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Endurance: Shackleton's Incredible Voyage Hardcover – June, 1994
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Endurance was one of the best books I've ever read.
At the time of launching, Shakleton's expedition was history's most extensively planned exploratory trip to Antarctic, complete with a photographer, scientists, carpenters and engineers (a crew of 27 in total). Shakleton's goal was to transverse and study Antarctic. When they set off in 1914, this expedition was the pride of the United Kingdom. Shakleton was the toast of the town for his bravery and expertise. For his bravery he is still toasted, but his polar expertise proved to be lacking. The ship he guided was no match for the South Pole's crushing cold and ice. Soon after arriving, the Endurance was stuck in ice, absolutely unable to move. The crew salvaged what it could and was forced to make do with dwindling supplies and provisions, eventually eating some of their beloved dogs.
I won't dampen your reading pleasure by giving away too much of the unfolding events, but through a combination of amazing resourcefulness, outstanding leadership, and ultimately incredible luck on the part of Shakleton, the whole crew survived without a single life lost. Naturally, there was an abundance of suffering along the way, but also an impressive amount of team spirit and toughness. The book is inspirational and a quiet page turner.
Please note, the "quiet page turner" part. Endurance is definitely an engrossing read, and once you get into it, you won't want to put it down. I found the book starts a bit on the slow side, at least for all its fanfare, but don't give up if you aren't immediately bowled over. You'll be justly rewarded if you stick with it.
Yeah, count me out.
This was the sentence of Ernest Shackleton’s expedition that got stuck for months in the Wendell Sea. And as the journey homewards begins, every discomfort, every breaking wave, every blizzard—becomes a desperate battle between life and death. The crew must face it all: the frostbite, foot amputations, hunger, and disease—all in the midst of the most uninhabitable conditions earth has to offer.
Alfred Lansing’s account of Ernest Shackleton’s ambitious attempt at a Trans-Antarctic expedition is an incredible ride. It is well written and surprisingly descriptive. Some parts will make you squirm as you read. Others will make you grimace as you wonder what the breaking point for these poor men is. But upon completion you will be filled with severe respect for both the captain and the crew who could together undergo such unrelenting trials.
One thing is for sure: they don’t make ‘em like the ones on Shackleton’s voyage anymore.