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Publisher's Summary

This is a brilliant dual biography charting British Robert Scott's and Norwegian Roald Amundsen's race to the South Pole during 1911-12. Huntuford's is the accepted, definitive account of the race and a reassessment of the two men. Thoroughly researched, revealing the adventures and misfortunes that befell them both, he describes the driving ambitions of the era, and the complex, often deeply flawed individuals who were charged with carrying them out.
© and (P)2006 CSA Telltapes Ltd.

Critic Reviews

"Fascinating, and a well-chosen narrator." (The Oldie)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
  • Pierre
  • Trois-Rivieres, QC, Canada
  • 05-19-08

Good but could have been great

Not necessarily easy to listen to.
Excellent description of Amundsen's methodic work and Scott's poor preparation.
I would have liked more details on the toughness of this expedition that made it so great.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Lara
  • Plano, TX, USA
  • 09-22-09

A Compelling Read (or Listen)

Very excellent. Huntford's done an excellent job here of comparing Scott's and Amundsen's expeditions to the South Pole, alternating back and forth between the two parties, beginning with their backgrounds. It's easy to see who's the villain in Huntford's view; Scott comes across here as nothing more than a stubborn, arrogant, unintelligent bumbler. I'm thinking this is not the most balanced of accounts, but it's certainly well-told! Sometimes it feels a little too generalized or surfacy, but this is an abridged version of Huntford's book, so I imagine there are quite a few details that got left out for time's sake. In any case, I highly recommended it.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story

An excellent tale of the race to the South Pole

What did you love best about Scott and Amundsen?

The pacing of the story

Who was your favorite character and why?

I have always admired Amundsen for his accomplishments. Learning how diligently he prepared and approached each goal sheds light on why this admiration is well-deserved.

What about Tim Piggott-Smith’s performance did you like?

Very well done. The book did not contain a large variety of character voicing however the performer kept it very interesting throughout.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

RF Scott should have stayed home and read Amundsen's diaries.

Any additional comments?

Great story, great history!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • las3tortugas
  • 6542 de bordeaux, montreal,qc,h2g2s1
  • 04-15-17

Incredible story

After 1912 Scott was presented as the perfect hero with many facts hidden. 50 years later the truth about his weakeness and management style were finally presented with the historical facts. This books is from that period. This said the book is excellent.

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Simply fantastic

While other stories of great voyages offer great insights, the example and counter-example of Scott and Amundsen is the best there is. Two people trying to achieve the same goal at the same time with completely different philosophies. To hear Amundsen's life of preparation and attention to detail versus Scott's uneven preparation and hasty plans is both a great story and a great life lesson.

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  • Story

A wonderful story

Little fast paced at some points but the history that's displayed here would have taken countless years to tell, great read nonetheless

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Brilliant

What a great story. I couldn't stop listening to it as it was so fascinating and I wanted to learn more about two very different approaches to reaching the South Pole for the very first time. Terrific book and highly recommend.

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  • Story

Excellent account of amazing story

Not having read the story when I was 12, I found it completely engrossing now. I'll have to read another account as well, just to make sure that Huntford is not unduly harsh on Scott. But if his account is even remotely true, then he - umm, spoiler alert - was a selfish, self-indulgent s.o.b. with half a brain, who pretty much effed up a serious expedition killed his companions through his moronic inability to prepare, learn his lessons, take advice and generally display intelligence at every stage of the journey. By contrast, Amundsen was careful, alert, a great planner etc etc. It might be just that the story is told in contrasting scenes and that Huntford was biased, but whatever the case, I found it a fascinating read.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • John
  • Kenmore, WA, United States
  • 03-17-12

Real World of Exploration

Where does Scott and Amundsen rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Best of the Arctic Explorers. Great comparison between Amudsen and Scott although author definitely qualifies Scott as a bully and a buffoon. And the author is probably correct. Amudsen is the leader of men and a true hero. Great book to read after reading

What was one of the most memorable moments of Scott and Amundsen?

Enjoyed the planned approach of Amudsen. Truly a great project manager.

What about Tim Piggott-Smith’s performance did you like?

Excellent word inflection without too much drama. Great narrator.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

Goal setting and the process of achievement.

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  • Story

The Scott of the Antarctic myth destroyed.

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes with recommendation that they read the full unabridged book entitled The Last Place on Earth

What does Tim Piggott-Smith bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Excellent narration.

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

The destruction of the myth of Scott, His inept leadership. His lack of common sense. His pettiness and inability to lead. A bumbling amateur. The antithesis of Shackleton or Amundsen whose weakness resulted in the his own death and that of his commrades.

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  • Steven
  • 01-16-17

Debunking a myth

An excellent book that corrects the myth that Scott was an unlucky hero but rather an arrogant, hierarchical, incompetent poor leader who failed to learn any lessons that led to his teams death.