His two companions were dead, his food and supplies had vanished in a crevasse, and Douglas Mawson was still 100 miles from camp.
On January 17, 1913, alone and near starvation, Mawson, leader of the Australasian Antarctic Expedition, was hauling a sledge to get back to base camp. The dogs were gone. Now Mawson himself plunged through a snow bridge, dangling over an abyss by the sledge harness. A line of poetry gave him the will to haul himself back to the surface.
Mawson was sometimes reduced to crawling, and one night he discovered that the soles of his feet had completely detached from the flesh beneath. On February 8, when he staggered back to base, his features unrecognizably skeletal, the first teammate to reach him blurted out, “Which one are you?”
This thrilling and almost unbelievable account establishes Mawson in his rightful place as one of the greatest polar explorers and expedition leaders.
©2013 David Roberts (P)2013 Blackstone
"Painting a realistic portrait of Aussie explorer Douglas Mawson and his arduous trek through some of the most treacherous icy Antarctic terrain, Roberts gives the reader a very close look at the huge risks and preparations of the nearly impossible feat…Harrowing, exciting and brutally real, Roberts provides a chilling backstory to polar explorer Mawson’s bold solitary survival tale." (Publishers Weekly)
"Mountaineer and prolific author Roberts returns with a vivid history of Australian explorer Douglas Mawson and his 1912 exploration of Antarctica…. Roberts creates a full portrait of Mawson and does justice to what famed mountaineer Sir Edmund Hillary would later call 'the greatest survival story in the history of exploration.'" (Kirkus Reviews)
"Douglas Mawson is not as well-known as Amundsen, Scott, or Shackleton, but as this intense and thrilling epic shows, he deserves a place on the pedestal next to these other great explorers of the Antarctic…. This fast-moving account earns for Mawson and his team a well-deserved place of honor in the so-called heroic age of Antarctic exploration." (Booklist)
This is a story of unbelievable courage and determination, but sadly it does not come across that way when you are listening to it.If fact it is a bit boring and hard to stick with. I found that there were parts that, really dragged. Yet when you take what is actually happening it's amazing. The problem is a combination of poor writing and not the best reading. I felt very disappointed because as I said, the story is really mind blowing. It deserves a far better treatment.
I might because I love survival stories --- But this one including the cadence was tough to follow- I think I might prefer the written story for this one-
There was no inflection in the voice and I was surprised at the cadence of the book- Either the sentences don't flow in an audible format or the book was written like a text-book and not an exciting adventure with ties to other amazing stories of survival
The order of the chapters was not effective-
There were also times when it was difficult to tell which character was being spoken of-
I love the detail given to the supplies and nourishment for the expedition -- Fascinating-
Great listen with the exception of every time the narrator reads a Lat/Long he says (for example) 88 degrees 45.5 feet. This is usually spoken as 88 degrees 45.5 minutes. Once I realized this it made the achievements even more remarkable.
Of course I could be wrong and "feet" is common terminology somewhere else.
while this book is an incredible story i have 2 complaints.
1) the story jumps around too much and is hard to follow.
2) the british narration falls flat and gets annoying after an hour or so into it.
If you are a dog lover, don't buy this book, most of it is about how the expedition's dogs were starved, killed and abused throughout the ordeal. I was sickened by the accounts of mother dogs having to give birth under the most horrendous conditions and eating their puppies because they were so hungry. Just horrible and the story was equally morose. I really disliked this book.
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