In August of 1914, the British ship Endurance set sail for the South Atlantic. In October 1915, still half a continent away from its intended base, the ship was trapped, then crushed in the ice. For five months, Sir Ernest Shackleton and his men, drifting on ice packs, were castaways in one of the most savage regions of the world.
Lansing describes how the men survived a 1,000-mile voyage in an open boat across the stormiest ocean on the globe and an overland trek through forbidding glaciers and mountains. The book recounts a harrowing adventure, but ultimately it is the nobility of these men and their indefatigable will that shines through.
©1959 Alfred Lansing; (P)2007 Blackstone Audo, Inc.
"[O]ne of the most extraordinary tales of heroism and determination in the history of exploration....Prebble's narration will bring to life the despair, elation, and sheer will of these men to survive, and to triumph, together." (AudioFile)
I've read other books about this voyage and watched movies about it so I knew the outcome, yet I still found this book riveting. The book goes into far more detail than other books about what happened day to day during the men's ordeals, which far from being boring, gives you the feeling that you are there experiencing it with them. And it helps you to understand how difficult the experience must have been and what fortitude it took to endure it. The narrative and the narrator are so excellent that I felt on the "edge of my seat" in anticipation, despite knowing how things would work out in the end. It wasn't until hearing this book that I truly appreciated how incredible this voyage was, since this book goes into such great detail of what happened day to day.
Love to listen and walk or run and knit, knit knit
Everything from start to finish. The narration was superb and the story as well. I mostly read/listen to audible books when I am walking or running. I could have walked much much longer just to keep listening to this incredible story.
He is one of my favorite narrators.
I found it a little boring even though you'd think it would be very exciting. After awhile the story just sort of blends together with no real payoff. Could have been about half the length.
That said, it was very thorough and must have taken an incredible effort to write. Hats off to the author, just not my cup of tea.
I am so happy I got this book. I don't consider myself to have particular interests in arctic exploration, but I do like non-fiction books. This one was excellently narrated on top of an amazing story I couldn't wait to get back to each and every time. The author, writing almost 60 years ago, compiled all the historical documentation available on the voyage into a fascinating and cohesive narrative. Despite its age, it does not come across as dated at all. It is obviously well researched with plenty of details from multiple sources, but it comes across well in a story format. It is so incredibly engaging I felt that I was a member of the crew myself. I sympathized with their cold, their hunger, their determination. I did no research prior and did not know much about the expedition and I think that made the outcome of the story all the more fulfilling, though I believe it would still be very good either way.
The narrator was very, very good. One of the best on Audible. He was both engaging and interesting while adding character and without being distracting in any way. It feels like he is along with you and the crew on this epic voyage.
If you liked this book you might like Jon Krakauer's Into Thin Air. Obviously this one is more historic and scientific, but both are about the test of the human spirit in crushing conditions.
I would definitely recommend this. If you like non-fiction audiobooks, I am sure you will like this. I have read some that were not as compelling or felt slow, but this felt like listening to an action thriller.
Wasn't the type of book I usually read, but was intrigued by the title & liked the narrator. Good read (or listen) for teens to experience the world before "devices" took over. Brave men exploring an unknown part of the world.
Listening is an absolutely critical life skill. Hearing the stories of others is one of its many rewards.
I would recommend this book to anyone that likes early 20th century history and/or survival nonfiction. While I don't feel its appeal is strictly limited to that crowd, that's certainly the target audience, because it is very simply a wonderful blow-by-blow accounting of the hardships the crew of the Endurance experienced. This isn't a book of history overlaid with "universal truths" or epic flourishes. Lansing doesn't try to force a story beyond the one inherent in the events. The book is "just" a remarkable, incredible bit of history and speaks volumes as to what humans can endure/survive.
It would be a spoiler to give it, but let's just say it comes late in the story and is the moment when Shackleton finally decides to do something that's basically illogical and extremely risky -- because he really has no choice. I love what this says about his character. Throughout the story he is sometimes frustratingly conservative (from the crew's viewpoint), so when faced with ONLY high-risk choices, you might expect him to freeze up. (Pun intended.) He does not.
The day to day accounts from the journals and the way the men treated each other, even the individuals who had markedly anti-social tendencies, was rather touching.
Simon Prebble does a fantastic job of reading this story.
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