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)
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.
I will listen to NO boring book. Old Fav's,Card, King , Hobb. New Fav's, Hill, Scalzi, Sawyer, Interested in Lansdale, Crouch, Konrath
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.
Loving the fact that I am "reading" books again, and a lot of them!
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.
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.
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
I love reading and listening to books, especially fantasy, science fiction, children's, historical, and classics.
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.
I had never heard of this expedition or Ernest Shackleton, so I had no clue what I was in for. The synopsis made it sound interesting enough to try. I was not disappointed! The story is captivating; I couldn't stop listening for wanting to know what was going to happen next. The author did a top-notch job of weaving in excerpts from the men's diaries with narrative of the facts of the adventure. Simon Prebble has done a superb job of narration. His voice inflection and tone enhanced the story. I felt as if I were right there experiencing the harrowing journey along with Shackleton and his men. I would highly recommend this book to those interested in adventure or history.
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.
Great Story, on a great man.
Any fiction story who would try to match it would be so unreliable.
What a great story. This book is worth the money. I find it quite interesting that this happened almost 100 years ago. The true depth of human character and willpower is displayed throughout this book. I wonder if we still have that kind of heart in today's society.
"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.
great stuff got me abit lost in the end when the two teams split up
This was the best exploration book I jave evwr read. strongly recommend to anyone who likes that age of history.
"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.
"The title says it all"
Yes, Simon Prebble's narration was perfect for the book
The ses crossing to South Georgia from Elephant Island
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
More the latter. That everyone survived...more or less...is astounding.
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.
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.
"story of a heroic expedition"
clever use of tension/timing -- story starts with the disaster, then we learn about the people involved.
good vocal range, easy to keep listening to
the moment of arrival at the whaling base (even though I do know the historical story anyway)
One of the best books I have ever read, I don't think I've ever been so emotionally invested in a book. The narration is so well paced and exciting, incredible detail but not overloaded so as to remove you from the story. A brilliant account of a truly spectacular journey.
Brilliantly read, perfect voice for this book. His voices give the men real character but are not overdone. He builds tension perfectly and speaks at a good pace.
"Where's the drama?"
What Shackleton and his team went through when their ship got trapped in the ice is an amazing story of survival and endurance; however I found this performance flat and monotonous. The narration is clear and read without any accented voices, which you might expect of a non-fiction book. Unfortunately this turns a dramatic story into a dull listen with little variation. The same tone is used for basic descriptions of supplies and heart wrenching moments such as when the team decide to loose the dogs. Overall disappointing.
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