Erebus

One Ship, Two Epic Voyages, and the Greatest Naval Mystery of All Time
Narrated by: Michael Palin
Length: 11 hrs and 5 mins
5 out of 5 stars (222 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Driven by a passion for travel and history and a love of ships and the sea, former Monty Python stalwart and beloved television globe-trotter Michael Palin explores the world of HMS Erebus, last seen on an ill-fated voyage to chart the Northwest Passage.

Michael Palin brings the fascinating story of the Erebus and its occupants to life, from its construction as a bomb vessel in 1826 through the flagship years of James Clark Ross's Antarctic expedition and finally to Sir John Franklin's quest for the holy grail of navigation - a route through the Northwest Passage, where the ship disappeared into the depths of the sea for more than 150 years. It was rediscovered under the arctic waters in 2014.

Palin travels across the world - from Tasmania to the Falkland Islands and the Canadian Arctic - to offer a firsthand account of the terrain and conditions that would have confronted the Erebus and her doomed final crew. Delving into the research, he describes the intertwined careers of the two men who shared the ship's journeys: Ross, the organizational genius who mapped much of the Antarctic coastline and oversaw some of the earliest scientific experiments to be conducted there; and Franklin, who, at the age of 60 and after a checkered career, commanded the ship on its last disastrous venture. 

Expertly researched and vividly recounted by Michael Palin himself, Erebus is an evocative account of two journeys: one successful and forgotten, the other tragic yet unforgettable. 

©2018 Michael Palin (P)2018 Greystone Books

Critic Reviews

“Beyond terrific. I didn't want it to end.” (Bill Bryson)

What listeners say about Erebus

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Epic Adventures Vividly Told

From the Arctic to the Antarctic and back to the Arctic, a history vividly told. Wonderful narration by Mr. Palin. The history of the Franklin expedition to find the Northwest passage in the 1845's is especially moving. I appreciate that near the end of the book Mr. Palin sings the hunting song by Stan Rogers regarding Captain Franklin and the quest for the N/W passage. Mr.Palin covers the most recent discovers concerning the Franklin fate to the crew and its ships.
Well done!

3 people found this helpful

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Really enjoyed it.

Palin's narration and writing style are a great combination. Recommended for anyone who enjoys nautical literature or just a good adventure story.

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Excellently researched, written and performed

Several years ago, I read a historical fiction novel called The Terror, by Dan Simmons. It was about the ill-fated Franklin expedition to find the Northwest Passage with Sir John Franklin captaining the Erebus and Francis Crozier helming the Terror. It was excellent and it piqued my curiosity about how much of his novel was fact and how much was fiction. So I proceeded to read 4 or 5 non-fiction books on the subject. When I saw this book my Michael Palin, and discovered that, yes, it was that Michael Palin, I wasn't sure what to expect. But I can't tell you how impressed I am with the throroughness of Mr. Palin's research and his apparent infectious curiosity and interest he has in the subject. There's not one moment of his reading that his storytelling does not captivate the listener because he, himself, is so enthralled with the subject.

The history of the Erebus, the people who sailed her and alongside her through its Antarctic exploration and right up to the point it perished and through the mystery of its disappearance and the missions that went in search of survivors and then answers, is impressively presented in a way that puts the listener in that time and considers the perspectives of the officers, the sailors, the survivors and the Government.

I didn't think there was much that could be added to what I already knew of the Erebus and Terror's demise, but Mr. Palin's exhaustive research and references filled in gaps and covered every theory out there. I still have about 53 minutes to go, but am already wishing there was more. This is an excellent read, so well written and so meticulously researched and wonderfully told by Michael Palin.

1 person found this helpful

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Another great performance by Michael Palin

Really enjoyed listening to this fascinating account. Palin does a wonderful job with the voices.

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great story of exploration

I really enjoyed this book. Michael Palin is a grea t reader. so glad he used Stan Roger's song "Northwest passage". I learned a lot.

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Excellent

A very well done book. Wonderful narration. Thank you mr. Palin. I hope there's a follow-up book when was found on the ships.

1 person found this helpful

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Stirring Arctic Adventure.

This book combines two great loves of mine. Arctic adventure and anything related to Monty Python. The author and reader Michael Palin is a Python alum. Palin's passion for his subject is evident throughout. Telling this roller coaster of a story, Palin is a highly effective reader. Even if you have never read an Arctic adventure before, try this title. It will make you a fan of them

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Beautiful, thoughtful, respectful

I loved this book, the balance of historical information, descriptions of places and the politics of the time, and of the ongoing searches. I appreciate so much the respect for the lives and memories of the people, no oversimplification of good guys and bad, heroes and fools. Thank you Michael Palin.

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Adventure tale at its finest

Man versus Mother Nature in an epic tale that includes many successes and a quite a few failures. The author visits locations to provide first person viewpoint and weaves a brilliant story of life as an Arctic and Antarctic explore in the 1800s.

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Most excellent!

Thoroughly enjoyed this audio book. Michael Palin's reading of it is superb.
Highly recommended! Enjoy.

1 person found this helpful