27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
Remarkably well written and quite unforgettable,
This review is from: Endurance : Shackleton's Incredible Voyage (Paperback)
On the basis of Amazon reviewers, I got a copy of this book from my university's library. After reading it, I've ordered a personal copy. Lansing's a marvelous writer. His prose is elegant, powerfully and wonderfully descriptive, and he knows how to hold the reader as captive as Shackleton's crew on the ice flow. The Amazon reviewers who mildly complained about the book becoming somewhat bogged down about two-thirds through are right--but in no way does that compromise the essence and thrill of this adventure story. I read it wanting to know more about Shackleton's leadship philosophy and strategies, but what I came away with was an unbridled appreciation of the composition and virtues of his crew: how they managed to get along, their infinite patience, and their quiet courage in what must have been--despite all the description--an utterly unimagineable ordeal. It is exceedingly odd and wonderfully paradoxical that Shackleton totally failed in his objective to cross the South Pole--he never got close. But he had this extraordinary adventure. I don't see how a person can be unaffected after reading this book.
Readers who really get into this book should also get a copy of Shackleton's own account, which I think is entitled "South." The reason is that that book is full of black and white photographs of the adventure which add immensely (and that's putting it mildly) to Lansing's prose. The photos show a world of startling beauty and grandeur, and they provide new meaning to being "up against the elements."
Last, one has to be grateful to Amazon.com for enabling readers to review books. I would have never stumbled upon Endurance without the readers' reviews section.