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Publisher's Summary

His two companions were dead, his food and supplies had vanished in a crevasse, and Douglas Mawson was still 100 miles from camp.

On January 17, 1913, alone and near starvation, Mawson, leader of the Australasian Antarctic Expedition, was hauling a sledge to get back to base camp. The dogs were gone. Now Mawson himself plunged through a snow bridge, dangling over an abyss by the sledge harness. A line of poetry gave him the will to haul himself back to the surface.

Mawson was sometimes reduced to crawling, and one night he discovered that the soles of his feet had completely detached from the flesh beneath. On February 8, when he staggered back to base, his features unrecognizably skeletal, the first teammate to reach him blurted out, “Which one are you?”

This thrilling and almost unbelievable account establishes Mawson in his rightful place as one of the greatest polar explorers and expedition leaders.

©2013 David Roberts (P)2013 Blackstone

Critic Reviews

"Painting a realistic portrait of Aussie explorer Douglas Mawson and his arduous trek through some of the most treacherous icy Antarctic terrain, Roberts gives the reader a very close look at the huge risks and preparations of the nearly impossible feat…Harrowing, exciting and brutally real, Roberts provides a chilling backstory to polar explorer Mawson’s bold solitary survival tale." ( Publishers Weekly)
"Mountaineer and prolific author Roberts returns with a vivid history of Australian explorer Douglas Mawson and his 1912 exploration of Antarctica…. Roberts creates a full portrait of Mawson and does justice to what famed mountaineer Sir Edmund Hillary would later call 'the greatest survival story in the history of exploration.'" ( Kirkus Reviews)
"Douglas Mawson is not as well-known as Amundsen, Scott, or Shackleton, but as this intense and thrilling epic shows, he deserves a place on the pedestal next to these other great explorers of the Antarctic…. This fast-moving account earns for Mawson and his team a well-deserved place of honor in the so-called heroic age of Antarctic exploration." ( Booklist)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.0 out of 5.0
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Performance

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Story

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  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

An Antarctic book to avoid

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

I cannot think that anyone would enjoy this book. Those that have knowledge about the Arctic or Antarctic travels would find this book dull. Those that have no knowledge would be put off from attempting the very may great books on the Arctic and Antarctic.

Would you ever listen to anything by David Roberts again?

No the book contained far to much filling and the book title was misleading

How did the narrator detract from the book?

He did a reasonable job with limited material

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

Had it been a shorter book about 'Alone on the Ice The Greatest Survival Story in the History of Exploration' that would have one thing but the book title is too misleading. It is not about what the title states. That part of the book that focussed upon the 'survival' was perhaps 2 hours of a 12 hour book.

Any additional comments?

I almost feel like requesting a refund.

  • Overall
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  • Story

An excellent tale of a little known expedition!

The content is fascinating, and left me wanting the tale to continue! My only suggestion is that the narrator should have understood that latitude and longitude are expressed in degrees, minutes, and seconds. Not degrees and feet… Those of you in the know such as I, may find minor irritation in the narrators consistent abuse of this universally accepted convention.

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  • Story

Historical account worth listening to

Exciting account, but narrator is reason Brits are called "stuffy". Terrible pronunciation of names and things not English. Sounded like he was born in 1800's himself.

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2 thumbs up!

loved this book. couldn't stop listening. do yr selves a favour and get it now!

  • Overall
  • Performance
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Inspiring and exciting!

This book is a must read for anyone with a desire to learn about the early exploration of the Arctic. A simply amazing story of survival.

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Sorry, less than gripping

This is a story of unbelievable courage and determination, but sadly it does not come across that way when you are listening to it.If fact it is a bit boring and hard to stick with. I found that there were parts that, really dragged. Yet when you take what is actually happening it's amazing. The problem is a combination of poor writing and not the best reading. I felt very disappointed because as I said, the story is really mind blowing. It deserves a far better treatment.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Thomas
  • NAPERVILLE, IL, United States
  • 03-19-13

Not Well Organized

Would you try another book from David Roberts and/or Matthew Brenher?

I might because I love survival stories --- But this one including the cadence was tough to follow- I think I might prefer the written story for this one-

Would you ever listen to anything by David Roberts again?

See Above

What didn’t you like about Matthew Brenher’s performance?

There was no inflection in the voice and I was surprised at the cadence of the book- Either the sentences don't flow in an audible format or the book was written like a text-book and not an exciting adventure with ties to other amazing stories of survival

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Alone on the Ice?

The order of the chapters was not effective-
There were also times when it was difficult to tell which character was being spoken of-

Any additional comments?

I love the detail given to the supplies and nourishment for the expedition -- Fascinating-

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Ellaine
  • Santa Fe, NM, United States
  • 02-25-13

very difficult to get into

What would have made Alone on the Ice better?

too many technical details

What could David Roberts have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

made it not too technical and detailed

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

did not want to listen to .

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • James
  • Oxnard, CA, United States
  • 02-05-13

One minor irritation.

Great listen with the exception of every time the narrator reads a Lat/Long he says (for example) 88 degrees 45.5 feet. This is usually spoken as 88 degrees 45.5 minutes. Once I realized this it made the achievements even more remarkable.

Of course I could be wrong and "feet" is common terminology somewhere else.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Story
  • CBlox
  • Las Vegas, NV
  • 02-11-13

incredible story of survival but.......

while this book is an incredible story i have 2 complaints.
1) the story jumps around too much and is hard to follow.
2) the british narration falls flat and gets annoying after an hour or so into it.

3 of 7 people found this review helpful