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South. [Unknown Binding]

Sir Ernest Shackleton.
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Unknown Binding
  • Publisher: Time Life Books (1984)
  • ASIN: B004K2PYNW
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unbelievable true tale of human endurance 28 May 1999
By A Customer
I have always heard parts of Shakletons voyage to the antartic and did not fully understand the remarkable tale of hardship endured by the crew. Even after reading this book I found it hard to beleive that the whole crew returned alive. As a mountaineer myself, I find it incredible that after all the hardships that Shakelton went through, crossing the southern ocean to South Georgia, that they still found the strength to cross problably the most glaciated terrain on earth on a small island that bears the brunt of problably the worst weather on earth! Not only that but wearing Rags and carrying what little food they had in a sock. This book is beautifully written in problably the most honest, matter-of-fact and colorfull language I think that I have ever read. Recommended.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best survival story ever ?. 8 Jan 2004
By Gareth
I have now read this book about 4 times and each time I do I became more 'captured' by it.
The book starts slow and it took me a while to get 'into' it but then it starts to grip you. It is such an amazing story of survival and courage that will never be repeated.
It has a variety of pictures which help set the scene.
Best read one evening in front of a log fire with the wind blowing outside !. Enjoy.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Ernest Shackleton' own account of a disasterous expedition to the antarctic aboard the Endurance. Despite a somewhat dull start, the book launches into excitement once the expedition starts to get into trouble. Then it blossoms into an extremely exciting account of increasing misfortunes which are overcome one by one, as they occur.
It is a tribute to the natural leadership skills of Ernest Shackleton, a man who instictively made the right decisions in every situation and created his own incredible luck.
Despite being stranded on the ice hundreds of miles from any help, he lead his team across the ice and sailed in small boats to the comparitive safety of Elephant Island. He then set out in the miniscule "James Caird" to cross the Southern Ocean to South Georgia in order to get help. Landing on the uninhabited side of the island, he then tranversed the mountainous centre to reach civilisation. He then made a number of attempts to sail back to Elephant Islandand rescue his team. He was eventually successful and rescued them all.
Shackleton has been hailed as the greatest natural leader of all time and this account re-inforces this claim.
An excellent book which is more exciting than a good many fictional stories.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Flawed edition of a wonderful book. 8 Mar 2011
Shackleton's wonderfully gripping tale of the loss of the ship 'Endurance' in the Antarctic and the subsequent journey, and ultimate rescue, of the crew is a must read book for anyone with a interest in true-life adventure stories. Shackleton's 'matter of fact' style is very easy to read, if a little lacking in emotional insight, and I really can't fault the text of the book in any way. However, this 'Stamford Travel Classics' edition of the book only warrants 4 stars because it does not contain any of the photographs, maps or diagrams that were an integral part of Shackleton's original publication. The omission of Frank Hurley's wonderful black and white photographs is bad enough, but it is extremely frustrating when the text refers to maps and diagrams that are not included in the book. (Fortunately an e-book version of 'South', containing all the original photographs, maps and diagrams, can be viewed in the History section of the 'Cool Antarctica' web site.) According to the Product Description on the Amazon web site, it would appear that the 'Explorers Club Classic' edition, published by The Lyon Press, does include 85 photographs - so this similarly priced book may be a better buy.

I would also recommend Caroline Alexander's excellent book 'The Endurance', which contains many of Hurley's previously unpublished photographs. Whilst this book is not as detailed as Shackleton's, and does not include an account of the Ross Sea party, it is very well written and gives a more balanced and human view of the events as it is drawn from the diaries of many of the expedition members. It also gives details of the lives of the explorers and seamen after the expedition ended, which I found interesting.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Gripping and fascinating 2 Aug 2010
By Eleanor TOP 500 REVIEWER
In 1914, just after the start of the Great War, Ernest Shackleton headed an expedition to the South Pole. The expedition went horribly wrong and the account of how Shackleton and his men managed to survive for two years on meagre rations, seal, and penguin meat, is gripping. One finishes the book admiring their innovation, stoicism, and sheer good nature in the midst of their ordeal.

Shackleton's measured, stoical tone is interspersed with flashes of dry humour, for example when Hussey intrigues the penguins by 'discoursing sweet music on his banjo'. There are also thrilling moments, such as the presence of killer whales and Shackleton's journey across stormy open water in a tiny boat. At one point the ice splits apart right under a tent, leaving a man in his sleeping bag in the freezing ocean with the ice rapidly closing back over him.

Shackleton also reveals the anxiety he felt about the war, about which he has absolutely no information. The group's isolation is starkly illustrated when you compare their situation in the ice with the millions of people dying in Europe. Shackleton's dedication 'to my comrades who fell in the white warfare of the South and on the red fields of France and Flanders' is very moving.

Having invested so much time in Shackleton's story it is rather a shock to leave them and read, in the last third of the book, about the fate of the expedition who were to land at the south of Antarctica and leave rations for Shackleton's men. At first the change of focus is disconcerting, but the story of these men is just as exciting and you soon find yourself becoming immersed in their adventures. Shackleton, however, does not shrink from criticising their actions at points.

From the book Shackleton emerges as a fine leader, and his men's affection and admiration for him is clear. You do wonder, though, how they ever hoped to succeed in their expedition - a point Fergus Fleming makes in his rather iconoclastic introduction.
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