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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

4.6 (6735 )
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Performance
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  •  
    David Houston, TX, United States 01-19-14
    David Houston, TX, United States 01-19-14 Member Since 2008

    Actor/director/teacher. Split my time between Beijing and Seattle now. Listen to Audible on the subway and while driving or riding my bike.

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    "Superb in so many ways"

    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.

    59 of 61 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Thomas Allen 09-17-08 Member Since 2011
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    "The best book I've had"

    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.

    120 of 128 people found this review helpful
  •  
    russell levittown, NY, United States 12-09-08
    russell levittown, NY, United States 12-09-08
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    "Endurance"

    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

    69 of 76 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jennie Marengo, IL, USA 12-12-08
    Jennie Marengo, IL, USA 12-12-08
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    "Unbelievably riveting!"

    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!!

    39 of 43 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jane 01-27-10
    Jane 01-27-10

    Tell us about yourself!

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    "Inspiration"

    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.

    30 of 33 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Theresa 12-27-08
    Theresa 12-27-08
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    "Amazing story, well written & well read"

    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.

    35 of 39 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Don Lance Murfreesboro, TN United States 09-11-08
    Don Lance Murfreesboro, TN United States 09-11-08 Member Since 2008
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    "Great comprehensive narrative"

    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!

    34 of 38 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Angela Centerville, OH, United States 01-16-10
    Angela Centerville, OH, United States 01-16-10 Member Since 2016
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    "Amazing Adventure!"

    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.

    Excellent book!

    21 of 24 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carpe Diem 12-09-09
    Carpe Diem 12-09-09
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    "Enthralling"

    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.

    21 of 24 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kathy Davis, CA, United States 01-10-17
    Kathy Davis, CA, United States 01-10-17 Member Since 2008

    Besides incessant listening to audiobooks, I also read on my Kindle at night, birdwatch, garden (roses, daylilies), and do genealogy.

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    "Put On Your Down Jackets and Listen!"

    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.)

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
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  • 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
  • Miss
    EDINBURGH, United Kingdom
    11/28/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Utterly gripping"
    What did you like best about this story?

    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.


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

    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.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Suzy
    1/10/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful

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