‘Seventh Journey” (about the 1986 Arctic Kayak Expeditions) was touted as on the verge of publishing for about five years until Earl finally published the book in 2009. This is Earl’s only book and a generous estimate of actual sales would be well under 1000 copies. In 2016 Earl reissued the book (originally touted as a NEW book) when in fact it was the very same book, minus the color plates and with a new, lurid name and cover, “Savage Coast”. “Savage Coast” made much more financially feasible through the advent of Print On Demand publishing but there is no evidence it has enjoyed any more robust sales since it’s re-packaging.
The book is long (400+ pages) and contains considerable human history and natural history information that is quite interesting if you are into Greenland. But it is important for the reader to remember that none of the other expedition members participated, commented, were asked to review galleys or even received a copy after it was published. In other words, Mr. de Blonville wrote the story, 25 years after the fact, ENTIRELY from his own perspective and with the spin that it would substantiate his claims to having unique insight into the world of “leadership” (and hence be a powerful marketing tool for his C-Suite Coaching, book sales, academic career, etc.). If you must read “Savage Coast” then also go and read the expedition cameraman’s book, Through the Lens of My Eye, by Michael Boland. Boland, among the most experienced members of the expedition, dismisses de Blonville (named Bloomfield at the time) as a “Walter Mitty”.
A couple of other things to note: Seventh Journey was edited by de Blonville’s girlfriend at the time (who, out of respect for her subesquent loathing of de Blonville, I will not name. She is easily found in a copy of Seventh Journey). She had a professional background in editing and design and not only worked for free but loaned money toward the project, never repaid. She designed the front cover and was arguably the only reason this decades long project was ever completed in the first place. In Seventh Journey, she is the final acknowledgement, for her “tireless work that let’s the story shine”.
In “Savage Coast” the former girlfriend is erased and the new girlfriend, Jennifer Gidley (who had nothing to do with the creation of the book) gets the glowing dedication, replacing the original dedication “to the people of East Greenland”. The lurid, purple cover of “Savage Coast” initially included “Patron: HRH The Prince of Wales” but was removed when Clarence House, the office of the Prince, objected.
And in a final irony (and frankly, a sad blow to how we cling to heroes), Sir Ranulph Fiennes, widely described as the World’s Greatest Explorer, provided a cover quote “Timeless insights into the hidden dimensions of leadership” but has repeatedly refused to confirm that he ever actually read the book.
And lest we forget, both books were published by something called “Bear Books”. Given that there was a publisher and publisher’s logo on the book (and given that de Blonville didn’t apparently tell the admissions staff at RMIT the book was self-published) it’s slightly excusable that the book was used as the core reason for accepting de Blonville into a Ph.d program. This, in spite of de Blonville dropping out of high school in his second year (something else he didn’t tell RMIT). Bear Books is nothing more than Earl de Blonville. Bear Books has published one book… Seventh Journey/Savage Coast. It is literally just a name for a publishing company that Earl made up.
Here are the three book covers, chronologically from left to right. Note on “Savage Coast” how “Patron” has been changed to “Expedition Patron” after admonishment from Prince Charles’ office. And how the purple cover with “No possibility of rescue!” and “Leadership for a Turbulent World!” gave way to the cover on the far right. Yes, that is de Blonville, front and center.
I made considerable efforts to find anyone associated with the expedition who genuinely had positive, praising things to say about de Blonville and his leadership. I was unsuccessful.