Among Apsley Cherry-Garrard's friends and admirers were John Galsworthy, H.G. Wells, Arnold Bennett, and Bernard Shaw. His background in the arts and humanities makes The Worst Journey in the World stand out as a literary accomplishment as well as a classic in the annals of exploration.
"Robert Whitfield picks up on Cherry-Garrard's dry sense of humor, stiff-upper-lip approach to adversity, and appreciation for nature, the dogs and ponies on whom the expedition depended, and the polar landscape." (AudioFile)
This book describes a time when men were men and an adventure was truly an adventure. The men that paid (yes they had to pay cash to go along) to accompany Scott on this ill fated trip endured terrible conditions and placed they lives at risk for the sake of science.
The book is difficult at times to understand because so many of the details about equipment, ships and life in general are from a time we have mostly forgotten (early 1900's). But it is these details that make the book such a joy to read.
If you only listen to the title chapter which describes the authors winter trip to obtain the penguin eggs in minus 70 degree cold and pitch black (the nights last 24 hours in the winter). Then you will have received your monies worth from this book.
This is a very long book, but it is a book you will be telling your friends about for a long time.
even though this is long it is worth every minute, waiting to see what would happen, knowing how difficult it was for them and how they endured such terrible conditions and still kept going. I went and bought indivdual biographies and other stories of the members to read more about these folks because I was so fascinated by them after listening to this story. I recommend this and don't stop even though one may think it is tedious. It deserves your time. The narration is great also.
The author was a sidekick in Scott's expedition and the worst journey in the world is not the one that results in Scott's frozen body, but is a "field trip" to steal penguin eggs. Nonetheless an interesting book. I like primary sources and this certainly is one. He writes interestingly and even though the scenery is always the cold, chilling antarctic I never got bored. Recommended for all those interested in arctic travel.
This audiobook is very good in my opinion. It´s about an adventure, a real one, which starts from very rutine task and a great objective, to finish in drama and heroism.
The previous reviewers´critics can only be understood because probably some of the reviwers didn't finish the audiobook at all. Nevertheless, It's true that in the beginning it is a bit slow. But be patient, you'll be rewarded. Beside, this is a direct account of one of the members of the scott party.
Finally the reader has excellent voice and pace.
I felt as if I was part of the exploring party. So much so, that on days when I was tired, I was hesitant to listen. Cambridge's Scott Polar Research Institute has online photos of the people, hut, and ponies - powerful images to go with the reading of this diary. The book is about a British expedition, and read by an eloquent, British gentleman. Quite the right touch. The National Geographic Society has a list of the100 Greatest Adventure Books of All Time and this story is in first place.
Well written and fascinating, the book makes you feel the cold--both in Antartica and chills down your back. You know Scott died, but that's just a part of the story--something that admittedly colors the author's views. Modern polar scientists seem to give Scott a break (the weather WAS uncommonly bad, but "Cherry" was working against the talk of the time (1920's) that labled Scott a reckless fool. Judge for yourself.
I really enjoyed this book. The story was compelling and the narration was first-rate. It can get a little slow at times but overall is well worth the listen. It helps you understand why people would undertake such a voyage.
Cherry-Garrard's account is long and thorough. From what I read in the summary and the start of the book, it purported to be a combination of Garrard's own journal and those of the other members of the ill-fated arctic expedition of Scott. Thus combining many stories to explain what happened to Scott and his team.
However, the journey to which Cherry-Garrard refers is not Scott's last expedition, but a side project Garrard worked on.
The story of the race to the South Pole was just a little part of the book. A very little part. The acceptance of the death of the men going to the pole happened quickly and with little emotion. Nothing could have been more anticlimactic than the way this book was written.
I felt like this was a terrible waste of time, and animal lovers will not like the killing of the horses and teams of dogs (This was preplanned, and not done in peril. The horses were used up, killed and fed to the dogs. The dogs were used up, killed by the masters and eaten by the men, not out of necessity but per their plan from the outset.)
Great narration. But content of the book and emotions of the men did not match the grim circumstances of their fellow team members, nor the horrible circumstances of the animals used and discarded.
Overwhelming. Makes me thankful for my warm house and bed, good food, and all my blessings. I cannot understand what would make someone purposely put himself in such a situation. It just doesn't make sense to me.
I had heard that this was a masterpiece of travel writing and it was right. This was one of the most moving pieces I've had the fortune to listen to. Simply wonderful. The endurance shown by these men is an inspiration. When I have difficult times I simply look back to them and realise how much worse men have been through.
A shining example of sheer stiff upper lippedness by early 20th century explorers. Very exacting in its detail on explaining the logistics of the voyage, to the detriment of a very interesting story sometimes, but more than makes up for it with the explanation of the hardships these men were willing to endure.
"Takes your breath away"
A truly great book. Read it and be awestruck by what the men of Captain Scott's last expedition did in the days before modern technology and communications. This outstanding account was written some ten years later by the youngest participant, clearly still guiltridden for not finding the party returning from the Pole. What those men went through was so extraordinary that it almost beggars belief. Apsley Cherry-Garrard's account is beautifully written (apparently with some help from his neighbour George Bernard Shaw) and though in the early stages you think he goes into too much detail, it all builds up to a tapestry of triumph and disaster. The personal details are so telling - Apsley Cherry-Garrard should never have gone (he was shortsighted, young and unskilled) and often he could not wear his glasses because of the cold but still plugged on without a complaint. I was totally transported and gripped, and the last days of the polar team ( from Scott's diaries) are so moving. The narration by Robert Whitfield.is superb - he inhabits the world and the people, bringing out the social differences between officers and men with great skill and subtlety. Do not miss this book!.
"a book i didn't want but so glad i listened"
Aspley Cherry-Garrard is such a decent human being and he writes so frankly and openly that despite my having absolutely no interest (shame on me!) in the subject and listening under duress and obligation for my book club I found i thoroughly loved this book. Yes it was difficult to plough on at times -- the endless recounting of the details of the storms at sea were definitely a bit much for me -- but it was such a rewarding listen. I learned so much. It opened my mind to a whole new appreciation of a time, place and frame of mind that certainly wasn't on the make for the easy option!
"A complex book in need of a subtle reader"
This has long been a favourite book. Cherry was a very complex character with much going on beyond no doubt a stiff-upper lip facade - a Tory with GB Shaw as a great friend and a man pursued by severe depression when he returned from the pole. The complexity is all there in the book and needs a skilled reader. This reader has the stiff upper lip manner with none of the subtlety.
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