Theodore Jerome Cohen wrote Frozen in Time: Murder at the Bottom of the World in a genre all of his own by combining fact with fiction, reality with storytelling, and history with adventure. This unique combination of writing is a style unto itself, simultaneously delivering exceptionally high entertainment value while providing immense educational insight. Based on Dr. Cohen’s true once-in-a-lifetime adventure of a journey to Antarctica, back in the early 1960’s as a younger man, he actually did embark on a mission to monitor the gravitational field of the earth for scientific research. As one would think memoirs of such a fantastic journey would be sufficient material for fascinating reading, Theodore Cohen goes further in Frozen in Time by interlacing within the novel a factious story about a theft of grand proportions. The escape path along with the stolen wealth finds its way on the Piloto Pardo, a vessel in the port of Punta Arenas, Chile, destined to Antarctica, along with the “cast and crew” – the cast of characters and crew of the vessel.
What is most unique is how Dr. Cohen, a Ph.D. in real life with more degrees than all of the thermometers in Antarctica, writes specific details and events which actually did occur, along with the fictional account of “the heist.” Citing real events, Theodore Cohen includes in the galley text an abundance of footnotes allowing the reader expert insight of the details of the story’s true aspects. This creates a clear dichotomy of fact versus fiction, as the footnotes bring to the reader’s attention avenues for further research, or expert explanations of the true circumstances described. Then are the elements of his plot, character development, and twist of fate of the “novel” aspect of Frozen in Time. Together one perceives a window into the soul of the author, who simply changes his last name from Cohen to Stone for the sake of the story, but still is called Ted. I enjoyed the progression of the true events as the book continued, while also enjoying the “cat and mouse” of the crime; in essence reading two books within one novel. Having the human survival aspects combined with human greed made this the unique book it truly is.
Meticulously written, footnoted, including photographs, maps, memorabilia from the voyage, Frozen in Time: Murder at the Bottom of the World is an author’s doctorate work in novel creation, hardbound with chilling cover art. I am told by the author the characters are soon to reemerge in a sequel. Frankly, from the mind of Ted, a series of life’s adventures must certainly be awaiting his keyboard for release.
I certainly recommend this book for the travel enthusiast, adventure seeker, scientist and thrill seeking novel nerds among us, as well as anyone looking to read something different and as true to life as fiction can be.