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The South Pole: The Norwegian Expedition in "The Fram", 1910-1912 (Norwegian) Paperback – 2 Apr 2001


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Product details

  • Paperback: 896 pages
  • Publisher: C Hurst & Co Publishers Ltd; New edition edition (2 April 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1850654697
  • ISBN-13: 978-1850654698
  • Product Dimensions: 15.6 x 5.4 x 23.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 527,436 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

'Roald Amundsen planted the Norwegian flag on the South Pole on December 14, 1911: a full month before Robert Falcon Scott arrived on the same spot. Amundsen's The South Pole (Hurst) is less well-known than his rivals, in part because he is less of a literary stylist, but also, perhaps, because he survived the journey. His book is a riveting first-hand account of a truly professional expedition; Amundsen's heroism is understated, but it is heroism nonetheless.' -Erica Wagner, The Times'Amundsen was the supreme exponent of Polar technique. He towered above his rivals; he brought an intellectual approach to exploration and stood, as he still stands, the antipole to the heroic delusion. [A...] The journey to the South Pole remains his masterpiece, the culmination of the classical age of Polar exploration and, perhaps, the greatest snow journey ever made.' -Roland Huntford, The Last Place on Earth: Scott and Amundsen's Race to the South Pole

About the Author

In 1903, Roald Amundsen led the first expedition to successfully traverse the Northwest Passage between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans (something explorers had been attempting since the days of Christopher Columbus, John Cabot, Jacques Cartier, and Henry Hudson), with six others in a 47 ton steel seal hunting vessel, Gjøa. During this time Amundsen learned from the local Netsilik people about Arctic survival skills that would later prove useful. For example, he learned to use sled dogs and to wear animal skins in lieu of heavy, woolen parkas. He led the first successful Antarctic expedition to the South Pole between 1910 and 1912. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 25 people found the following review helpful By D. J. Wilden on 22 Jan. 2007
Format: Paperback
It's a fabulous book to read, very upbeat, full of life. He describes everything so well it is actually like being on the trip with them. The images of the dogs having a howling contest each day on the trip from Norway must have been anything but fun for the crew, he describes how if you could stop the dog who started it as soon as it started then the rest of the day was "quiet". They started with 97 dogs and they each took turns to start off the howling then the rest joined in, the image conjures up a pretty noisy ship!

He cared a great deal for his dogs (number one priority), the men and everything needed to get them to the pole and more importantly back again. He oversaw clothing, food, shelter, everything was checked to ensure the success of the expedition.

The South Pole is by no means a trip for the faint hearted, but to make the trip with a man with Amundsen's lively personality must have been a joy to the men who went with him. He had the utmost respect and admiration for other polar explorers including Shackleton and Scott. Amundsen succeeded because he put his faith in his dogs who were the engines of his expedition. Scott put his faith in the human body which doomed his attempt from day one. Amundsen must have been a very entertaining dinner party guest. I would recommend this book 100% to anyone who is interested in explorers, Polar or otherwise. It is very entertaining and a visual feast to the imagination.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By John Brain on 24 Jan. 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
'The South Pole' is an account by Roald Amundsen of his expedition to the Antarctic in 1910-12. In fact, it is 4 books (or more) in one, for it includes an introductory history of polar exploration, an account of Amundsen's own overland journey to the Pole, a further account of the parallel part of the the expedition - an exploratory sledge journey - and a narration of the full journey of his ship the 'Fram', which sailed an incredible 54,400 nautical miles taking the main party to and from the Pole and conducting scientific research. In addition there are several detailed appendices.

The book is written in an incredibly easy-flowing and eminently readable style.

Three aspects in particular made a deep impression on me. First was the man himself - Amundsen. Incredibly brave and courageous; incredibly competent, and a much loved leader of his men. In terms of leadership, he was quite different from Captain Scott - his rival. Whereas Scott organised his expeditions on naval disciplinary lines, with officers and ordinary expedition members strictly separate, Amundsen, though as much if not more a leader, regarded his men as his equals - and shared everything.

Secondly, the expedition was professionally driven. Prior to this 2+ year undertaking, Amundsen had not visited the Antarctic before. Yet his preparation was meticulous, foreseeing almost every eventuality. In particular, he knew that his only way to achieve success was by reliance on dog-hauled sledges and his use of over 100 dogs is described beautifully.

Thirdly, the book demonstrates the remarkable levels of skills which men possessed a century ago, before the modern technological innovations which proceeded apace in the 20th century. Sailing skills were exceptional.
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Format: Paperback
Amundsen's first-hand account of his trip to the South Pole is fascinating in many ways, because it is the in the words of the man who actually planned and did it. I think Roland Huntford's books tell the story better, however, albeit with less detail. Curiously, Scott was a terrible explorer, but a very good writer, so he has got a lot of undeserved credit, while Amundsen much less than he deserved, simply because he didn't know how to make the story more intriguing. Still, a book to read if you are interested in Heroic Age explorers. Amundsend was of the very few in the first rank of explorers and deserves much more credit and recognition than he has received. Read both books, Amundsen's and Huntford's, to get the full story, the real story.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a good factual account of the Norweigans trip to the South Pole but I found the author's attitude somewhat smug and complacent with everything going according to plan or even better and with no mistakes made, and with the problems with crevasses on the journey somewhat trivialised. This is probably still a Scandinavian trait.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
excellent translation , which loses none of the Norwegian nuances . Very informative, Amundsen wrote well and the book flows along merrily. Get part 2 or suffer an unbearable cliffhanger (even if you know all about his South Pole adventure)
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