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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

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  •  
    Robert Castro Valley, CA, United States 07-12-10
    Robert Castro Valley, CA, United States 07-12-10 Member Since 2002
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    "A Powerful Reading of A Seminal Story"

    The story of the 1914-17 Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition is one of the most inspiring tales of human endeavour and leadership that can be found. I have read books on this subject many times and I was deeply impressed with Simon Prebble's narration. A "must listen"!

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    James Union, KY, United States 02-27-09
    James Union, KY, United States 02-27-09 Member Since 2013
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    "Wow"

    What a great story. This book is worth the money. I find it quite interesting that this happened almost 100 years ago. The true depth of human character and willpower is displayed throughout this book. I wonder if we still have that kind of heart in today's society.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Johnnie Walker Blaine, WA 12-26-08
    Johnnie Walker Blaine, WA 12-26-08 Member Since 2017
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    "Incredible Story Well Told"

    A re-telling of a true story that reads more like a novel. You gain incredible respect for the survival skills of pre-techno man. Although the book is 50 years old, you have no sense of it being dated while listening to it and after the telling, you hit Wiki to learn more. Highly recommend.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jefferson 10-22-11
    Jefferson 10-22-11 Member Since 2010
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    "An Exquisitely Excruciating Experience"

    Following Sir Ernest Shackleton and his intrepid crew as they struggle to survive with their humanity and bodies intact in places where human beings have no business being was a fascinating experience: head shaking, mind boggling, hair raising, moving, and unforgettable.

    Author Alfred Lansing weaves throughout his absorbing account the actual journal entries of several of the men that express their different personalities and provide different points of view on their grueling plights. The descriptions of the incredibly alien Antarctic landscapes (snow, pack ice, ice bergs, glaciers, giant sheer cliffs, and oceans churned by powerful currents, violent storms, and hundred foot waves) in incredibly inhospitable conditions (rain, sleet, hail, and blizzards whipping snow and shards of ice and rock every which way) are beautiful, sublime, and terrifying by turns. The wildlife (penguins, seals, sea leopards, whales, and the like) are so at home relative to the pathetic pygmy human interlopers, and yet the very foolishness and fragility of Shackleton and his men, whose original mission to become the first human beings to cross the Antarctic continent fails in the first chapter of the book, achieve a heroic grandeur as their plight becomes grimmer and grimmer. Many of the images persist in my mind long after finishing the book, like one moment when, during an intense storm at sea a giant albatross with a twelve-foot wingspan spirals up and down with lazy grace through the hurricane force winds to check out Shackleton and his men as they are frantically working to keep their boat from foundering???

    And Simon Prebble delivers an excellent reading of the book, enhancing with his rich voice the humor, pathos, terror, exhilaration, frustration, disappointment, and resolution of the characters even as he speaks in their varied dialects of English.

    This book really is an Incredible Voyage, and is surely the most exciting history book I???ve ever read.

    6 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    X Cincinnati, OH, United States 03-20-11
    X Cincinnati, OH, United States 03-20-11
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    "SHIVER ME TIMBERS - WHAT A RIPPING YARN!!"

    I was familiar with Shackleton's story, having read Caroline Alexander's book, The Endurance: Shackleton's Legendary Antarctic Expedition.

    Having read both, I am convinced that Lansing's is far better. If you read only one book on the subject, read this one instead of Caroline Alexander's book [Just to be fair to Caroline Alexander, I loved her book about the Mutiny on the Bounty and I wish that Audible would release it in unabridged length].

    Now on to the book itself. You can read many other reviews if you want a plot summary. In a nutshell, this is a story of survival and endurance nonpareil. I read this book because I was feeling sorry for myself at the time. I just finished the book and I no longer feel that way.

    The writing and narration are superb. I have read many audiobooks and this is one of my favorites. This book flew by and held my interest throughout.

    I am left with a keen interest to see the James Caird boat which is on display in the U.K.



    6 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Leslie Grey McCawley 01-22-11 Member Since 2013
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    "Now THIS is a hero!"

    I admit I had no knowledge of, or particular interest in, the polar expeditions but was interested enough in the travel and adventure to listen to this book. The first half was a bit of a slog, as they hit bad luck pretty quickly and the day in and day out trying to wait out the pack ice holding them captive was slow going.

    But the second half, as Shackleton leaves his crew behind to try to make it to any semblance of civilisation and eventual rescue is staggeringly impressive; it is only a series of extraordinary decisions made by Shackleton that allowed them to survive. And perhaps a few miracles, too: e.g. stuck on a razorback mountain with the temperatures dropping below zero, guaranteed to freeze to death if they stayed or tried to turn back, he chose to slide with his two men into the completely unseen, fogged in, precipice below - and against all odds they actually survived this without a scratch, picked themselves up and kept going!

    The narration was utterly gripping, well paced with the action and emotion, a fantastic job. I was shaking for some time after finishing this, my heart was still pounding so hard and I could hardly catch my breath; I could only think 'men used to be like this!' Now I want to know everything about all the polar explorers because this is a breed of men I have never encountered. Shackleton is my new hero: he had a genius for survival and leadership, and he returned to rescue all his men without loss of life. Incredible. This is an exceptional story about human nature.

    7 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gareth 01-16-17
    Gareth 01-16-17 Member Since 2016
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    "To endure"

    An exceptional account of the true depths of the human spirit and the sheer will to survive. A really wonderful read.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sarina Chopra 05-21-16 Member Since 2015
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    "Very Good Book"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    I probably would not recommend this book. Although I liked it, it dragged on at times.
    I loved they way the author was able to describe the surroundings. It was like I was there.
    Most of the book was great, just some areas dragged.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    I like them all.


    Which character – as performed by Simon Prebble – was your favorite?

    There were several characters, but most probably the Captain.


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    yes.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael Athens, AL, USA 05-18-16
    Michael Athens, AL, USA 05-18-16 Member Since 2017
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    "Remarkable! When Men were Men"

    Endurance by have the name of Shackleton's ill-fated ship, but Endurance describes what he and his men had to do just to survive. The constant sense of doom, in harsh and primitive conditions, plus the reality of how little they had to work with, leaves a reader wondering how this could be a true story. It is a great read.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    AdaChaDad 05-06-16
    AdaChaDad 05-06-16 Member Since 2015
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    "Makes you appreciate a flat tire or a traffic jam"
    Where does Endurance rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    I'm pretty careful about picking audiobooks that I think I will like, so not a real easy question to answer. But I definitely feel this is worth the investment in time and money if you have any interest in nonfiction adventure, human perseverance, or history in general.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The different personalities that the author brought to the table using little bits of details that he knew about each was very well done.


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

    At some points you want to cry for the unbearable circumstances that these men had to deal with. An absolute testament to grit and tenacity.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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  • c
    WALSALL, United Kingdom
    2/15/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "How Did They Endure This -and Survive?"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Endurance to be better than the print version?

    I can't directly compare the two as I haven't read the novel, but the narrator, Simon Prebble, does a truly wonderful job and he complements the novel perfectly.


    What other book might you compare Endurance to, and why?

    This is the first novel of its' kind that I've ever listened to and because I was so totally immersed in it, and captivated by it, I will be searching for more. The question is, will I find anything this good again? What a truly fantastic story of human courage and perseverance by every single member of this expedition. Not least of whom was Ernest H. Shackelton.


    What about Simon Prebble’s performance did you like?

    A great example of how to perfectly balance the re-telling of such an epic journey. No need for over-emphasis or over dramatisation because it seems that was just not the way of any of the members of this expedition. Heroes really,to a man but I daresay they would never have seem themselves that way.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes but mentally I could not have 'endured' it! I was exhausted just listening to it. How DID they live through this? I felt so humbled by their bravery. Endurance is the perfect title.


    Any additional comments?

    A novel full of heroes, each in their own way. Why anyone would risk putting themselves through this is a mystery to me still, but that fact did not detract in any way from my absolute admiration for Shackelton and his stoic men. What a great,great pity that this wasn't acknowledged at the time for being the pinnacle of achievement we all see it for today.We do indeed live in better and more enlightened times now.

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • cduck
    london, United Kingdom
    9/29/13
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    "An amazing story, wonderfully told"

    I thought that this audio book may be a little bit dry , maybe a bit too detailed without much emotion or human interest. I was wrong !

    To me , there was a perfect balance between stark facts and personal stories to draw you into the narrative. I could never wait for the next opportunity to find out what had become of that party of men, stranded in the Antarctic.

    Though I knew a very little about Shackleton himself, I was almost completely unfamiliar with the details of this episode previously. However, the situation, the environment and the individuals involved were all brought rapidly to life .

    I feel that anyone with the slightest interest in this type of story will be delighted with this purchase. Personally, I enjoyed it so much, I will be listening to it again very soon. . .

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • Jenny
    United Kingdom
    1/5/15
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    Performance
    Story
    "A suspenseful and sensitive account."

    It is utterly amazing to me, someone used entirely to creature comforts and the modern world, that these men were even willing to set out on their expedition. What they had to endure in order to survive and the decisions they had to make seem unimaginable as I sit here on my sofa listening.

    Endurance is a very well written account of these men's adventures. Filled with suspense and pace I listened to the whole 10 hour book in just two sittings and was riveted throughout.

    The narrator, Simon Prebble, is perfect! I would definitely listen to another book narrated by him.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • William
    Burgess Hill, United Kingdom
    1/31/10
    Overall
    "Staggering"

    This is a great account of a journey that would not be able to find a place in fiction because it would stretch credulity too far. The story of Shackleton's ill fated expedition is well known but even knowing the ending did not make this account any less gripping - it is rather like a pre-space age Apollo 13!
    The reading is first rate and the reader draws out the personalities and underplays the performance to good effect. The events are dramatic enough on their own.
    Highly recommended

    12 of 13 people found this review helpful
  • M
    5/27/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "True Heroics"

    Set against our present age of hyped-up sporting "triumphs", celebrity vloggers and x-factor instant successes, this is a story of truely heroic behaviour. After setting the last great goal of antarctic exploration (walking from one side to the other), Sir Ernest Shackleton and his team of twenty seven assorted seamen, scientists, artists and adventurers face one set-back after another. They accept appalling suffering, and an endlessly diminishing sense of security as the expedition is first icebound, then cast adrift on a frozen sea with little but the clothes they are wearing. Although the leadership of Shackleton looms large in every episode, his eventual accomplishment is only really possible because of the extraordinary crew he had formed, and their ability to "grunt and go" never fails to amaze. Even the most flawed of them appears almost superhuman in modern terms.

    This account was published in the 50s, and offers exceptional practical detail, even if it does brush too lightly over some of the interpersonal antagonisms that coloured the men's experiences. A near mutiny by the ship's carpenter McNish, is a particularly sad story that is not followed to its conclusion, and the somewhat selfish Thomas Orde-Lees is let off surprisingly gently, being treated largely as the camp clown.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • James
    UK
    12/26/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Ridiculously exciting"

    It had me completely hooked from the moment they set off and i often found myself looking for any opportunity to put my earphones in.

    Simon Prebble does a great job of narrating this book, adding drama to the many tense moments throughout, the majority of which i found myself holding my breath through until the ordeal was over.

    Of course, as well written and narrated as it is, the story is made by the feats of endurance of the men and the incredible adventure they find themselves on.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Jason
    Reading, United Kingdom
    9/24/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Endurance is a very apt title"

    The ship and the men who sailed in her can certainly be given this epitaph. A superb read on how man can overcome even the harshest environments. Every minute of this book was an enjoyable read,only slightly let down by the sudden end. It would be good to have know what became of the men who survived this incredible journey

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Chris
    Newcastle Upon Tyne, United Kingdom
    5/8/11
    Overall
    "Absolutely stunning!"

    What a story. Brave, foolhardy, or plain
    irresponsible, whatever your opinion after reading
    this you will wonder how they did it. The reader
    caught the right level of authority and awe. I just
    couldn't put it down.

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • Mick'sMoll
    10/28/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A perfectly exciting read. Fact outshines fiction"

    One of my favourites. I return to Endurance for the ultimate read combining history, nature, excitement, men's fight for survival against the most enormous odds, psychology and the struggles of leadership. Amazingly well written and wonderfully narrated. An unmissable read and totally absorbing.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Amazon Customer
    7/5/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Harrowing story very well read"

    Like most people, I knew bits of the Endurance story, but not all of it. This book gives an excellent account of what happened to the expedition members, including many excerpts from their diaries.
    The narration was very good, with easily identifiable - but not overdone - accents for the main protagonists. It was read with feeling when required, and in an engaging manner. I was very impressed.
    I would happily listen to this audiobook again, and definitely recommend it.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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