The book description offered by the publisher is really quite an accurate account of this book. I've read numerous books on Scott, Amundsen, Shackleton and Mawson, but the hero of this story is really better than most of these! Amundsen was such a good explorer that he made it seem too easy, and consequently has never got the credit really due him. Scott, Shackleton and Mawson have had the exact opposite treatment, told by themselves or in various biographies, recounting in graphic detail all they went through (and more...), while Albanov, whose experience certainly equalled, or indeed outdid those of all three, is virtually (completely?) unknown. The added advantage of this book is that it is essentially the travel diary he kept as he struggled to save himself and the men who of their own volition decided to go with him. As in other books on Heroic Age exploration in the Artic and Antarctica, you can't help but take note of the incompetence, not to say worse, that usually underlay all these undertakings. Albanov's captain (he was the navigator) and practically the whole crew were hopelessly muddled, incompetent or useless, Albanov being one of the few on board with any sense of what was going on. It is significant that out of the whole ship's company that sailed form St. Petersburg in Russia in August, 1912, only Albanov returned, dragging one other survivor with him, and after an heroic struggle of almost unbelievable difficulty and suffering. Albanov was a real hero and deserves the wider audience he never got in his short lifetime.