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Last Place On Earth is a complex and fascinating account of the race for this last great terrestrial goal. It is also biographer Ronald Huntford's rather heavy-handed attempt to restore Amundsen to glory. Though this was the age of the amateur explorer, Amundsen was a professional: he left little to chance, apprenticed with Eskimos and obsessed over every detail. While Scott clung fast to the British rule of "No skis, no dogs", Amundsen understood that both were vital to survival and they clearly won him the Pole.
Amundsen in Huntford's view is the "last great Viking" and Scott his bungling opposite: "stupid... recklessly incompetent", and irresponsible in the extreme--failings that cost him and his teammates their lives. Yet for all of Scott's real or exaggerated faults, he understood far better than Amundsen the power of a well-crafted sentence. Scott's diaries were recovered and widely published, and if the world insisted on lionising Scott, it was partly because he told a better story. Huntford's bias aside, it's clear that both Scott and Amundsen were valiant and deeply flawed. "Scott... had set out to be an heroic example. Amundsen merely wanted to be first at the pole. Both had their prayers answered." --Svenja Soldovieri --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
Huntford certainly doesn't let the facts get in the way in the way of a good story. Somehow I made it to the end of the book whilst maintaining my sanity but to this day it remains... Read morePublished 7 months ago by Shoreditch
Undiluted drivel. The author appears to have attempted to write a deliberately controversial book by defecating on Scott's reputation. Read morePublished 9 months ago by b colvin
I have never read a book so one sided (to the extent of obsession). This book finds fault in even the most minor task undertaken by Scott and, in my opinion, loses all... Read morePublished 10 months ago by Monty Chris Tow
I have to admit that I quite enjoyed reading this book. It really is a fast paced and entertaining read. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Nico
This book is frustratingly poor. Huntford clearly decided to distort the truth, and in many cases, completely make things up in order to bring something new to the Scott-Amundsen... Read morePublished 16 months ago by Luke Nunn
I believe Mr Huntford has done extensive research, which is worthy of praise. He tells the story of both explorers, emphasizing on points which would later be of importance in... Read morePublished 16 months ago by Argyris Periferakis
At the time of publishing this book in 1979, there was an injunction taken out to ban the book indefinitely. Read morePublished 22 months ago by Casper in London
I do so love a myth-busting book. This is a no holds barred account of the lives of Scott and Amundsen with particular attention to their race to the South Pole. Read morePublished 22 months ago by Mr Gordon Davidson
My father is a reader of history and he loved this book, and has added it to his collection of historical works. I would recommend this book to any one who is a serious historian.Published 23 months ago by Peter White MA 2002