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The South Pole: An Account of the Norwegian Antarctic Expedition in the Fram, 1910-1912 Paperback – November 21, 2000
"Wild by Nature" by Sarah Marquis
From Siberia to Australia, Three Years Alone in the Wilderness on Foot | Check out "Wild by Nature".
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From Library Journal
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Top Customer Reviews
The greatest tale of this age was surrounded by no great tales of hardship, no honeyed or sanitised versions of the deed. In this book we hear in the words of the greatest exponent of the art of polar travel, the story of that rarest of plans - the perfectly executed coup.
For a coup it was. When Amundsen turned from the North Pole to the South after the question of "the great nail" had been settled by Cook & Peary, his decision was treated in many sectors (most notably an unbalanced and jingoistic British Press) as underhanded and double dealing. Amundens account of the reasoning behind it makes clear that any deceit was necessary to ensure no forestalling of his plans by others - not only Scott. To ensure the future of his extended plan (the drift across the Arctic which was eventually carried out in the "Maud") he knew the Press Barons would need an exclusive and juicy story. The South Pole would give him this currency.
The book is written in an honest and clean style - an extension of the Man and his nature. The hardships faced are almost disguised by the simple tale of their telling. To strike up an unknown glacier and forge his way over virgin ground on the way to the polar plateau and the Pole itself displays fortitude and grit we can only marvel at in todays world. But his description of the task is hidden behind a work-a-day narrative. To truly appreciate the splendour of the achievement is difficult in our modern era.Read more ›
Amundsen was relentlessly methodical and practical in planning and executing the expedition. He identified a practical method of travel for the long haul to the South Pole from the Antarctic coast: dog sleds and skiis. He and his crew experimented and tested all their equipment and supplies in the Antarctic while patiently waiting for the right weather to travel. In striking contrast to his British competitor, Robert Falcon Scott, Amundsen correctly estimated the amount of food that would be consumed by physically active men operating for weeks in sub-zero temperatures. Amundsen's preparation is so complete that the actual expedition sometimes has all the drama of a weekend fishing trip. Amundsen was apparently a modest man, and it falls to Roland Huntford in an introduction to draw the obvious comparison with the catastrophic failure of the Scott expedition.
Amundsen's account provides all the detail necessary for anyone who might wish to duplicate his feat. Unfortunately, his writing style is very dry and even dedicated students of polar exploration may find finishing this book a long haul.
This book is highly recommended to students of the history of polar travel.
General books says in the book they are using OCR software to help print the book and avoid proof reading to keep costs low. Do yourself a favor and buy Amundsen's account part 1 or 2 NOT in an OCR software edition book. Pay the extra 2 dollars or more for an error free book. Its so frustrating reading something so enjoyable and having to stop for mistakes and sort things out. A major distraction for me.
Now the good parts. Amundsen had a sense of humor and loved his sled dogs. However his people party were most important and if a dog was not able to keep up and pull the sled he would have the animal killed and if needed the other dogs would feed on it. Animal lovers will say this is horrible but Amundsen was a realest who survived -70F temperatures and got all his men back. Poor explorer Scott lost his life and 4 others after reaching the pole after Amundsen.
Amundsen's 95% effort was to reach the South Pole first and 5% scientific exploration. He did all he planned in a most efficient method using dogs to pull sleds and clothing more in tune what the native people of the far north would wear. The man had his act together and did not try to do all things like Scott's expedition did. Scott used ponies, snow tractors and dogs. Most all failed him and his 5 man polar group manhandled/pulled their sleds to the pole and partially back by themselves.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Everyone talks about Scotts fate, I enjoyed to read about the successful side of the exploration / discovery of the South Pole.Published 2 months ago by Heike
I'm going on a trip to Antarctica and so thought it fitting to read about the first man to make it to the South Pole ... and back. Read morePublished 9 months ago by everyone's a critic
Extremely detailed journal of everything a good explorer needs to get to the South Pole and survive. Unlike Scott's shambolic, arrogant & ill fated disaster.Published 12 months ago by Derek Fulker
The expedition which took Amundsen and his crew to the south pole was a remarkable accomplishment. Others tried. Some died. Others barely survived. Read morePublished 16 months ago by James C. Casterline
While I enjoyed the story the book's binding is a bit of a struggle to keep opened (I love my bedtime reading with a book resting on my lap but this had to be pressed on hard with... Read morePublished 16 months ago by Stasie
Book was to detailed for my liking and soon found myself uninterested. The book titled "Fatal North; Murder and Survival etc. was much better. Read morePublished 19 months ago by TEAmundson
The Journal of Roald Amundsen's expedition to the South Pole. This book provides mostly logistics. But as they say getting there is half the fun. In this case its all the fun! Read morePublished 21 months ago by Anthony M. Frasca
I really liked it. It's not a light reading. Lots of numbers,data and names. Nice story, amazing planning! It makes us see our daily challenges much smaler.Published on June 12, 2013 by Jprei
The book contains over 1,000 pages but they just flew by. A lot better than most novels. Roald Amundsen was certainly one of the great eplorers of the world.Published on August 13, 2012 by ron