden - a death, a gift, a lost clock - come briefly into view and then disappear forever. In Minds of Winter, Ed O'Loughlin's brilliant story of polar exploration, time itself is an Arctic: a mysterious dimension of sun craze and apparitions, chance encounters and destiny. The mechanism of this novel is fascinating to observe, its implications are deeply human. In O'Loughlin's work, our desire for knowledge, our obsession with the past, our grappling with life itself . . . all of it is generously, wittily on display." - Scotiabank Giller Prize Jury Citation "Hugely ambitious.[O'Loughlin] displays a prodigious imagination." - Globe and Mail "Minds of Winter is a remarkable feat of imagination, empathy, and research. Past and present merge to convey the polar landscape's immense mysteries, and the lives of those voyagers compelled to seek answers in its icy expanses. Ed O'Loughlin is a skilled cartographer of both the Arctic and the human heart. What a magnificent novel." - Ron Rash, author of Serena and Above the Waterfall "Readers who delight in history and mystery mixed together will appreciate O'Loughlin's shifting drifts of reality and imagination." - Library Journal, STARRED REVIEW "Few novelists have the temerity to offer up mystery, suspense, adventure, and a famous historical puzzle in a single novel. Ed O'Loughlin does so in Minds of Winter, and takes the reader to the ends of the earth in the process." - Robert Hough, author of The Man Who Saved Henry Morgan and Dr. Brinkley's Tower "[A] masterly, richly researched, vastly ranging tale" - Toronto Star "Minds of Winter proves to be an exhilarating romp through the age of polar exploration . . . like the search for Franklin himself, Minds of Winter is a story of death and glory, loss and triumph and, ultimately, the mighty power of the imagination in the face of unrelenting struggle." - Winnipeg Free Press "In both concept and execution the novel is a serious piece of work at once vastly entertaining and ambitious on a scale that leaves much of contemporary Irish fiction looking woefully insubstantial . . . there will be few better historical novels published this year." - Sunday Times "[A] marvel of a novel." - Irish Independent "The writing is stupendously good . . . O'Loughlin manages beautifully." - The Australian