Shackleton's gripping account of his incredible voyage follows him and his men across 600 miles of unstable ice floes to a barren rock called Elephant Island. It records how, with a crew of four, he crossed 850 miles of the worst seas in a 22-foot-long open boat and how, after landing on South Georgia Island, they then had to traverse over 20 miles of mountainous terrain to reach the nearest outpost of civilization. Shackleton recounts, too, the efforts of his support party aboard the Aurora, who in temperatures of -50 degrees and winds of 80 m.p.h. still managed to drop off supplies on the opposite side of the continent, little suspecting the fate of the Endurance and the ordeal of its crew.
An astonishing story that explores the limits of unparalleled human courage, Shackleton's South ranks among history's greatest adventures.
©1970 Sir Ernest Henry Shackleton (P)2000 Blackstone Audiobooks
I listened to this one in the car on my way to and from work each day. As the end approached, I would sit in my car and listen - I couldn't bring myself to turn off the player. I even cried, twice. I never cry.
The first 2/3 of the book focus on Shackelton's trek. The book loses some appeal after he switches to the Ross Sea party efforts. The narrator, while wonderful in general, does a poor job of identifying either through pauses or other effects, when Shackelton is quoting from diaries.
For readers not familiar with the story, Sir Ernest (the Boss) was one of the true leaders of the modern era. His expedition to cross Antarctica went horribly wrong, but his amazing leadership and vision brought the 27 men under his command out of the ice into safety with only minor injuries.
His description of the events are at the same time scientific and lyrical. He is equally at home discussing the pressure ridges of the ice as he is describing the amazing sunsets and twilights.
A great listen.
I was cought up in the recounting of an event that I thought couldn't get any worse, and then the book moved me to a situation going on at the same time, so much worse, time and time again. riviting. A time when men were men and hardship was a test ment to be overcome. I listened to it three times just to make sure I didn't miss anything.
This is one of the greatest sea adventures of all times but the combination of Shackleton's modesty in his writing and the narrator's determinably non-theatrical presentation, this book was a bit of a disappointment.
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