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The Worst Journey In The World (Vintage Classics) [Paperback]

Apsley Cherry-Garrard
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
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Book Description

1 April 2010 Vintage Classics
The Worst Journey in the World is a gripping account of an expedition gone disastrously wrong. One of the youngest members of Scott's team, Apsley Cherry-Garrard was later part of the rescue party that found the frozen bodies of Scott and the three men who had accompanied him on the final push to the Pole. Despite the horrors that Scott and his men eventually faced, Cherry-Garrard's account is filled with details of scientific discovery and anecdotes of human resilience in a harsh environment, supported by diary excerpts and accounts from other explorers. A masterpiece of travel writing, The Worst Journey in the World is the most celebrated and compelling of all the books on Antarctic exploration.

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The Worst Journey In The World (Vintage Classics) + Journals: Captain Scott's Last Expedition (Oxford World's Classics)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 720 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage Classics (1 April 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099530376
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099530374
  • Product Dimensions: 15.9 x 22.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 61,597 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"'The Worst Journey in the World is to travel what War and Peace is to the novel... a masterpiece'" (New York Review of Books)

"The best polar book there is" (Observer)

"Probably the best adventure yarn ever published" (Independent)

"Remains the masterpiece of heroic travel" (The Times)

"The finest book ever written about Antarctic exploration as well as a great literary classic" (Peter Matthiessen)

Book Description

'When people ask me... "What is your favourite travel book?" I nearly always name this book. It is about courage, misery, starvation, heroism, exploration, discovery and friendship' Paul Theroux

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
47 of 47 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Heroes in the True Sense. 5 Aug 2010
In an age of cynicism and the popular sport of debunking of old heroes, this book makes a refreshing read. It was written in a more innocent age and this is certainly a strenth of the book together with the honest integrity of the author Cherry Apsley-Gerrard. Here is a man well qualified to write of Scott's last expedition as he was there. Not only well qualified but a fine writer in his own right as anyone reading the book will find. His final lines are some of the finest prose to be found anywhere.

Through the authors eyes we get to know the persons involved in a more intimate way. Scott, highly strung and full of nervous energy but a true leader of men. The author does not shirk in describing him. Wilson, the gentle man of science who is popular with everyone. The indefatigable Bowers willing to take on any task with a cheerful face. The taciturn Oates, who people only seem to remember for his heroic gesture, turns out to be a gifted orator illuminating many a long polar night with his unsuspected gift.

In this age we should be inspired by their bravery for the advances of science,their comradeship and their ability to take on impossible tasks without complaint. We should admire the resolute way they refused to leave any man behind, unlike some modern day mountaineers who choose to ignore the dying, ensnared in that temporary insanity known as summit fever. These men lived like true English gentlemen and died like true English gentlemen. The grain ran deep. In an age when many an unworthy is held up as a hero, here we have examples to all of what this word truly means. Probably the best travel book ever written.

"If you march your Winter journeys you will have your reward, so long as all you want is a penguin's egg". Apsley Cherry-Garrard.
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best travel book ever? 28 Jan 2011
This is a n amazing book that I would recommend anyone to read.

Apsley Cherry-Garrard ("Cherry") was one of the Antarctic Heros in the heroic age. Most people know about Scott, Oates, Evans, Wilson and Bowers who died returning from the pole but Cherry was one of those who formed the support group and who in the end found the bodies. But that is not "the worst journey"; that title is reserved for the journey Cherry and two others made in the depths of the Antarctic winter to get some Emperor Penguin eggs in conditions that can be barely imagined.

This is the only book written by Cherry; he was encouraged to write it by his close neighbour George Bernard Shaw and completed it only after participating in the first world war. Apart from Cherry's writing which is amazing there is also an excellent biographical section.

Thoroughly recommended.

If you enjoy this then I also recommend a book on another unsung hero, Tom Crean.
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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Book on Frostbite in the World 4 Jun 2010
Like depoted XS rations on the Ross Ice Shelf, Cherry-Garrard's writing is as fresh and nourishing as the day it went between covers eighty-eight years ago. "The Worst Journey" contains so many good things, not the least of which are the entwined stories of Cherry-Garrard's own mid-winter's march to collect egg samples from brooding Emperor Penguins and Scott's disastrous trip to (and most of the way back from) the South Pole. In between are long stretches of brilliant nature writing, kind but frank character study, technical analysis of sledging materials and conditions at a range of temperatures between -70 & 0 Celsius, etc., etc. (Tellingly, Cherry-Garrard survived three brutal years on McMurdo Sound, only to be invalided home from WWI in a matter of months. Likely the experiences of the first had weakened him for the second, but it says a great deal that the worst the Antarctic could throw at him was as nothing compared to the trenches of France.)

Despite my best intentions, I'll probably continue to grumble about cold winters in an Edinburgh flat, or the rigours of an eight-hour day spent tracking birds on Scottish moors. After having read this book, however, I'll blush every time I catch myself doing so.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome, in every sense of the word 22 Jun 2012
He wasn't lying with that title, but what's missed out is that it's perhaps the most incredible journey too, as well as one of the most incredible books I've ever read (if I could give this 10 stars it wouldn't be enough).

Concerning Scott's last expedition to the Antarctic of which I previously knew woefully little (even though he's a hometown boy), I no longer have to lament that fact thanks to this most comprehensive and compelling account by Apsley Cherry-Garrard who, at 24, was a member of the expedition (though not of the last dash to the pole) and made it back to tell the tale. Painstakingly compiled from not only Garrard's diaries and remembrances but also through those of the other men, from letters home and the many, meticulous records of the journey (it chiefly having a scientific object), Garrard fully presses home the ideal that these men strove to uphold even in the face of certain death - to shine a little light on the darkest, most inhospitable corners of the world and bring forth a little more knowledge, laying a foundation for those who came after to build upon.

Garrard does a truly fantastic job of immersing you in his material, not only giving you all of the detail surrounding the expedition down to temperatures, wind directions, logistics, etc but also painting a vivid picture of their lives there. Alongside the hardships there are moments of wonder and joy; in the beauty of their surroundings, of their discoveries and studies and in the way Garrard writes of the personalities of the animals and men (I adored the indomitable Bowers as, clearly, did Garrard).
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing but factual
My husband hasn't finished reading it yet so I haven't read it. However he really recommends it. There are amazing details - sleeping in wet sleeping bags and 60 degrees of frost... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Pamela Jane Jackson
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding Read
This book is simply a definitive account of the antarctic, which is just as poignant now as when it was written, how to endue, learn and the sadness of unfounded gilt.
Published 1 month ago by DAVE G
5.0 out of 5 stars Scott's bespectacled hero. Recommended
Cherry-Garrard does a fine job of writing. A reluctant author but he underestimated himself. He covers the whole Pole attempt well. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Roger D Thompson
4.0 out of 5 stars Travel Classic
No true traveller and historian would baulk at reading this brilliant book of the epic Scott led assault on the South Pole. Read more
Published 3 months ago by roger j parker
3.0 out of 5 stars Great title - many typos
Obviously an awesome title by Apsley Cherry Garrard. In the process of digitising this book for Kindle, many incorrections now pepper the text. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Mr P Broadhurst
5.0 out of 5 stars The Worst Journey
Words fail me on this one but it is just incredible just how much the human body,spirit and mind can withstand. Scott's last expedition is factual. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Passed happy memories depth of lost
Re read and still the feeling of profound loss ,the magnitude of the bravery and sacrifice.The like of people we will never see again,a generation of men who just did for the... Read more
Published 7 months ago by mrs m a gibbs
5.0 out of 5 stars Rivetting historical account by a true survivor
Its not the best written book in the world, but what it lacks in structure it more than makes up for in eloquence and passion. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Miss Samantha J White
3.0 out of 5 stars Not my cup of tea
I bought this for work research, not for pleasure reading, and I found it pretty dense and hard to get into. But it's good for reference.
Published 12 months ago by JB
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible endurance at a cost
This was a Christmas present which I was not sure I would ever read:but having picked it up to flick through I was hooked. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Nicolas Milne
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