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)
Actor/director/teacher. Split my time between Beijing and Seattle now. Listen to Audible on the subway and while driving or riding my bike.
This is unquestionably the most amazing tale of men against the elements that I have ever read or heard, and it is told remarkably well by Lansing who draws artfully from the actual diary entries of the participants without ever reducing the narrative to a dry progression of quotes. His ability to bring the harrowing conditions and landscape, the fascinating array of characters, and the grueling sequence of challenges and hairsbreadth escapes into sharp and riveting focus is quite extraordinary. Simon Prebble is a perfect match for the fine writing. He audibly sorts out the personalities involved and presents the whole with an understated but charged clarity which keeps the narrative moving even through what could seem like a never ending and tedious progression of disasters in the voice of a lesser reader.
Of course the real stars here are Shackleton and the men under his command who prove themselves capable of feats of courage, endurance and simple, stubborn determination which almost surpass belief. Ordinary and flawed in so many ways, they come together to become much more than the sum of their individual qualities.
In the end, the most fascinating part of this story is the long and torturous series of life and death choices involved. Time after time Shackleton's decisions are crucial to the party's survival, whether the question is when to abandon the pack ice for the boats, when to kill the dogs, when to allow the party to split, or how to get to the bottom of a nearly vertical snowbound precipice in order to avoid freezing at high altitude (think Butch Cassidy and Sundance). Nature is an implacable adversary for these men, marshaling countless terrifying storms, thirst, cold, hunger, completely unpredictable ice and long weeks of winter darkness against them and time after time crushing hope just as it seems most justified. Perhaps the most extraordinary decision of all, under the circumstances, was the choice each of them made to simply keep on keeping on when it seemed to make no sense
Finally, while this tale is exhausting in some ways, it is also deeply inspiring and satisfying. And Lansing and Prebble have given us the wonderful opportunity to "experience" it all while sitting in comfort and safety. Almost doesn't seem fair, but I strongly urge you to take advantage of the offer.
I just walked into the house after sitting in my Jeep in the driveway to finish off the last half-hour or so of this incredible book. Strangely enough, I couldn't wait for the book to be over, not because the book wasn't outstanding, but because I just wanted the trials and ordeals of these unfortunate but heroic men to be over. And as the story came into the last chapter and epilogue, I found myself almost brought to tears several times. At the risk of sounding ridiculously sentimental, this book brought into sharp contrast many of my own shortcomings and made me want to work to become a stronger and better person. I wonder if I would have survived.
A magnificent book and well read. An extraordinary adventure which reveals the range of human capacities for endurance, teamwork, innovation, care for others, compassion and bravery. Bravery, bravery, bravery. It is almost impossible to comprehend the level of persistence shown by these stranded Antarctic explorers as they sought to escape from their immensely dangerous, if not impossible, predicament.
By way of tragic contrast, on the other side of the world, World War I raged where thousands upon thousands of humans killed each other for reasons they were not sure of.
Endurance is an accessible glimpse into a side of human nature that might inspire people who are feeling directionless and lost.
I usually never write a review but because this book was so good I had to say something about it. From the beginning to the end the story was very interesting and more because it was true. I think Hollywood should read this book and make a movie out of it instead of the garbage that they make today in Hollywood. You cannot imagine the hardships that these men suffered and the courage that they had don't miss this one you won't be sorry
A fantastically well read and exciting story! Unputdownable too! From about the middle of the first part I had to keep on listening, Simon Prebble's narration is riveting
A thrill ride to hell and back. Excitingly written and narrated. I almost felt like I was there. Just when you think their situation can't get any more desperate, it does.
I read this book several years ago and was looking for a good book to listen to.
(The Help was so excellent it has raised my standards for audiobooks. I am finding it very difficult to listen to other books.)
Although I know the beginning, end and middle of the story, I am still anxious to finish it. I'm not sure how a book that has been already read can be suspenseful but it is.
The hardships that the men had to endure and how they faced it are amazing. The detail that the author included in the book is perfect - enough to understand the hardships and the backgrounds but not so much that it is boring and slow.
The narrator does an excellent job with pacing and with the different voices.
I could not stop listening to this absolutely amazing story- I listened to the whole 13 hours and 59 minutes in the course of 2 days! It is intense, well written, and Simon Prebble is, in my opinion, the best narrator on earth. I highly recommend this audiobook!!
While there are other books that cover this famous expedition, this one seems to be very comprehensive and doesn't skip over a lot of details. I thoroughly enjoyed it. Kept my attention throughout the narrative, and I kept wondering how everyone in the expedition would survive such adversity.
I would give it 5 stars except I think the ending left me "hanging" a bit. I expected an epilogue or some type of follow-up with how the expedition members integrated back into society. (Or how society responded to their harrowing tale in the months/years that followed.) But it was not there.
I recommend it anyway for anyone who loves a great adventure story!
The story of Sir Ernest Shackelton's attempt at a transcontinental crossing of Antarctica is simply riveting. It is far beyond modern comprehension how Shackelton and his crew accomplished what they did and survived to tell the tale. This version is very well written. The narrator does an excellent job of reading the story with the energy and enthusiasm it deserves -- without getting overly dramatic -- letting the story tell itself.
Adventure, gripping, humble
Not sure. It's one of the first greatest polar adventures.
The way he tells the story brings an air of winter magic to it.
No but it is inspirational and easy to warm and love the characters.
Goodness! I lived each moment of this story with them, willing them on, desperate for their survival! Great book!
"One of my favourite audiobooks"
A thrilling adventure as well as a piece of history, it's very well written and very well read. Simon Prebble's voice is faultless, easy to listen to, and he does the men's various accents with subtlety.
When I finished Touching The Void I immediately wanted to know more about the story. It's the same with this one: I was so immersed that it's hard to leave it behind.
"Best account of this expedition"
its a great audiobook. Well worth listening to.
Not particularly but it's such a fascinating true story I was engaged throughout.
This novel is special in that the author interviewed many of the survivors and had access to their personal diaries. It is a unique account.
"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
"Amazing history of endurance overcoming adversity"
That all these amazing feats really took place. Excellent narration as well.
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.
Not applicable. He does not really impersonate voices.
I highly recommend this book
"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.
"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.
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