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Endurance Audiobook

Endurance: Shackleton's Incredible Voyage

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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

Average Customer Rating

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  •  
    Jim "The Impatient" Springfield, MO, United States 04-05-14
    Jim "The Impatient" Springfield, MO, United States 04-05-14 Member Since 2015

    I am brutally honest. Popular, love everything they read, reviewers are scared to go neg. and risk their ranking. It's your money!!!

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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.

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    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.

    8 of 8 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

    7 of 7 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!

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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.

    7 of 7 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.

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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.

    6 of 6 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.



    6 of 6 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.

    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. That is, REtired 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
  •  
    Gillian Austin, TX, United States 01-27-14
    Gillian Austin, TX, United States 01-27-14 Member Since 2016

    SciFi/Fantasy and Classics to History, Adventure and Memoirs to Social Commentary—I love and listen to it all!

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    "Now THIS is Edge-Of-Your-Seat Storytelling!"
    Where does Endurance rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    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?


    What did you like best about this story?

    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.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    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.


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

    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!


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    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.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
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  • Julia Brown
    4/8/16
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    "Excellent"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Spaniel
    3/4/16
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    "Fantastic"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Amazon Customer
    2/18/16
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    "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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • c
    WALSALL, United Kingdom
    2/15/16
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    "How Did They Endure This -and Survive?"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Endurance to be better than the print version?

    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.


    What other book might you compare Endurance to, and why?

    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.


    What about Simon Prebble’s performance did you like?

    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.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    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.


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Eva O'Donnell
    Ireland
    1/17/16
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    "Gripping."

    An incredible story told with just the right balance of historical accuracy and personal detail.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Kevin
    11/15/15
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    "Amazing story, well told"

    I was unfamiliar with the story of the endurance beyond Shakleton's name. I was concerned it would be a dull take but this was truly an amazing story, and without spooling it, it keeps you engaged to find out the fate of each man. Well worth 10 hours of anyone's time.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Iain
    11/9/15
    Overall
    Performance
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    "An incredible story of strength of character"
    Where does Endurance rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Easily in the top 5


    What other book might you compare Endurance to, and why?

    Unbroken - in that it a tale of not giving up


    Have you listened to any of Simon Prebble’s other performances? How does this one compare?

    No


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

    It certainly left me full of admiration for the spirit of these men


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Dr. I R Jones
    Scottish Highlands
    9/18/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Wow! If you don't have goosebumps and a lump in your throat you haven't been listening."

    This is one of the greatest feats of human endurance ever. The story is both involving and emotive.
    I was almost reduced to tears at the end. I am lucky enough to have visited the South Georgia islands and this brought home the physical, emotional & mental extremes these men endured.
    Ernest Shakleton- I salute you.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Phil
    8/24/15
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    Performance
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    "A fantastic adventure"

    This is one of the best audiobooks I have listened to, a real ripping yarn of adventure and hardship. Brilliantly read as well. I almost felt like I was out there on the ice with them at times. Some of the events depicted in the book must have been nerve shattering for the explorers. A really brilliant book!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • r
    7/26/15
    Overall
    Performance
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    "Loved it"
    If you could sum up Endurance in three words, what would they be?

    Adventure, gripping, humble


    What other book might you compare Endurance to, and why?

    Not sure. It's one of the first greatest polar adventures.


    What does Simon Prebble bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

    The way he tells the story brings an air of winter magic to it.


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

    No but it is inspirational and easy to warm and love the characters.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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