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Endurance: Shackleton's Incredible Voyage | [Alfred Lansing]

Endurance: Shackleton's Incredible Voyage

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.
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Publisher's Summary

This is a new reading of the thrilling account of one of the most astonishing feats of exploration and human courage ever recorded.

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.

What the Critics Say

  • Nominee, 2008 Audie Award, Nonfiction, Unabridged

"[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)

What Members Say

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  •  
    O. Anderson Dallas, TX 11-20-09
    O. Anderson Dallas, TX 11-20-09 Member Since 2013
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    "Absolutely Moving"

    This is one of the most impressive, moving stories of bravery, endurance and brotherhood I have ever experienced. Very aptly named as it is a story of unparalleled endurance through hardships and uncertainty. Moved me to tears as the story concluded. Similar to themes in Into Thin Air and Shadow Divers.

    Narration was perfect: engaging, with emotion. Highly recommend.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jim "The Impatient" Springfield, MO, United States 04-05-14
    Jim "The Impatient" Springfield, MO, United States 04-05-14 Member Since 2015

    I will listen to NO boring book. Old Fav's,Card, King , Hobb. New Fav's, Hill, Scalzi, Sawyer, Interested in Lansdale, Crouch, Konrath

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Cold"

    Wherever you are, before listening, put on a heavy coat, it is going to get cold. I don't listen to many history books, preferring to listen to historical fiction. This has enough drama and adventure to not need any fiction. This is a true story written so well, that you will feel you are there. Dan Simmons wrote a similar historical fantasy fiction about a ship trapped in the artic for over two years. It was good, but not as good as this. This was written in 1959 and will be just as good 100 years from now.

    I would like to say this was adventure when adventure meant something, but I was never convinced that crossing the continent of Antarctica was important and it seems they were mainly doing it to be famous and to not have the work the rest of their lives.

    Mr. Prebble is the gentleman narrator and no one else good have been picked to read this.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Aaron 08-16-12
    Aaron 08-16-12

    Loving the fact that I am "reading" books again, and a lot of them!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "One of the best books on Audible, without a doubt"

    I didn't know anything about Ernest Shackleton or the Endurance when I started this book, and I have no idea how that could have been. This story is SO AMAZING that it should be on every school reading list in the world. The events that unfolded in the voyage of the crew of the Endurance are frightening and yet awe-inspiring at every corner. I am impressed with the discipline, camaraderie, strength, and endurance that those men showed in surviving long enough to make it back to civilization.

    Alfred Lansing does an incredible job of bringing the story to life. His writing is superb, and even poetic. His descriptions left my mouth hanging open and my mind swirling with images, sounds, and feelings on many, many occasions. Simon Prebble also does a world-class job as narrator. He adopts a different accent and manner of speech for each of the crew, bringing them to life as if they themselves were reading their journal entries. His voice carries all of the emotion and wonder and sorrow that the author could possibly ever have hoped to convey. Very well done, gentlemen.

    I can't believe this book hasn't been made into a movie yet. With today's special effects they could really bring it to life.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sher from Provo Utah 08-10-10
    Sher from Provo Utah 08-10-10 Member Since 2015

    tired teacher

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    "More unbelievable than fiction"

    A beautifully written book about an unbelievable adventure. I just can't believe what these guys went through, and that all of them lived to tell about it is beyond belief. I felt like I was right there with them through the whole ordeal. If you like survival stories, this one will rock your sox.

    Great narrator.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    michael roswell, Georgia, United States 07-25-13
    michael roswell, Georgia, United States 07-25-13 Member Since 2015
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    "gripping freezing penguin eating tale"

    fantastic story...and true. Maybe the best casting of voice and story I've listened after several hundred books..at the top of my list

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jefferson 10-22-11
    Jefferson 10-22-11 Member Since 2010

    I love reading and listening to books, especially fantasy, science fiction, children's, historical, and classics.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "An Exquisitely Excruciating Experience"

    Following Sir Ernest Shackleton and his intrepid crew as they struggle to survive with their humanity and bodies intact in places where human beings have no business being was a fascinating experience: head shaking, mind boggling, hair raising, moving, and unforgettable.

    Author Alfred Lansing weaves throughout his absorbing account the actual journal entries of several of the men that express their different personalities and provide different points of view on their grueling plights. The descriptions of the incredibly alien Antarctic landscapes (snow, pack ice, ice bergs, glaciers, giant sheer cliffs, and oceans churned by powerful currents, violent storms, and hundred foot waves) in incredibly inhospitable conditions (rain, sleet, hail, and blizzards whipping snow and shards of ice and rock every which way) are beautiful, sublime, and terrifying by turns. The wildlife (penguins, seals, sea leopards, whales, and the like) are so at home relative to the pathetic pygmy human interlopers, and yet the very foolishness and fragility of Shackleton and his men, whose original mission to become the first human beings to cross the Antarctic continent fails in the first chapter of the book, achieve a heroic grandeur as their plight becomes grimmer and grimmer. Many of the images persist in my mind long after finishing the book, like one moment when, during an intense storm at sea a giant albatross with a twelve-foot wingspan spirals up and down with lazy grace through the hurricane force winds to check out Shackleton and his men as they are frantically working to keep their boat from foundering???

    And Simon Prebble delivers an excellent reading of the book, enhancing with his rich voice the humor, pathos, terror, exhilaration, frustration, disappointment, and resolution of the characters even as he speaks in their varied dialects of English.

    This book really is an Incredible Voyage, and is surely the most exciting history book I???ve ever read.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Leslie Grey McCawley 01-22-11 Member Since 2013
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    "Now THIS is a hero!"

    I admit I had no knowledge of, or particular interest in, the polar expeditions but was interested enough in the travel and adventure to listen to this book. The first half was a bit of a slog, as they hit bad luck pretty quickly and the day in and day out trying to wait out the pack ice holding them captive was slow going.

    But the second half, as Shackleton leaves his crew behind to try to make it to any semblance of civilisation and eventual rescue is staggeringly impressive; it is only a series of extraordinary decisions made by Shackleton that allowed them to survive. And perhaps a few miracles, too: e.g. stuck on a razorback mountain with the temperatures dropping below zero, guaranteed to freeze to death if they stayed or tried to turn back, he chose to slide with his two men into the completely unseen, fogged in, precipice below - and against all odds they actually survived this without a scratch, picked themselves up and kept going!

    The narration was utterly gripping, well paced with the action and emotion, a fantastic job. I was shaking for some time after finishing this, my heart was still pounding so hard and I could hardly catch my breath; I could only think 'men used to be like this!' Now I want to know everything about all the polar explorers because this is a breed of men I have never encountered. Shackleton is my new hero: he had a genius for survival and leadership, and he returned to rescue all his men without loss of life. Incredible. This is an exceptional story about human nature.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John M Lafayette, CA USA 10-20-12
    John M Lafayette, CA USA 10-20-12 Member Since 2007
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    "Spellbinding!"

    I thoroughly loved this book. I don't normally seek out these "true-life adventures" but the other reviews were so positive that I decided to give it a try. It was absolutely tremendous. It was so unbelievable that no one would even think of putting half of the things that happened into a novel. I literally spent every night during the time period I was listening to this book reflecting about the trials and tribulations of the men of the Endurance and wondering how I would do in similar circumstances. It was a profoundly emotional experience with this book.

    The writing is quite good and the narrator keeps the story moving along while keeping the "you are there" sense of the book.

    I highly recommend this book.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    X Cincinnati, OH, United States 03-20-11
    X Cincinnati, OH, United States 03-20-11

    Male. Mammal. High school equivalency graduate. I like fruit and I just got a haircut. I would describe myself as somewhere between Christmas and being buried alive.

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    "SHIVER ME TIMBERS - WHAT A RIPPING YARN!!"

    I was familiar with Shackleton's story, having read Caroline Alexander's book, The Endurance: Shackleton's Legendary Antarctic Expedition.

    Having read both, I am convinced that Lansing's is far better. If you read only one book on the subject, read this one instead of Caroline Alexander's book [Just to be fair to Caroline Alexander, I loved her book about the Mutiny on the Bounty and I wish that Audible would release it in unabridged length].

    Now on to the book itself. You can read many other reviews if you want a plot summary. In a nutshell, this is a story of survival and endurance nonpareil. I read this book because I was feeling sorry for myself at the time. I just finished the book and I no longer feel that way.

    The writing and narration are superb. I have read many audiobooks and this is one of my favorites. This book flew by and held my interest throughout.

    I am left with a keen interest to see the James Caird boat which is on display in the U.K.



    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jonathan Nahalal, Israel 03-11-10
    Jonathan Nahalal, Israel 03-11-10 Member Since 2014
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    "No Fiction can match it."

    Great Story, on a great man.
    Any fiction story who would try to match it would be so unreliable.
    Strongly recommended

    9 of 10 people found this review helpful
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  • Catherine Simmons
    5/7/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Brilliantly written and read."

    This was far better than I had expected. An amazing story beautifully written and superbly read. One I know I shall listen to again in the future. The fact it's s true story makes it all the more compelling. Highly recommended

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • O
    Wilrijk, België
    4/8/15
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    "Amazing history of endurance overcoming adversity"
    What did you like most about Endurance?

    That all these amazing feats really took place. Excellent narration as well.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Endurance?

    It's hard to answer without spoilers but probably the end - there is a real emotional buildup as you follow the crew of the endurance through their hardships.


    Which character – as performed by Simon Prebble – was your favourite?

    Not applicable. He does not really impersonate voices.


    If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    Endurance


    Any additional comments?

    I highly recommend this book

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • C. WATT
    Aberdeen UK
    3/24/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Everyone should read/ listen to this!"

    This incredible story is wonderfully written by Langsing and there couldn't be a better narrator for it, Prebble really brings the story to life.

    Each chapter is more suspenseful than the last, no matter if you're into exploration or not, no one can fail to be gripped by what truly is the greatest adventure story ever told.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • S. Morris
    London, UK
    1/6/15
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    Story
    "Beyond Human Endurance"

    This book is simply astonishing in its recounting of Shackleton's ill fated crossing of the South Pole in 1914 - 1916. Having heard of Shackleton but never having actually understood let alone read the account of his endeavours I was enthralled by this incredible story of human endurance and the will to survive.

    The book is well constructed with excellent pros and narrated superbly. A quick note on narration; Even the best stories can be marred or rendered lifeless with poor narration. Fortunately, Simon Prebble's narration skills are truly fit for the telling of such an epic story and lends classic gravitas and competence second to none of all the narrators I've listened too - an I have listened to a lot.

    This book really captures the essence of the struggles and how dire the situation became by inserting various diary entries from members of the expedition to further illustrate the human story.

    I think that the calibre, resourcefulness, courage, strength and sheer endurance of such men have long since passed into history and we'll never see the like of them again.

    next time you think you've had a bad day, try giving this book a read to see what truly bad is.

    Highly recommended.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • sean
    1/6/15
    Overall
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    "great stuff"

    great stuff got me abit lost in the end when the two teams split up

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Mr T.
    Scotland
    1/5/15
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    "fantastic"

    This was the best exploration book I jave evwr read. strongly recommend to anyone who likes that age of history.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Jenny
    United Kingdom
    1/5/15
    Overall
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    Story
    "A suspenseful and sensitive account."

    It is utterly amazing to me, someone used entirely to creature comforts and the modern world, that these men were even willing to set out on their expedition. What they had to endure in order to survive and the decisions they had to make seem unimaginable as I sit here on my sofa listening.

    Endurance is a very well written account of these men's adventures. Filled with suspense and pace I listened to the whole 10 hour book in just two sittings and was riveted throughout.

    The narrator, Simon Prebble, is perfect! I would definitely listen to another book narrated by him.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Angela
    Brighton, UK
    12/9/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "The title says it all"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Endurance to be better than the print version?

    Yes, Simon Prebble's narration was perfect for the book


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Endurance?

    The ses crossing to South Georgia from Elephant Island


    Which scene did you most enjoy?

    The crossing of the interior of South Georgia - simply incredible with the equipment they had - but then they had just done the impossible, getting to South Georgia in a small boat across one of the most hazardous stretches of sea in the world


    Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    More the latter. That everyone survived...more or less...is astounding.


    Any additional comments?

    The story is largely based on diary extracts from the members of the expedition so it is very detailed at times; perhaps too much so, which is why i only gave the book 4 stars. The book perhaps flatters Shackleton more than some others have done so, but gives a great sense of the expedition and the enormous pressures involved in leading it throughout the many travails faced.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Julian
    12/3/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Mind Blowing"

    It's hard to imagine a time when the world was unexplored and free from the trinkets of modern day life we all take for granted. Read this book and take a step back to when exploration was a life and death choice, witness the bravery of the people who took part, their resilience in the face of adversity and the ultimate awesome nature of what they did. This is a no holds barred epic story of achievement, resourcefulness and hope, which I'd recommend to anyone looking for a good book.

    Why four stars overall? Well, the one thing that I noticed, other than how much I enjoyed the story, was that it had elements that, to a degree, repeated themselves. Was this bad? Not really. What it did do was emphasize the pace and mix of life on the ice. The story would probably have been poorer if it had been more precised. But, it was the one thing that occasionally made me want the next chapter of the story to unfold.

    Don't let it put you off. Also, great narration.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Sara J.S. Hudson
    11/30/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "story of a heroic expedition"
    Where does Endurance rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    10th


    What did you like best about this story?

    clever use of tension/timing -- story starts with the disaster, then we learn about the people involved.


    What about Simon Prebble’s performance did you like?

    good vocal range, easy to keep listening to


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    the moment of arrival at the whaling base (even though I do know the historical story anyway)


    Any additional comments?

    inspiring

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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