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Publisher's Summary

This gripping story of courage and achievement is the account of Robert Falcon Scott's last fateful expedition to the Antarctic, as told by surviving expedition member Apsley Cherry-Garrard. Cherry-Garrard, whom Scott lauded as a tough, efficient member of the team, tells of the journey from England to South Africa and southward to the ice floes. From there began the unforgettable polar journey across a forbidding and inhospitable region. On November 12, 1912, in arctic temperatures, the author, in a search party, found the bodies of Scott and his companions along with poignant last notebook entries, some of them recorded in this work.

Among Apsley Cherry-Garrard's friends and admirers were John Galsworthy, H. G. Wells, Arnold Bennett, and Bernard Shaw. His background in the arts and humanities makes The Worst Journey in the World stand out as a literary accomplishment as well as a classic in the annals of exploration.

Public Domain (P)2003 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"Robert Whitfield picks up on Cherry-Garrard's dry sense of humor, stiff-upper-lip approach to adversity, and appreciation for nature, the dogs and ponies on whom the expedition depended, and the polar landscape." ( AudioFile)

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What listeners say about The Worst Journey in the World

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Heart felt description of Anartica

I felt as if I was part of the exploring party. So much so, that on days when I was tired, I was hesitant to listen. Cambridge's Scott Polar Research Institute has online photos of the people, hut, and ponies - powerful images to go with the reading of this diary. The book is about a British expedition, and read by an eloquent, British gentleman. Quite the right touch. The National Geographic Society has a list of the100 Greatest Adventure Books of All Time and this story is in first place.

27 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

worst journey in the world

even though this is long it is worth every minute, waiting to see what would happen, knowing how difficult it was for them and how they endured such terrible conditions and still kept going. I went and bought indivdual biographies and other stories of the members to read more about these folks because I was so fascinated by them after listening to this story. I recommend this and don't stop even though one may think it is tedious. It deserves your time. The narration is great also.

23 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent book

This audiobook is very good in my opinion. It´s about an adventure, a real one, which starts from very rutine task and a great objective, to finish in drama and heroism.
The previous reviewers´critics can only be understood because probably some of the reviwers didn't finish the audiobook at all. Nevertheless, It's true that in the beginning it is a bit slow. But be patient, you'll be rewarded. Beside, this is a direct account of one of the members of the scott party.
Finally the reader has excellent voice and pace.

13 people found this helpful

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Fascinating

details. If you've read Shackleton's incredible voyage, endurance, you will surely enjoy this book too.

11 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

What a story!

This book describes a time when men were men and an adventure was truly an adventure. The men that paid (yes they had to pay cash to go along) to accompany Scott on this ill fated trip endured terrible conditions and placed they lives at risk for the sake of science.

The book is difficult at times to understand because so many of the details about equipment, ships and life in general are from a time we have mostly forgotten (early 1900's). But it is these details that make the book such a joy to read.

If you only listen to the title chapter which describes the authors winter trip to obtain the penguin eggs in minus 70 degree cold and pitch black (the nights last 24 hours in the winter). Then you will have received your monies worth from this book.

This is a very long book, but it is a book you will be telling your friends about for a long time.

31 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Chronicle of cold, cold death

The author was a sidekick in Scott's expedition and the worst journey in the world is not the one that results in Scott's frozen body, but is a "field trip" to steal penguin eggs. Nonetheless an interesting book. I like primary sources and this certainly is one. He writes interestingly and even though the scenery is always the cold, chilling antarctic I never got bored. Recommended for all those interested in arctic travel.

9 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars

Puts things into perspective...

"I would never complain about heat again" that sentence really stuck with me - as did many more. This was not an easy book to get through, but Cherry's astute and sometimes humorous observations about the polar expedition, about Scott, about the men of this era... and about penguins proved well worth the time and effort. This would be a good book for a man coming-of-age in what is comparatively, a different world. A good book for anyone caught up in their own importance. It definitely made me rethink my own insignificant complaints.

6 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Rapid dialogue

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

The reader seems to read at a ridiculous pace, like a speedboat careering left and right across a river. Just slightly pompous and very irritating. The reader has no understanding of atmosphere or expression. The intonation rapidly becomes monotonous. Having read the book - A very long book, I cannot imagine anybody listening to this reader for more than 10 minutes without considering turning him off. A good book ruined by a reader more interested in the sound of his own voice, rather than creating an imaginary world - one that you could listen to - relaxing in bed listening to a beautiful bedtime story.

What didn’t you like about Robert Whitfield’s performance?

No development of atmosphere, no understanding of how the listener will fall into the story, his voice is very irritating, too fast, and no theatrical spacing. Just speed, speed and more speed.

5 people found this helpful

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  • J
  • 02-03-16

Excellent!

This is an expertly structured and unsentimental account of the hardships faced by the crew of the Terra Nova Expeditition during their journey to the South Pole. After having read the book before listening to this audiobook, I must say that the narrator truly captures the tone of the book perfectly. This is truly one of the best books I've ever read or listened to.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Makes you glad to be an armchair explorer

Well written and fascinating, the book makes you feel the cold--both in Antartica and chills down your back. You know Scott died, but that's just a part of the story--something that admittedly colors the author's views. Modern polar scientists seem to give Scott a break (the weather WAS uncommonly bad, but "Cherry" was working against the talk of the time (1920's) that labled Scott a reckless fool. Judge for yourself.

17 people found this helpful

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  • Bettym
  • 06-17-13

Takes your breath away

A truly great book. Read it and be awestruck by what the men of Captain Scott's last expedition did in the days before modern technology and communications. This outstanding account was written some ten years later by the youngest participant, clearly still guiltridden for not finding the party returning from the Pole. What those men went through was so extraordinary that it almost beggars belief. Apsley Cherry-Garrard's account is beautifully written (apparently with some help from his neighbour George Bernard Shaw) and though in the early stages you think he goes into too much detail, it all builds up to a tapestry of triumph and disaster. The personal details are so telling - Apsley Cherry-Garrard should never have gone (he was shortsighted, young and unskilled) and often he could not wear his glasses because of the cold but still plugged on without a complaint. I was totally transported and gripped, and the last days of the polar team ( from Scott's diaries) are so moving. The narration by Robert Whitfield.is superb - he inhabits the world and the people, bringing out the social differences between officers and men with great skill and subtlety. Do not miss this book!.

6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Stephen
  • 04-14-09

Wonderful

I had heard that this was a masterpiece of travel writing and it was right. This was one of the most moving pieces I've had the fortune to listen to. Simply wonderful. The endurance shown by these men is an inspiration. When I have difficult times I simply look back to them and realise how much worse men have been through.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Patrick
  • 11-14-12

a book i didn't want but so glad i listened

Aspley Cherry-Garrard is such a decent human being and he writes so frankly and openly that despite my having absolutely no interest (shame on me!) in the subject and listening under duress and obligation for my book club I found i thoroughly loved this book. Yes it was difficult to plough on at times -- the endless recounting of the details of the storms at sea were definitely a bit much for me -- but it was such a rewarding listen. I learned so much. It opened my mind to a whole new appreciation of a time, place and frame of mind that certainly wasn't on the make for the easy option!

4 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • fergus
  • 03-27-15

Superb in every sense

This audio book is one of the I have ever heard. I read the text version some years ago and this narrator has been perfectly cast.
The story is almost unbelievable and it is difficult to imagine anyone who enjoys non fiction adventures finding this anything but extraordinary.

3 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 10-27-20

Great book, but..

Great book, Cherry did well in collecting information from others as well as his own diaries to present the full start to finish journey and adventure.

Story is a bit slow to start with and lacks a downloadable PDF file with support maps! (Google is your friend here)

From the reader side everything is great BUT! the references! I dont think they work well in audio books as well as in text books. Story becomes more choppy and fragmented with them being read out. But thats my two pence.

Would recommend!

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • David
  • 01-04-06

Great Brits

A shining example of sheer stiff upper lippedness by early 20th century explorers. Very exacting in its detail on explaining the logistics of the voyage, to the detriment of a very interesting story sometimes, but more than makes up for it with the explanation of the hardships these men were willing to endure.

2 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • G M F
  • 09-13-20

This is why Britain has the prefix 'Great'

Beautifully read in a voice from the early 1900's that gives their bravery and nonchalance of hardships more impact. Falling down crevasses or taking a morphine-cocaine 'pep me up' is all told in a mater of fact kind of way, Just another day at the office in the Antarctic. The freezing temperatures -70 in some cases without the modern synthetic and light protection offered today was endured with little complaint. A tail of real men, striving for the honour of their country and the progress of science. So powerfully read, captivating and informative. Listen to this, then look around your modern world with new eyes.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Lord Peridot
  • 07-29-19

Men of another time

Contrary to what is often believed, Scott's expedition to Antarctica was as much as a scientific expedition as it was an attempt to reach the South Pole. And there were many men involved in the trip that did not make the fatal attempt on the South Pole. Furthermore, scientific work continued after it became clear that Scott and his select band had perished on the return leg of their journey, having been beaten to the Pole by rival Norwegian explorers who had taken a different route and were more accustomed to cold weather exploration than the British.

It seems wrong to say that this expedition is inspiring to a modern day reader. But it is none the less, in the sense of the fortitude and courage of the men who undertook the trip. And its all the more inspiring for the way in which it is recounted with typical English reserve and modesty, further enhanced by the subtle reading of Simon Vance. Throughout the book, there are quoted passages from the diaries of the explorers. So one gets a very accurate and vivid picture of what they were experiencing and thinking.

As I recall, the title of the book actually refers not to the attempt on the pole, but a subsidiary 6 week expedition to collect Emperor Penguin eggs which was undertaken in the Antarctic winter, so it was permanently dark and travelling was so hard that, despite pulling their sleds for 12 hours a day, it took them 3 weeks to cover just 60 miles. And on one occasion their tent blew away in a fierce hurricane. Without it they knew they would surely perish themselves. But they scrabbled around in the dark, in a wild gale and in the freezing cold. And in an outstanding piece of luck they stumbled across it, a mile or two distant from their camp and so were saved.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Lee
  • 10-20-18

An Epic Adventure

Thoroughly enjoyed by my husband who devoured it over a few days. A true story well narrated and informative.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Dave Pearson
  • 12-03-17

Very detailed expedition account from that era...

Any additional comments?

I realise this account was written by an expedition member, and as such it is in the style and language of that time, but I found it much too hard work - some of the lengthy descriptions are just too much - it's not a good sign when you find yourself fast forwarding all the time, is it ? However, if what you want is a scientific report of events, you're in luck.Some of the words used are lost to us now, so you will either have to ignore them, or look them up !
Should maybe have been abridged to about half this length in my view.
The story is fantastic of course, and has almost no equal, but this is not the best telling of it.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Lauren Wilson
  • 02-21-21

Superb narration. Wonderful presentation.

This is an incredible Audio Book. I would recommend it to anyone who has an interest in the history of Antarctic exploration. Without doubt,one of the best Audio books I have listened to.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Jasmine Lee
  • 10-06-20

Completley tragic, incredible story

An account of an alien world in a differnt era. Tells the story of human endurance, tenacity and thirst for knowledge and science in one of the worlds most inhospitable places. The story of Scott's journey to the Pole is well known and a complete tragedy, but this story is of so much more. You really get an insight into the daily life of Antarctic exploration during the Heroic Age. Worth listening to on all accounts.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 04-29-20

Difficult to follow at times

Sometimes there was so much attention to detail I lost track of what the actual expedition objectives were. Overall not bad if you're interested in this sort of thing.