- File Size: 29665 KB
- Print Length: 292 pages
- Publisher: Basic Books; Anniversary edition (April 29, 2014)
- Publication Date: April 29, 2014
- Sold by: Hachette Book Group
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00IC8VF10
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Not Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #15,903 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Endurance: Shackleton's Incredible Voyage Kindle Edition
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Through the diaries of team members and interviews with survivors, Lansing reconstructs the months of terror and hardship the Endurance crew suffered. In October of 1915, there "were no helicopters, no Weasels, no Sno-Cats, no suitable planes. Thus their plight was naked and terrifying in its simplicity. If they were to get out--they had to get themselves out." How Shackleton did indeed get them out without the loss of a single life is at the heart of Lansing's magnificent true-life adventure tale. --This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.
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That these men were able to survive in the harsh, barren conditions of Antarctica, where temperatures frequently fell below zero is amazing. It’s nearly unimaginable that these men could survive for almost two years, their lives marked by a seemingly endless stretch of misery, suffering, and boredom, not to mention the threat of starvation. At every turn, their situation seems to go from bad to worse. If this were a work of fiction, one would be inclined to claim the story was simply too far-fetched. But Endurance isn't just a tale of misery, it is a vivid description of their journey, the dangers they faced, and the obstacles they overcame. Through all of this, Shackleton has never lost a man.
Alfred Lansing's book, written in 1958 from interviews and journals of the survivors, is now back in print. It’s a riveting tale of adventure, survival and hope. It is also a rare historical, non-fiction book that is as exciting as any novel. I’ve read a number of stories of survival and would rate this as the best of all I have read. This is one of the great adventure stories of our time. Don’t miss it.
There is no doubt in my mind that I would not be able to endure even one, the best, day of the unimaginable hardships that the men of the Imperial Trans-Antarctic Exposition (1914-17)—under the leadership of Sir Ernest Shackleton—struggled with for more than 400 days. They endured and survived some of the most incredible, unbelievable, conditions ever experienced; and Alfred Lansing captures the urgency, the deprivation, and the desperation, with spellbinding storytelling.
Recommendation: Best adventure story, ever. Should be read by all, especially those of high school age.
“In all the world there is no desolation more complete than the polar night. It is a return to the Ice Age—no warmth, no life, no movement.” (p. 46).
Basic Books. Kindle Edition, 268 pages.
Top international reviews
It's an amazing story of human endurance and spirit against seemingly overwhelming odds - well written and very detailed by an author who as well as using the diaries of the participants, actually interviewed some of the surviving ones some years after the event. As a result, you can see its authenticity.
I've also recently watched (available on C4 'All 4' or whatever it calls itself) the two part dramatisation of this story and I recommend it.
I read this book on the back of a few extremely enthusiastic recommendations. Initially I wasn't so keen. I knew little of Shackleton and his story, plus recreations of real events tend to leave me cold. In my experience they can seem little more than long lists of stuff that happened. `So we went there, then we did this, then this happened, so he did that and I did this' etc etc. I'm not saying that there are not moments like this in Endurance, it's just that the events themselves are so awe inspiring, the stakes so high and the odds so stacked that in the words of my friend, `the book infects your mind'. It's as though every time you put the book down you've left the men stranded and the only way to get them out is to read and to keep reading. I was up late the night I finished it and even then it took 30 minutes of staring at the ceiling to shake the effect of the final few chapters.
The author Alfred Lansing, as well creating an important historical account, has written a real page turner by pairing the story down to just what is necessary to tell the tale. I have read reviews which bemoan the lack of context as a missed opportunity, that the events would have more weight if they were contrasted with the war in Europe and the sufferings of the young men in the fields of France. For me this would have dampened the profound feeling of isolation which was perhaps the most affecting aspect of the story. The men spent months marooned, camping on ice. They sailed in tiny boats at the mercy of the elements in the most hostile seas on the planet. All the while knowing nothing of the outside world and dealing constantly with the knowledge that nobody, not a single soul, knew where they were or that they were even alive. I get anxious if I misplace my iPhone. To Shackleton and his men there was no context save for the ice, the sea and their survival. Anything else would have only served to distract, to muddy the focus of events which need no embellishment. The author does allow himself some moments of florid prose but it's always just enough, never over the top and always justified.
I've chosen to give this book five stars for the simple reason that any other rating would require me to suggest improvements and I cannot. It is an incredible story told with clarity and an authority which comes from unprecedented access to the survivors and their diaries. It's a real and important achievement, a testament to those involved and a startling reality check for everybody in our mollycoddled society, the reading of which, if I had any say in the matter, would be mandatory.
I started waking up early before work to read as much as I could and was reading in bed until I could barely hold my eyes open. I only read non fiction as the learning is often what drives me, but non fiction by its nature is rarely a story and unless told well, it can be an active effort to get through.
This is the best parts of non fiction and fiction twisted together and its epic.
The story itself is one of No panic here, only belief in survival based on science, hope and inspirational leadership.
Though hard to believe this is a true tale and although I'd read about it here and there, until this book I was ignorant to the true extent of actual events.
First class storytelling based on the diaries of these heroic survivors.
I would highly recommend this book.