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Mass Market Paperback South: The Endurance Expedition -- The Breathtaking First-Hand Account of One of the Most Astounding Antarctic Adventures of Book

ISBN: 0451198808

ISBN13: 9780451198808

South: The Endurance Expedition -- The Breathtaking First-Hand Account of One of the Most Astounding Antarctic Adventures of

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Book Overview

In 1914, as the shadow of war falls across Europe, a party led by veteran explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton sets out to become the first to traverse the Antarctic continent. Their initial optimism is short-lived, however, as the ice field slowly thickens, encasing the ship Endurance in a death-grip, crushing their craft, and marooning 28 men on a polar ice floe.

In an epic struggle of man versus the elements, Shackleton leads his team on...

Customer Reviews

6 ratings

Fascinating saga of one of the great challenges in polar exploration

I bought this book to replace a copy that was lost, so already knew the book is gripping. I've been a sort of amateur scholar of Polar Exploration for decades, and was fortunate to be in NYC when they had an exhibit of this expedition, including many original articles. The tribulations those men endured are impossible for anyone today to comprehend and reading about their efforts & determination is humbling. Shackleton includes many excerpts from the diaries of the other men (which they were, in fact, contractually obligated to keep & then turn over), which makes the reading a bit more lively....Shackleton was apparently a great leader of men but his writing could get a bit dry. The Elephant Island voyage in a tiny boat has to be one of the great feats of seamanship. This issue also has many of Frank Hurley's incredible photographs. What it does not have, however, like nearly every other Polar Exploration book ever published, are adequate (or any) maps. In this case, only a very few sketches of small, specific areas. An excellent companion book is "The Lost Men; The Harrowing Saga of Shackleton's Ross Sea Party," by Kelly Tyler-Lewis. Shackleton does talk about that part of the expedition but basically gives their trials very short shrift. (The expedition's plans were to have Shackleton's larger party land on the opposite side of the continent & trek across it. The Ross Sea Party was dropped on the other side, to do research & set up depots inland to where S's party would've been running out of provisions). As to the condition of this book, it was listed merely as "Good." So I was gleefully astonished to receive a pristine copy, which might as well have come off the press minutes before.

Very detailed account, written by Shackleton himself

I read “Endurance”, written by Another author, and it was very entertaining. However, “South” is much more detailed, covering both the Endurance voyage and Shackleton’s trip across the ice, sailing a lifeboat to safety, etc., but it also covers in detail the voyage of the Aurora, and death of some of their crew on the ice, which “Endurance” does not cover at all. “South” includes excerpts from the log books and diaries of the crews, and what happened to the survivors after returning, all of whom then served in World War I. Great book, but can be tough to read in some chapters.

Great account of adventure and survival in Antarctica.

This is one of the best survival/adventure stories that you will ever read. The events which take place during the Imperial Trans Antarctic Expedition of 1914-1917 are re-told by several different points of view and this gives the overall story a multi-faceted persona. The main re-telling of the story of the ENDURANCE is told primarily from Shackleton's point of view and re-affirmed through diary notes of his mates. His point of view is very straight-forward. He doesn't dwell on the painful and depressing conditions as you might expect but, seems to exude a strong, matter-of-fact leadership style which most likely gave his men strength in the face of such disastrous and dangerous conditions. Contrast his account of the ENDURANCE voyage with that of the AURORA which was originally planned to be the expedition's supply ship and you clearly see what I am talking about. The painful, weakened conditions of the AURORA men is agonizing to read...frostbite, scruvy, depression, fatigue, hunger, thirst, and the loss of 3 of their comrades. This is not implying that Shackleton never mentions the poor shape of his conditions or of his crew; it just seems that he doesn't dwell upon it however worried he may have been. Yet, we sense his concern for the failing health of some of his men and we share his pride when they are in fact rescued from Elephant Island and he watches them eat "proper" food for the first time in a very long time. In fact, one can hardly review this book without letting Shackleton, in his own words, describe the joy that found when they encountered when his small party found the whaling village at Stromness Bay, "We had pierced the veneer of outside things. We had "suffered, starved, and triumphed, groveled down yet grapsed at glory, grown bigger in the bigness of the whole."...We had reached the naked soul of men." This is truly one of the greatest adventure stories ever written.

missing pages, no map

Pages 153 to 180 are repeated, and then 181 to 209 are missing (gone south?). Also, there is no general map in a book which discusses the geography and navigation of the expedition at length. There are lots of good b & w photos, and the story in absorbing, but this is some seriously sloppy publishing.Rob Anzellotti

A True Leader

Shackleton was an amazing man full of true grit and true leadership. Among the many things that stand out in his story of survival is the importance of keeping a journal. Even after many supplies and equipment were left on the ice, the men were instructed to continue to carry their journals. And what if they had not? Where would be the true story that outshines most fictional adventure stories in the minds and imaginations of many, including myself? If you want to read more about Antarctica, I suggest T.H. Baughman's "Before the Heroes Came."

Edge of Your Seat

Fascinating and exciting book. Shackelton writes in the most British of style -- he describes an ice floe splitting beneath his tent in the same plain delivery as the description of a depth sounding. The book is overflowing with the most amazing of events, placing Shackelton's crew in an adventure every bit as great as Lewis and Clark's expedition (read the Ambrose book "Undaunted Courage" if you like this one). This is a fine edition, as it includes approx. eighty photographs of the expedition. From the outset of the voyage to the harrowing crossing of St. George Island, this guy would put today's extreme adventure-seekers to shame.
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