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Mrs. Chippy's Last Expedition: The Remarkable Journal of Shackleton's Polar-Bound Cat Hardcover – October, 1997
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Top Customer Reviews
For he keeps the Lord's watch in the night against the adversary.Read more ›
The book is a journal of the Endurance's carpenter's cat, Mrs. Chippy (apparently, ships' carpenters are often nicknamed "Chips"). We learn that Mrs. Chippy took his responsibilities as an explorer, including keeping a stern watch to monitor the ship's progress, helping his mate in carpentry projects, and mousing, quite seriously. In fact, Chippy's concern for the maintenance of ship routine through the monotony of the shipwreck period surpasses that of virtually any other crew member.
If you've read any account of the Endurance Expedition already, you will quite likely enjoy this book for its thoughtful alternative perspective. It is not sappy in the least - Chippy's intelligent writing allows us to see him as he sees himself: as the 29th crew member on the expedition.
If you have to ask, "how did Chippy learn how to write?" or "when did he find the time?", you're not appreciating the books purpose - to entertain and provide a little insight into how an animal might have been more than slightly responsible for maintaining the crew's sanity.
Now, I must confess to dunderheadedness in reading this book the minute I received it. I knew what happened. Still, thanks to Alexander's marvelous writing I so fell in love with the indomitable spirit of Mrs. Chippy that I fully expected Alexander would fudge the story a bit and take Mrs. Chippy along. Mrs. Chippy meets her fate with grace and dignity -- as peacefully as my beloved cat. It's not horrible, not maudlin, but very emotional.
This is definitely a better book to give to an expedition enthusiast and cat lover whose cat is still living. Even then, the reader is bound to shed a tear or two. The reader who has just put their beloved cat to sleep is going to cry her heart out.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book is based on the author’s, Caroline Alexander’s, previous book “The Endurance: Shackleton’s Legendary Antarctic Expedition”. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Yoda
In 1914-1915, Sir Ernest Henry Shackleton (1874-1922) led his 29-member team in an ill-fated attempt to make the first crossing of the Antarctic continent. Read morePublished 13 months ago by Wayne S. Walker
I read the book on an expedition to South Georgia and Antarctica. It was perfect being in the same environment as Mrs. Chippy. Read morePublished 21 months ago by Cristina Paulin Casplin
Throughout history ship cats have been common, and often they have had prominent roles on board. This little book is the diary of the cat - Mrs. Read morePublished 23 months ago by DorteSandberg
Whatever he does Chippy is a cat's cat. He understands humans, dogs, penguins, seals and his own innate superiority over all of them, but he is mostly stays out of trouble by... Read morePublished on March 23, 2014 by Dulcie Hagedorn
This is not a cutesy children's book. Caroline Alexander adds both a human & a feline aspect to the Shackleton story, & ultimately a heartbreaking one.Published on November 8, 2013 by marro
Very cute and enticing narrative. Even after his final meal, a surprise bowl of sardines, the cat is unawares of his imminent doom. Very good reading.Published on August 12, 2013 by mr_creosote
You know from the beginning that it will end in tears. Why would her/his loving owner take his cat on such a dire journey? Read morePublished on February 25, 2013 by Antonia Crosby
This is a clever and enchanting read by Carolyn Alexander, who also wrote one of the other Shackleton sagas. Read morePublished on July 6, 2012 by sewin'sq