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The Worst Journey In The World (Vintage Classics) Paperback – 1 Apr 2010


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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: 12.9 x 3.8 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 6,965 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"'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

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

49 of 49 people found the following review helpful By Bob Salter TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 5 Aug 2010
Format: Paperback
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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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By book lover on 28 Jan 2011
Format: Paperback
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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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By L. Gordo on 31 Dec 2012
Format: Paperback
A lazy edition of a brilliant book makes this a frustrating read:
1 No photos or diagrams. Some of the photos and drawings made at the Pole are tremendous but there isn't even one of the author.
2 Scant or non-existent explanation of dozens of technical and geographic terms or of who people were or their significance.
3 Maps - these were confusing (eg in one, the South Pole is to the top of the page, but in another it is to the bottom! This makes comparison difficult to say the least) or did not contain several places that were referred to in the text.
4 No explanation of who Sara Wheeler is, or who George Seaver was - they wrote the introductions and are clearly significant but we are not told who they are. And, not to denigrate their essays, but the 40 or so pages they took up could have been better used.

Buy the book but a different edition.
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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Nathaniel Wander on 4 Jun 2010
Format: Paperback
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 By Lisa Stanton on 22 Jun 2012
Format: Paperback
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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