"Endurance" : Shackleton's Incredible Voyage to the Antarctic

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'A thrilling reading experience! One of the greatest adventure stories of our times' - New York Times Book Review. In 1914 Ernest Shackleton and a crew of 27 men, sailed for the South Atlantic on the 'Endurance' with the object of crossing the Antarctic over land. In October 1915, still half a continent away from their intended base, the ship was trapped, then crushed in ice. For five months Shackleton and his men, drifting on ice packs, were castaways in one of the world's most savage regions. This gripping book based on firsthand accounts of crew members, describes how the men survived, living together in camps on the ice for 17 months, how they were attacked by sea leopards, had to kill their beloved dogs whom they could no longer feed, and suffered disease with no medicines (an operation to amputate the foot of one member of the crew was carried out on the ice). Their extraordinary indefatigability and their lasting civility towards one another in the most adverse conditions shines through.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 288 pages
  • 198 x 246 x 26mm | 1,120.37g
  • Orion Publishing Co
  • London, United Kingdom
  • New edition
  • New edition
  • 90, 1 maps
  • 029782919X
  • 9780297829195
  • 769,620

Review Text

In 1915, when Sir Ernest Shackleton's ship, the Endurance, was trapped and crushed by ice, the crew were midway between the South Pole and the nearest known outpost of humanity, some 1200 miles away. Nobody knew they were in trouble - this was before the days of radio transmitters - and their situation looked hopeless. Alone on the ice, the only way to get out alive was by their own efforts. Remarkably, Shackleton led them out of disaster without any loss of human life. The writing hooks from the very first page. Lovers of true stories detailing human endurance tested to the limit will be captivated by this book, which intimately describes the suffering, both emotional and physical, that the men experienced. Lansing evokes the men's feelings of anxiety, desperation and horror in turn. Struggling with sleds, dogs and small boats, always at risk from ice floes and whales, the men were forced to eat seals, penguins and even their own dogs to stay alive. This ill-fated expedition began at a time of political turmoil in Europe and the journey back from the jaws of death was a potent symbol of man's courage and survival as the First World War erupted. The immense courage in the face of intense adversity transcends the modern outlook of some circles that a reckless, derring-do venture is nothing more than foolhardiness; you cannot help but admire the guts of these men and marvel at their determination. Lansing's book goes at an exciting pace and is clear and accessible to read. The black-and-white photographs - taken by expedition photographer Frank Hurley and laboriously transported by the crew all the way back to Britain - are exceptional, revealing the stark raw beauty of the snowscape. Armchair explorers and adventure lovers of all ages will find themselves bewitched. (Kirkus UK)show more

About Alfred Lansing

Alfred Lansing served in the US Navy. Endurance was his first book. He died in 1975.show more

Flap copy

'A superb account of the greatest survival story of our time' - Chris Bonington The story of Ernest Shackleton's epic journey to cross the Antarctic overland has now been turned into four hours of gripping television with Kenneth Branagh playing Shackleton. Shackleton's mission failed, but the resulting adventure became one of the most celebrated accounts of man's survival against unbelievable odds. In August 1914 the Endurance set sail for the South Atlantic. In October 1915, still half a continent away from their objective, the ship was trapped, then crushed in the ice. Twelve hundred miles away from land, drifting on ice packs, Shackleton and his men survived the next five months on a diet of dogs, penguins and seals. When the ship eventually sank they were forced to escape by lifeboat. Shackleton then travelled another 850 miles in an open boat across the stormiest ocean in the world to reach help. Every single man got home safely. Miraculously, throughout this ordeal, the expedition's photographer, Frank Hurley, protected his negatives and photographs from destruction. It is these extraordinary photographs that are among those produced in this illustrated edition of Alfred Lansing's harrowing and inspiring classic.show more

Rating details

52,395 ratings
4.35 out of 5 stars
5 52% (27,490)
4 34% (17,693)
3 11% (5,812)
2 2% (961)
1 1% (439)
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