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)
Besides incessant listening to audiobooks, I also read on my Kindle at night, birdwatch, garden (roses, daylilies), and do genealogy.
Tossing around the idea of getting this audiobook? Go for it. It's just another of those great books that sat too long in my library while I picked other, "more compelling" books to listen to (not!)
This true story documented by Alfred Lansing has everything. The story is impeccably researched using the men's day-to-day diaries. I felt like I was right there with them and started looking around for my down parka and vest. I could imagine so well what the daily grind was like, the discomfort, the hopefulness eventually fading to alarm and fear, the hunger, the tedium, and the seemingly endless misery.
As I continued, I gained a new found appreciation and admiration of Ernest Shackleton, the boat owner and captain of the polar expedition. As far as I am concerned, he is someone to be remembered, honored, and emulated for the expert way he led his men. He took care of all of their needs as best as he could and worked so diligently to keep the morale up. It appears he came from a time when moral fiber was more evident and more valued than it is today. (So sad for us.)
The story had different segments, all intriguing. We learn of how the expedition was conceived, the early parts up to the ship getting hopelessly stuck in the polar ice, the need for leaving the ship as the crushing ice floes prepared to take the ship down, camping on ice floes that were being destroyed gradually as their ship had previously been, the treks with the three heavy lifeboats, and Shackleton's attempt to rescue his men by using a rickety lifeboat that just should not have been able to survive the world's most treacherous seas. This last part was particularly engaging, and I get the feeling that miracles were occurring, deservedly so.
Add to this great true story an expert narrator, Simon Prebble, and you have an unforgettable listening experience. Prebble is such a pleasure to listen to that I simply must search out other books read by him. Lansing and Prebble combined to make one of my most memorable listening experiences.
So, if you have been undecided on this book, I say go for it.
(And if you love it as much as I did, continue on and get "Island of the Lost: Shipwrecked at the Edge of the World" by Joan Druett. This book details the true and intriguing story of two simultaneous shipwrecks and survival stories occurring in the Auckland Islands in the 1860's, equally well written and performed.)
My taste differs from kid books to gory horror books.
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.
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.
Tired teacher. That is, REtired teacher.
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 Story, on a great man.
Any fiction story who would try to match it would be so unreliable.
SciFi/Fantasy and Classics to History, Adventure and Memoirs to Social Commentary—I love and listen to it all!
Endurance is, quite possibly, the best of all my audiobooks. You know how the story's going to turn out, but it's still a breathless journey through a nightmare of a situation. I kept finding myself shouting, "Shackleton!" throughout my day, much to my husband's dismay. But you're so immersed, you can't help but drag it through your current existence. Recently on PBS, they've shown "Chasing Shackleton," but the journey of those men is as nothing to Shackleton and his men's situation. And the show has swelling background music that the audiobook doesn't need to convey drama or severity. Extraordinary. And Simon Prebble's narration is flawless in his delivery. Who else could deliver subtle variations in voice, tone, pacing that the story hinges on, like he can here?
I liked that, though I knew about the history of their quest and their plight, I certainly didn't know the specifics of their ordeal. This audiobook flows like only the best literature can. It's an edge-of-your-seat read/listen and you will find yourself blown away by the tenacity of the men, and by their resourcefulness.
I particularly enjoyed the way the men kept a semblance of "normalcy" in horrific circumstances. Who else, but Shackleton, would encourage cheer and playfulness on Christmas. And there's one part, during the daring voyage to St. George, where, after brutal, bitter conditions, the men are so relieved by the minor, minor lifting of terrifying weather, that they're joyful, and they seem like they're out for a jaunt, picnickers on a spring day. I stopped all my sniveling about cold weather after I got through that scene.
Oh, I had extreme reactions all over the place. THIS is what a five-star audiobook is! Utter transportation to somewhere I had no idea ever existed. You feel the joy of the men, their resignation. You feel their fear, and you come to love some of them so much, you feel fear for them. Exhilarating, I tell you!
Spend your credit on this book, buy it outright, whatever! Just give yourself the gift to this wonderful journey and enjoy! You'll be thinking of it long after you're finished listening.
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.
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
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.
I enjoyed this book, but it took me a bit. I only say that because I found "Shipwreck at the Bottom of the World" by Jennifer Armstrong to be more engrossing.
This is a very comprehensive account of the expedition ("Shipwreck" is more cinematic and prosaic, where this book is more of a documentary), and it was great to get more in depth with the true tale of an incredible expedition.
My only criticism is that the book is a bit on the dry side (which, as a historical account, can be expected to some extent), but the narration was wonderful and managed to really pull me in in spite of the text itself.
absolutely enthralling from start to finish, you grow so close to this small band of men, you are brought to tears at their every anguish, and joy at every victory.
Stunning book and story.
You can't put into words what these me went through. Hard doesn't even begin to describe them.
The calm, matter of fact reading of this famous story lets the facts and skilled writing speak for themselves. We live in an age of superlatives. People say incredibly when they mean extremely. But in this story, incredible is the word, along with amazing, fantatsic and so on. A thrilling read, humbling and inspiring.
"A magnificent piece of writing and narration"
Certainly one of the best books/audio books i've ever read.
The narration is one of the best i've ever heard and seems so well suited to the subject matter.
Best thing I've read in months, if not years. totally gripping - would be unbelievable if it was a true story
"An astonishing story, masterfully told"
I got to the end and started again. The highest prise I can give it.
This book is thoroughly gripping and read well. It recounts Shackleton's adventures in a dramatic way that keeps you wanting more. One of my top 5 audio listens.
Gripping from end to end. A real life example of exemplary leadership. I sat in my car despite arriving at my destination just to hear the epilogue. I would highly recommend this audio book.
"Love a good struggle against the elements"
Was quite gripping.......would recommend it. If you like a good adventure story this is a good one.
"How Did They Endure This -and Survive?"
I can't directly compare the two as I haven't read the novel, but the narrator, Simon Prebble, does a truly wonderful job and he complements the novel perfectly.
This is the first novel of its' kind that I've ever listened to and because I was so totally immersed in it, and captivated by it, I will be searching for more. The question is, will I find anything this good again? What a truly fantastic story of human courage and perseverance by every single member of this expedition. Not least of whom was Ernest H. Shackelton.
A great example of how to perfectly balance the re-telling of such an epic journey. No need for over-emphasis or over dramatisation because it seems that was just not the way of any of the members of this expedition. Heroes really,to a man but I daresay they would never have seem themselves that way.
Yes but mentally I could not have 'endured' it! I was exhausted just listening to it. How DID they live through this? I felt so humbled by their bravery. Endurance is the perfect title.
A novel full of heroes, each in their own way. Why anyone would risk putting themselves through this is a mystery to me still, but that fact did not detract in any way from my absolute admiration for Shackelton and his stoic men. What a great,great pity that this wasn't acknowledged at the time for being the pinnacle of achievement we all see it for today.We do indeed live in better and more enlightened times now.
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