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Shackleton's Boat Journey: The Narrative from the Captain of the Endurance Paperback – 1 Jun 2001

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Product details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: The Narrative Press (1 Jun. 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1589760905
  • ISBN-13: 978-1589760905
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 0.9 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,290,864 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Amazon Review

On 1 August 1914, on the eve of World War I, Sir Ernest Shackleton and his hand-picked crew embarked in HMS Endurance from London's West India Dock, for an expedition to the Antarctic. It was to turn into one of the most breathtaking survival stories of all time. Even as they coasted down the channel, Shackleton wired back to London to offer his ship to the war effort. The reply came from the First Lord of the Admiralty, one Winston Churchill: "Proceed". And proceed they did. When the Endurance was trapped and finally crushed to splinters by pack ice in late 1915, they drifted on an ice floe for five months, before getting to open sea and launching three tiny boats as far as the inhospitable, storm-lashed Elephant Island. They drank seal oil and ate baby albatross (delicious, apparently.) From there Shackelton himself and seven others- -the author among them--went on, in a 22-foot open boat, for an unbelievable 800 miles, through the Antarctic seas in winter, to South Georgia and rescue. It is an extraordinary story of courage and even good-humour among men who must have felt certain, secretly, that they were going to die. Worsley's account, first published in 1940, captures that bulldog spirit exactly: uncomplaining, tough, competent, modest and deeply loyal. It's gripping, and strangely moving. --Christopher Hart --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Review

'A breath-taking story of courage under the most appalling conditions' --Sir Edmund Hillary --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By AvidReader on 24 July 2001
Format: Paperback
A testament to the human spirit. If this was a film, you'd classify it as pure fantasy. This account details Shackleton's party's escape from the antartic, a gruelling slog by foot accross broken ice, a perilous voyage though the ice flow and two fantastic journeys accross the Southern Ocean in boats no bigger than ones you see down the boating lake.
The fantastic feats are woven with accounts of everyday life... you can feel the cold, you wonder at how they survived in nothing more than waterlogged layers of heavy tweed and a few furs.
By the end of the book you are left in no doubt that given intelligence, determination, teamwork and belief (forget super human qualities or luck), human beings are very difficult to kill.
Someone in the preface is asked which antartic explorer they most admired, i'll paraphrase, for science - Scott, for determination - Admunsen, if i was in a tight spot with no apparant hope - Shackleton every time.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By martyn@freeserve.co.uk on 4 Nov. 2000
Format: Paperback
This was the first book I read on this subject.I`d never heard of Shackelton before but I found it most gripping and exciting I could not put it down! A very good read even if you`re not interested in the subject,just the way mans fight for survilval carries you on.You may end up coming back for more.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Tony Watson VINE VOICE on 20 Nov. 2002
Format: Paperback
To find yourself having no choice but to set out to sea, in the middle of a south polar winter, with the only hope of rescue 800 miles off would reduce most people to despair. It's a mark of the stuff that these men were made of that they reached their goal, intact, then went back to rescue their comrades.
I find it difficult to imagine how they navigated in those high (=low!) latitudes, in a roiling sea, howling gales and limited visibility; Worsley tells you how...
He also has the writers' gift of transporting you from your comfortable chair to the freezing, wet, cramped conditions of their boat - and yet still bringing to life the thoughts and feelings of this rare breed of men.
This should be recommended reading for all teenagers, so they should understand what life can dole out, but yet you can still turn the tables on fate, instead of sitting back and letting life ride roughshod over you.
Thoroughly Recommended.*****
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By bishopstown@hotmail.com on 10 Jan. 2001
Format: Paperback
A fascinating account of a struggle for survival against the odds. This books concentrates on the final stages of Shackleton & Co.s desparate crossing between Elephant Island and South Georgia, a magnificent feat, and the final mountaineering challenge undertaken to effect the rescue of expeditions members. A book that all, sailors, mountaineers and other adventurers should read. One I will certainly read again.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By magicaltrevor on 11 Feb. 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is perfect for anyone wanting to read in more detail about the incredible boat journey that Frank Worsley and five other men took from Elephant Island to South Georgia in the James Caird. Worsley's narrative fleshes out Shackleton's formal account of the Endurance expedition and gives a fascinating insight into the experiences of this group of survivors. Format-wise, the book is a retrospective account of the journey, interspersed with entries from Worsley's log written at the time.

Worsley includes a detailed explanation of how he navigated during the South Atlantic crossing, along with the challenges of navigation in partially unchartered waters. He also gives an insight into the pressure he was under at this time, knowing that the entire party's lives depended on his accurate navigation. His description of conditions aboard the boat are wince-inducing and it's staggering that any of them survived that journey, let alone the crossing of South Georgia's mountain ranges.

Worsley also sheds light on the care Shackleton took of his men, describing him as "fussy" and "almost womanlike" in his attentions to everyone's health. He recalls how Shackleton gave his last pair of dry socks to one of the men, regularly stayed awake so others could sleep longer and made everyone stop for a drink of hot milk if he thought one of the men was struggling.

There is a very good selection of glossy photographs in this book. Many are fairly famous but there are several that I had never seen before, including some of the sea camps and the whaling station at Grytviken. I would advise reading Shackleton's `South' before reading this, as his full account of the expedition puts Worsley's account of the latter half into context. After reading this book you will never again feel justified in complaining about being cold!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By stevie h on 24 Feb. 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is one of those books that leaves a lasting impression. I have handled small boats in storm conditions a few times, and have always found it an extremely unnerving experience. However, what makes Shackleton's journey extraordinary (rather than just unnerving) is that it was undertaken by men who were already worn out from previous exertions, in the notorious southern ocean, crammed into in a 22 foot boat, and navigating without the benefit of modern clothing, or navigational aids such as GPS. The book is relatively short, but this is partly because it avoids excessive detail. This means that the excitement levels are kept high. The writing style is also very personal, and the language and foibles of early 20th century exploration come through in an entertaining manner, providing another interesting dimension to the book.
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