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Shackleton's Boat Journey [Hardcover]

Frank Arthur Worsley
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Feb 1977
This is the classic account of Sir Ernest Shackleton's 1914-1916 Antarctic expedition. Written by the captain of the Endurance, the ship used by Shackleton on this ill-fated journey, it is a remarkable tale of courage and bravery in the face of extreme odds and a vivid portrait of one of the world's greatest explorers. 'A breathtaking story of courage under the most appalling conditions.' - Edmund Hillary 'One of the greatest survival stories of all time.' - Library Journal
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


Product details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: W W Norton & Co Inc; First Edition First Printing edition (Feb 1977)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 039308759X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393087598
  • Product Dimensions: 21.1 x 14.2 x 2.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,260,300 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 the Paperback edition.

Review

"One of the greatest survival stories of all time - Library Journal; I have gazed into the naked soul of man... - Ernest Shackleton; A breathtaking story of courage, skill and determination under the most appalling conditions - Sir Edmund Hillary; The Heart of the Antarctic: Ernest Shackleton; Shackleton: the Polar Journeys - incorporating South and The Heart of the Antarctic: Ernest Shackleton; An Unsung Hero - Tom Crean Antarctic Survivor: Michael Smith" --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ever been really cold? 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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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
By Amazon Customer VINE VOICE
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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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Be careful,this could be addictive! 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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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
By SM
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is the best and most famous account of the destruction of Shackleton's expeditionary endeavours in the Antarctic, both physically and aspirationally. Told by that most complete professional seaman and navigator, Frank Worsley, whom Shackleton was inspired to appoint as captain of the "Endurance", it has never been equalled as a straight and understated narrative of unrelenting hardship stoically and heroically endured. Told as it is with such economy of style, it is often essential to pause and take in just what it is this man is recalling. The very first page sets the tone. In three and a half lines their fine ship is caught in the ice, drifts with it, is crushed, the ship's boats, with great foresight, saved through enormous effort and got onto the ice, where on the broken floes they survive for three full seasons, moving meanwhile 800 miles in the wrong direction, before making the move to start saving themselves by launching the boats into perilous leads of sea. The voyages of the three boats bearing all the members of the expedition through every kind of peril - storms, fog, broken ice, savage cold and near-starvation - to a bare toehold on desolate Elephant Island, and from there by six picked men in the "James Caird" on the famous mission to South Georgia for help, forms the rest of this slim book. This indomitable crew, which included the master seaman, Worsley and the three iron Irishmen, Shackleton himself, Crean and McCarthy, got through the madness of the high latitudes of the Southern Ocean and made a miraculous landing on the island of South Georgia. Read more ›
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
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
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant . Essential reading 11 Jan 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Get it from the horses mouth, as it were. Shackleton gives a good account and praises Worsley. You can get so much from the account from one of the best captains ever and an absolutely superb navigator. The 2013 re-ceated copy cat trip had safety back up, and started fresh from Elephant Island, all healthy. They did not move base on South Georgia, or lose their rudder . No 14 months deprivation in pack ice for them, no. Read and be dumbstruck at the achievement of the Shackleton boat journey, Also read Lansing's 'Endurance' and Huntford's biography 'Shackleton' . Then you'll know what REAL MEN were!
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
There have been a great deal of books written about the exploits of Earnest Shackleton and in particular his now famous boat journey across stormy waters of the South Pacific Ocean. This book is of particular interest as it was written by one of the protagonists of the adventure, Frank Worsley. Written in a simple and workmanlike style it faithfully recounts the events of the great sea journey and the subsequent walk over the mountains of South Georgia to final rescue.

The book offers little insight in to the minds and personalities of the author or his comrades during the journey. Likewise comments about Shackleton, though written with obvious respect, are rather guarded. There are one or two tantalising hints that they did not always see eye to eye but these are never explored.

The book is not without a certain charm however - Worsley keeps the narrative flowing along briskly and the reader does gain an understanding of the great challenges and hazards the men in their little boat faced.

This is a book that will appeal more to fans of this genre than the general reader.
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