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South: The Story of Shackleton's 1914-1917 Expedition

South: The Story of Shackleton's 1914-1917 Expedition [Kindle Edition]

Sir Ernest Henry Shackleton
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (100 customer reviews)

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Kindle Edition £7.68  
Kindle Edition, 1 Feb 2004 --  
Hardcover £19.99  
Paperback £8.89  
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Product Description

Amazon Review

It's all so British. Which polar explorer do we all know and revere? Captain Scott. Which polar explorer had a fixation for Naval class distinctions and refused to contemplate the idea of sledge-dog travel, thereby condemning himself and his companions to an icy death? Captain Scott. If we're looking for heroics, we've been looking in the wrong place. Ernest Shackleton has not received a quarter of Scott's plaudits but he is infinitely more deserving. Having got within 100 miles of the South Pole in 1908, pioneering the route up the Beardmore Glacier on to the polar icecap in the process, Shackleton was left to watch Amundsen and Scott slug it out for the big prize. Looking for a different challenge, he set sail for the Antarctic in the Endurance in the summer of 1914 in the hope of making the first trans-Antarctic crossing. The Endurance was crushed in the pack ice and Shackleton successfully led his 27 men to the edge of the ice. From there he made a sea crossing in three open boats to Elephant Island. After several months he realised there was no hope of rescue, so he set sail with four others on a 600-mile crossing to South Georgia. He was eventually shipwrecked on the uninhabited side of the island and forced into making the first-ever winter crossing. Two days later he strolled into the whaling station at Stromness, having been long since given up for dead and proceeded to personally oversee the rescue of those still stranded on Elephant Island. Not a single person in Shackleton's expedition party was lost. South is Shackleton's own account of this expedition. It tries hard--in the way latter-day Edwardians did--to play up the scientific discoveries but there's no disguising this is basically a classic tale of derring-do. As such it's a wonderful, if understated read, with an unexpected poignancy in the epilogue. When Shackleton returned to Europe, the First World War had been going on for two years. The political and psychological map of Britain had changed for ever and many of the returning explorers found it hard to adjust. This book has been reprinted many times since it was first published in 1919. This edition comes with a workman-like introduction from Peter King, who bizzarely manages to refer to Roland Huntford, author of the brilliant definitive biography of Shackleton, as James Huntford. Where it does score, though, is in the assembly of James Hurley's fantastic photographs of the expedition which are liberally sprinkled throughout the text. If the words don't get you, the pictures will. --John Crace


?Best read in the course of a single stormy night... you will be gripped.? ("The New Yorker")

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 502 KB
  • Print Length: 224 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1470190044
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Public Domain Books (1 Feb 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B000JQUB04
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (100 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #181,314 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
85 of 85 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great story of 'Keep Calm and Carry On' 19 Oct 2010
By N. Butt
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I was not sure what I was expecting from my first free Kindle story. I have to say that I very pleasantly surprised, as Shackleton tells his story in a very matter of fact way that still fails to hide the sheer drama of what happened with his expedition. It would appear that almost every aspect of the expedition went awry from Day One, and yet he comes across as either a compulsive optimist or else a prime example of the 'Keep Calm and Carry On' brigade. He tells his story by the facts, and it is up to the reader to add in the countless days between notable events or to understand the paucity of the food. What he does convey is the sheer enormity of the Antarctic, the remoteness, the simplicity of their equipment and the initiative of his men. It is far more than just a diary of events, and the imagery that it conjures up transforms this into a spectacular tale from an era where we were continuing to push the envelope of what man could achieve. I suppose that some people will also enjoy the opportunity to judge Shackleton as a leader of men, and this book certainly does give an insight into the loneliness of his position, the stark options that he had to choose between and the risks that he led his men into. After reading this book, I intend to re-visit the TV mini series with Kenneth Branagh as I remember this as a very strong portrayal of the expeditionShackleton [DVD] [2002].
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29 of 29 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars making life in 21st Century UK seem very easy. 16 Dec 2010
By Bean
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is an epic story of a struggle against very harsh conditions by fifty-eight or so Antarctic explorers. As a tale it is very powerfully told because it is related in the manner of a mission report eliminating much of any emotional strain being felt by the author. Shackleton emerges as a superlative leader, surrounded by ordinary men caught up in an extraordinary feat of survival and endurance.

As a Kindle book it would have been greatly improved by the inclusion of maps and any illustrations mentioned in the text.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
this is an intresting read & an excellent first hand account for anyone intrested in polar travel. it is illustrated by some excellent & informative photographs. however i have written this review beacause of the terrible amazon review by john crane who obviously has little to no knowledge of shackleton, scott or polar travel. scott along with shackleton first pioneered to beardsmore galcier route during scotts first expedition, secondly shackleton got within 100 miles of the pole using ponys & manhauling which was the same method that scott later employed, dog travel would have almost certainly have met with failure due to the crevasse fields. thirdly it was the unseasonable & unforseen bad weather temperatures down to -40 with a windchill of -90 which fatally slowed scotts pace along with frostbite, injuries & a fuel shortage (caused by their pace slowing) that led to evans, oates, wilson, bowers & scotts deaths.
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
This is Shackleton's own account of the now legendary Antartic expedition, a story of one of the most astonishing feats of polar escapology. It is an intensely dramatic story, but what sets this new edition apart are the additonal notes by Peter King who has examined the latest research on the whole affair. This provides a fascinating insight into what actually occurred, as we learn about the oversights in the planning of the expedition that led to near-disaster. To accompany the prose are the stunning photographs taken by Frank Hurley, the expedition photographer. These now classic photos are in themselves a superb essay on composition, contrast and dramatic lighting. All in all, a thoroughly absorbing read, and the numerous photos and captions make it equally good for just dipping into now and then. The large format of this Pimlico edition making it ideal for the coffee table at Xmas.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is a wonderfully illustrated adventure! 26 Jun 2000
The account of Shackleton's outstanding expedition is extremely interesting to which the large collection of Hurley's photographies provide a wonderful illustration.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Antarctica at its most amazing 10 Aug 2011
Format:Kindle Edition
Having no prior knowledge of this story, I was left dumbfounded and in awe at the tenacity of these explorers from the turn of the 20th century.

I spent two weeks talking incessantly about Antarctica while reading this book, looking at the continent's amazing geography on Google Maps and imagining how horrific the environment must have been for the crew of the Endurance. The author paints a realistic and objective look at the stuggles of his friends and compadres during their epic journeys and undertakings. The story really touched a nerve with me and I frequently found my head shaking, agog with disbelief at some of the elements that Shackleton jotted down.

This is a completely true tale, making this book one of the most affecting ones I have read for a long time. If you like adventure, history, geography or are just curious about the world I'd highly recommend. What an amazing story.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The last great polar adventure 17 Jan 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The book is a contemporary account of the last great polar adventure of the early 20th century. It is an excellent read, particularly in the first two-thirds, when Shackleton is describing, first-hand, the trials and tribulations of the 'Endurance' party. The remainder, about the 'Aurora', which formed the other part of the expedition (laying depots for the intended trans-Antarctic journey, the original purpose), is a more fragmented narrative. The appendices can be safely skipped through, except for an early mention of the effects of whaling on the local populations of various species. As others mention, the lack of maps and illustrations prevents a 5 star rating for the Kindle edition.
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