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Showing 1-10 of 232 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 315 reviews
on August 28, 2017
The story is interesting, but you have to get through the journal/log style of writing -- all the longitude, latitude, temperature readings and such. It's good to hear it in Shackleton's own words. What separates this book from the other well known book called "Endurance" is that Shackleton explains the fate of the Aurora which was the supply ship for the south pole. The Aurora went on assuming her duties not knowing the fate of Shackleton and his men. The Aurora also got caught in the ice, but was eventually freed and floundered until saved.
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on August 29, 2017
Very detailed account of the men and crew. I did feel that it was written as a great adventure novel and not so much of a journal of tribulation and survival. There is very little mention of fear or desperation. And anytime a possible difficulty is encounters the author quickly moves on to better topics and what them men did next to receive the smallest joy and fulfillment.
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on May 7, 2015
Those familiar with Shackleton's story as well as that of the Ross Sea party on the other side of Antarctica won't find any new information here, but Shackleton writes well and his purpose is to provide a summary of the events and research on a weekly or daily basis rather than a dramatic telling of the stories. If anything, he underplays his own role in leading his men, particularly the overland crossing of South Georgia Island, but he arguably underplays his responsibility for the Ross Sea party, which suffered from scurvy and the deaths of three members when their ship broke its moorings, not to return for another 18 months, with over half the men and most of the supplies still on board. Without a doubt Shackleton was a tremendous leader but this expedition in particular was underfunded, either due to his lack of planning or lack of salesmanship in drumming up funds. The book "The Lost Men" on the Ross Sea party implied that the ship the Aurora, which had been used by Douglas Mawson in 1911, was underpowered, and that Shackleton's written instructions to Capt. Mackintosh and Ernest Joyce were unclear as to who would be the expedition leader once they reached Antarctica. This had a substantial impact as Mackintosh rejected Joyce's plea to do most of the work with the dogs during the second season of laying depots, and the dogs prematurely became "played out" and were unavailable to bring the men back after the second season when some of them became sick with scurvy. Mackintosh and another member, both of whom had scurvy, tried in early spring to reach Cape Evans over soft sea ice against the advice of the other members of the party and were never heard from again, and the reason may have been the power struggle between Mackintosh and Joyce had made it impossible for them to continue living at much smaller Hut Point.
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on December 2, 2016
Thoroughly captivating! The violence comes from nature. Men struggle against horrendous odds to remain alive. I really haven't felt warm since reading this true life adventure. This is a story of real men who did anything to protect one another--amputating body parts, sharing scant food supplies and travelling enormous distances over ice-covered terrain and water, and in temperatures of 100 below zero F, to rescue their comrades who never gave up hope of being rescued. Travelling hundreds of miles was done on foot, by dog sled and in small cramped, open boats; done with few instruments and, in most situations, without radio contact with others. An amazing story of men driven to expand their scientific knowledge of Antarctica.
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on January 31, 2015
Very worth reading.
For the armchair traveler who becomes fully immersed in their reading, this book will take you to the Antarctic to experience, in detail, the heartbreak, determination, hope, despair, and sheer determination of men who survived in and returned from a hopeless place - not because they didn't give up, but because they never all gave up at the same time, they had strong intelligent leaders, and they worked together even when they did not entirely agree with, or like each other.
Full of interesting true details too of how an expedition was formed, and ships were procured, provisioned and staffed before we had such things as freeze-dried foods, refrigerators, steel, antibiotics, .... all the stuff that simply did not exist in the early 1900s.
Anyone heading into desolate polar regions on a vacation excursion today owes it to themselves to read this fascinating book, before you go.
You'll have a much better appreciation that you are going there with very high assurances of returning whole, healthy and on schedule, having seen (and endlessly photographed) some of the wonders of that savage world in the comfort of warm dry clothes, on well-planned landings from a ship where you are well fed, and sleep warm & safe at night.
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on January 25, 2016
For anyone interested in early arctic exploration this is an excellent read and Shackleton's journal's
account is confirmed independently by many of those men who accompanied him or were involved
in the later rescues. There is nothing to compare their bravery and thirst for knowledge to today, even
our space exploration is controlled by technology and not the astronauts, not to lightly pass on
their bravery but the arctic explorers were true men as attested to in their writings and wonderful
photographs that are so wonderfully portrayed in South.
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on April 27, 2009
i first read this book after national geographic did a story on shackleton years ago. the article itself was an amazing read and prompted me to want to know more.

this tale is absolutely incredible! shackleton did everything against the social and known norms in putting together his team, this journey and, quite frankly, his life. shackleton, apparently, was a misfit of a man who was scoffed at in social and science circles because he was half irish and had a brother being investigated for the robbery of some magnitude at the time.

with all of our advances in technology today antartica, for the most part, still remains a no man's land. yet, shackleton and his crew (every single one of them) survived with just wool socks, sweaters, pea coats and the like.

it is such a compelling story and certainly not one to ever be forgotten. this is a must read not only for the amazing story within, but, if anything, for the reassurance that man alone can survive anything.
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on October 29, 2010
I dont normally go for historical accounts, but this is basically a thrilling adventure story which just happens to be entirely historically accurate. You will be transported back in time, and feel the desperate struggle of the men to survive as though you were there. You will feel the wonder and horror of the artic environment in ways that you probably cant imagine right now. The account does not feel in any way dated -- you feel as though you understand what it was like to be on an icebreaker heading to the pole during this time period.

I have trouble imagining anyone not liking it. I have read hundreds or thousands of adult books and this is one of my very highest recommendations. Certainly anyone that loves: (1) adventure; (2) historical books; (3) books about the natural world will love it -- but honestly, you only need one of the three, and if (2) and (3) dont interest you, you'll likely still love it. It works incredibly well just as an adventure.

It does start a little slow, with some modest number of pages on setting up the voyage and the initial "smooth sailing" portion of the voyage. This was enough to, at least for now, derail my wife, but this portion is not that long, and you can always skim it.

Please note that the one negative review on Amazon appears to be talking about the costs-money paperback edition for sale reached from the same page as the free ebook. As such, the complaints that reviewer makes are legitimate and his review should actually not be rated unhelpful as many have done. The review does not, however, relate to the free ebook.
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on February 18, 2016
The first hand story of an amazing survival story based on Shackleton's memory and journals (his and others). I actually found it helpful to read both this book and the one by Alfred Lansing - "Endurance:Shackleton's Incredible Voyage" to get a complete picture. Lansing includes much more detail from the other participants' journals as well as personal interviews with some of the survivors. But, to get the first hand account of one who was actually there this book by Shackleton is wonderful.
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on January 7, 2017
A concise recollection of the harrowing experience of a group of common men who portrayed heroic behavior in the most unfathomable situation. This part of the globe was totally unknown to humanity at the time but these men undertook the challenge of discovery. It is hard to imagine anyone in today's age doing anything so daring. What is left? The whole globe is mapped by satellite, man has walked on the moon. These brave men were true heroes who managed to survive unthinkable hardships. Let's not forget just how helpless we all are without the technology available to us today.
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