Farthest North

The Epic Adventure of a Visionary Explorer
Narrated by: Ulf Bjorklund
Length: 28 hrs and 10 mins
4 out of 5 stars (15 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

In 1893 Norwegian zoologist Fridtjof Nansen set sail for the North Pole in the Fram, a ship specially designed to be frozen into the polar ice cap, withstand its crushing pressures, and travel north with the sea's drift. Experts said that such a ship couldn't be built and that the mission was tantamount to suicide.

Farthest North, first published in 1897 to great popular appeal, is the stirring first-person account of the Fram and her historic voyage. Nansen tells of his expedition's struggle against snowdrifts, ice floes, polar bears, scurvy, gnawing hunger, and the seemingly endless polar night that transformed the Fram into a "cold prison of loneliness".

Once it became clear that the Fram could drift no farther, Nansen and crew member Hjalmar Johansen set out on a harrowing 15-month sledge journey to reach their destination by foot, which required them to share a sleeping bag of rotting reindeer fur and to feed the weaker sled dogs to the stronger ones.

In the end, they traveled 146 miles farther north than any westerner had gone before, representing the greatest single gain in polar exploration in four centuries. Farthest North is an unforgettable story that marks the beginning of the modern age of exploration and is a must-hear for the armchair adventurer.

©2018 Fridtjof Nansen (P)2018 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What listeners say about Farthest North

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

The most boring of all polar exploration stories.

I really wanted to like this book. But I could barely get through it. I have read most polar exploration books out there and this is by far the most boring of them all. It is written in the most minute detail and the narrative is not broken up in time at all to make it more bearable. And the worst part is... SPOILER ALERT nothing exciting happens! Almost everything goes exactly to plan, no one starves or suffers physically. No one goes crazy, everyone gets along, no important gear is lost, no one gets sick. It's all just hunky-dory. Shackleton wishes he had trips like this one! But then there would be no GOOD polar exploration books written.

3 people found this helpful

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Amazing Story Told Firsthand

An incredible Norwegian explorer, statesman and Nobel laureate. Nansen’s luck in safely returning home after years on ice is an incredible story. His journey home was relived by explorer Borge Ousland who can give a modern account of the challenges Nansen faced. Reading Farthest North and Ousland’s The Great Polar Journey give you a good idea of these challenges. The only thing better would be strapping on your Asnes skis and heading to Svalbard.

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Looooong but worth it

Nansen's expedition was incredibly daring and this book tells the story of how he came up with the idea, planned, and executed it. In truth, the section describing their life aboard the Fram could have been very significantly abridged, as so much of it was repetitive. The 28 hrs could have been much better as a 15 hr book and would have been even more enjoyable. There are only so many times you can hear about them hunting polar bears, or descriptions of the northern lights, or the dinner menu on board the Fram. Nonetheless, if you want to get a sense of what these men endured, and particularly the incredibly risky dash for the Pole which Nansen and Johanssen tried, and then their harrowing survival of the trip south, this book is fascinating. The reader is terrific, particularly when his native Norwegian skills are brought to the fore in pronouncing a place name or a personal name.

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very enlightening,

This was a well put together and very eventful story or historic account it's not really a story not my type of reading but I went all the way through it it was a good decent book