Author(s): Blaise Cendrars
Dan Yack is an eccentric English millionaire shipowner, a notorious hell-raiser, and the envy of all St Petersburg. He is also the alter ego of his creator, Blaise Cendrars. This strange travel yarn begins with Dan Yack fiding out that he is no longer wanted by his lover, Hedwiga. Rejection letter in hand, he is completely drunk and sitting in the middle of the street in a pool of horse's urine. Eventually he wanders in to 'The Stray Dog' nightclub to fall asleep under a table. Sitting around the table are three hard-up young artists drinking vodka. One is Arkadie Goischman, a Jewish poet; the second is Ivan Sabakov, a peasant sculptor; and the third is Andre Lamont, a puny French musician. Regaining consciousness, Dan Yack impulsively invites them to accompany him on a world voyage via the Antarctic. All three accept the offer and they set off in a schooner called The Green Star. Unfortunately, as the voyage progresses, the weather gets worse and they enter pack-ice. Impatient, Dan Yack orders the crew to land him and his three companions while they wait for a clear passage. They have have enough provisions for a long dark polar winter. But things do not run smoothly. The musician destroys their watches. The poet drifts off into serious daydreams. The sculptor starts making statues of Dan Yack in ice. And Dan Yack himself is worried: about time, about breaking his monocle and about having no-one to love. But when the sun finally returns after the polar winter, no-one could predict the surreal disaster that is about to unfold; a scenario involving a plum pudding, whales, women and World War One.
'A kind of jazz-age super-cocktail, a swirling cauldron of the outrageous, the orgiastic and the surreal.' - THE GUARDIAN 'Mad, vicious, amusing and beautiful.' - TIME OUT 'A virtuoso performance.' - THE OBSERVER 'Tintin for grown-ups.' - IRISH TIMES