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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Makes me want to jump in the freezer...
Wow!

I've read the previous endurance book from this strange pairing and had enjoyed the row every nautical mile of the way and even cried when they hit the shore but this adventure was even more gripping!

For 3 nights I stayed up far too late to reach the south pole with Ed, James and Ben whilst in the comfort of my own bed and was geniunely amazed...
Published on 15 July 2009 by E. K. Mackay

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Where's Ed?
A good read if you are interested in how to maintain a great attitude in the face of severe adversity - or even adpating to the milder trials and tribulatins of life!
However, I repeatedly wondered what Ed Coats - the third member of the team - was thinking as we heard diary style passages written by James Cracknell and Ben Fogle.
Although they were treking over...
Published on 18 Jan. 2011 by B Harteley


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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Makes me want to jump in the freezer..., 15 July 2009
By 
E. K. Mackay "stargazing4eva" (birmingham, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Race to the Pole (Hardcover)
Wow!

I've read the previous endurance book from this strange pairing and had enjoyed the row every nautical mile of the way and even cried when they hit the shore but this adventure was even more gripping!

For 3 nights I stayed up far too late to reach the south pole with Ed, James and Ben whilst in the comfort of my own bed and was geniunely amazed in the sportsmanship, team dynamics and sheer bravery of these 3 guys.

A must read for all armchair travellers, wannabe explorers and dreamers alike...!
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Money well spent, 9 July 2009
By 
P. Wardle (Manchester, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Race to the Pole (Hardcover)
Having read the previous adventures of Fogle and Cracknell rowing the Atlantic (and enjoying it immensly), I was hopeful that this would be just as entertaining. It is! The style of writing is quite personal and as the events unfold you really get a sense of each explorer's characteristics and motivations. The dynamics and relationship between the two are complicated yet eloquantly explored and at times brutally honest. A great holiday read-light hearted and interesting.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Race to the Pole, 5 May 2010
By 
Spider Monkey (UK) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
`Race to the Pole' is Fogles and Cracknells account of their race to the south pole and if you have seen the BBC series then you will have a good idea what the race and their experiences entailed. This book goes through their preparation, training, pre race illness' and the race itself. Fogle had to fight off a tropical illness before the race, as well as his wife having a miscarriage on the eve of departure and yet he still managed to finish the race as one of the strongest team members, much kudos is due. One aspect of the story that will keep you hooked is the friendly rivalry with a Norwegian team which mirrors the original expedition in the early 1900's when Amundsen and Scott also raced to the pole. In the series Cracknell comes across as arrogant and obnoxious and he put the team in danger at many points with his attitude and whilst this also comes across in the book, you also see the reasoning behind his behaviour (rather than just the actual behaviour itself) and you soon realise he was behaving the way he did due to extreme fatigue and race injuries. For a gold medal winning, hyper competitive Olympian it must have been very hard to take being the weakest member of the team and this explains some of his outbursts and attitude. The third team member, Ed Coats, isn't involved in the writing of the book but does get adequate mention and even though he seemed to be bullied by Cracknel in the TV series, their obvious admiration for each other comes through in the pages of the book. There are also two colour plates showing various aspects of the race, including Cracknells seriously worn and wrecked feet! This is a gripping and well written story and their strength and determination in hostile conditions is inspirational and I got choked up at the end when they finally achieved their goal. Well worth a look for fans of the series or of real life adventure books.

Feel free to check out my blog which can be found on my profile page.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Race to the Pole, 28 July 2009
By 
C. Teasdale (London, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Race to the Pole (Hardcover)
Great easy read, perfect book for your travels.

After reading their previous book, "The Crossing" I was looking forward to Cracknell and Fogle's next crazy endeavour. Once the book arrived it didn't disappoint, I didn't put it down for the next 2 days. Brilliant.

A really good read, and just like their previous book quite inspiring and revealing. If you enjoy sport in any way it's definitely worth a read.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Utterly captivating, 20 Jun. 2011
By 
J. Potter "johniebg" (Berkshire, England) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
I was aware of James Cracknell of course from his olympian exploits, was vaguely aware of the Atlantic rowing and then caught the recent Discovery series on TV. It was the first time I had seen Cracknell live and I was utterly enthralled. I kept thinking to myself what an incredible man he is and utterly, utterly mad. 'Go Cracknell' became my mantra whenever I had nothing left to give, no matter the realm I was working in. So when I got this for my birthday I was very pleased.

This book is about a race to the South Pole in much the same style as the rowing, in as much as teams of extreme sports or endurance athletes start at the same place and then see who can cover the considerable distance over the worlds most inhospitable terrain the quickest. In this case 850 kilometres across the Antarctic to the South Pole, recreating for the first time the historic journeys of the Norwegian Roald Amundsen and the British Robert Scott. Which ended with Scott's team perishing on their way back. The book is written from the perspective of James and Ben and covers the year prior to and the whole of the race. Quite simply it is utterly captivating. I literally read the first chapter at ten in the morning and put it down after finishing the last astonishing chapter at eight that night.

What makes this so enthralling beside journeying through hell with these men, is the wildly contrasting personalities of Cracknell and Fogle. Despite being the best of friends they are almost total opposites. This along with the very honest narrative is what makes this an incredible experience for the reader. While Cracknell is this driven physical uber-specimen that cannot turn from any kind of competition, Ben Fogle is very human and considered. Despite being in awe of Cracknell it was Fogle's very open point of view that stays with me in recalling the story.

Special mention should go to three people that don't have a voice in the book but exist throughout through the observations of Cracknell and Fogle. That is of Ed Coates the third member of the team who seemed like a real counterbalance between the two and went on from feeling like a spare part to being the only one that would stand up to Cracknell when it was needed. Huge admiration comes through both men's narrative. The second is Marina Fogle who's story immediately before the race and her bravery, resonates all the way through it. And the third is Beverley Turner, Cracknells wife. She can only be some kind of woman. A letter she wrote him before he left, that he gets on Christmas day, is so full of love, resignation and how she manages him. A real insight. Especially if you then discover how she is dealing with Cracknell's near fatal accident and ongoing injuries during 2010. Her book: The Pits, about her time as a Formula One correspondent is next in line.

The only downside is the fact there is not even one chapter from Ed Coates. I understand why and it does seem he is a very private person, but his voice, especially at the end would have been very welcome. It is a small winge and I very highly recommend this book. It left me with a sense of wanting to accomplish, awe at incredible people and inspired by an incredible achievement.

Hope this was helpful.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Race to the Pole, 27 Feb. 2010
By 
Spider Monkey (UK) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Race to the Pole (Hardcover)
`Race to the Pole' is Fogles and Cracknells account of their race to the south pole and if you have seen the BBC series then you will have a good idea what the race and their experiences entailed. This book goes through their preparation, training, pre race illness' and the race itself. Fogle had to fight off a tropical illness before the race, as well as his wife having a miscarriage on the eve of departure and yet he still managed to finish the race as one of the strongest team members, much kudos is due. One aspect of the story that will keep you hooked is the friendly rivalry with a Norwegian team which mirrors the original expedition in the early 1900's when Amundsen and Scott also raced to the pole. In the series Cracknell comes across as arrogant and obnoxious and he put the team in danger at many points with his attitude and whilst this also comes across in the book, you also see the reasoning behind his behaviour (rather than just the actual behaviour itself) and you soon realise he was behaving the way he did due to extreme fatigue and race injuries. For a gold medal winning, hyper competitive Olympian it must have been very hard to take being the weakest member of the team and this explains some of his outbursts and attitude. The third team member, Ed Coats, isn't involved in the writing of the book but does get adequate mention and even though he seemed to be bullied by Cracknel in the TV series, their obvious admiration for each other comes through in the pages of the book. There are also two colour plates showing various aspects of the race, including Cracknells seriously worn and wrecked feet! This is a gripping and well written story and their strength and determination in hostile conditions is inspirational and I got choked up at the end when they finally achieved their goal. Well worth a look for fans of the series or of real life adventure books.

Feel free to check out my blog which can be found on my profile page.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A cracking good yarn!, 27 Jun. 2012
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This review is from: Race to the Pole: Conquering Antarctica in the world's toughest endurance race (Kindle Edition)
I really enjoyed this book. Both Fogle and Cracknell have an easy to read writing style that takes the reader along on the journey with them. Cracknell's slightly more acerbic wit is offset by Fogal's more affable, sometimes concerned sometimes gung ho approach. I loved the preparation details as they trained and practiced, then the acclimatisation time before getting ready for the actual race. Comical and sad as the roller coaster of emotions and harsh conditions take their toll on the minds and bodies of the three men, it is an exciting and interesting journey to the underside of the world. I would have given it a five star rating if there had only been some photos to go with it. I was sad to come to the end of the book and have now ordered the DVD of their journey across the Atlantic. Enjoy.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Honest and brutal!!!, 14 Feb. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Race to the Pole: Conquering Antarctica in the world's toughest endurance race (Kindle Edition)
Just think, a book about some lads skiing across a vast whiteness with nothing to look at for the whole journey, it sounds very bland and dull doesn't it?!
Well this book is complete opposite. We get a good insight into the minds of these fantastic athletes!
Although the kindle prices are very high it was worth the 5pounds or so I paid for it.
It made me want to go out and pull tyres up and down the beach to get fit for something like this. Its inspirational to read and informative in parts. Its just unfortuante I'm an everyday average nobody and probably wont ever get chance to set foot on the great white continent but in a way I feel I've already been there with fogle, ed and crackers! Well done lads!!

A great read, buy it!!!!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Ripping good yarn, 25 Dec. 2009
This review is from: Race to the Pole (Hardcover)
Told alternately from Fogle's perspective and then Cracknell's perspective, the book details not only the trek across Antarctica to the south pole but also the run up and preparation for it. I can really imagine the two authors' voices. Very well written, engaging, entertaining, insightful, gripping.

Not the kind of book I would have bought for myself, but it's turned out to be a fantastic read. Some heart-rending stuff happened behind the scenes (I won't spoilt it for you) that adds to the emotional weight of the journey. And the conditions that they put up with were amazing: really puts into perspective the bit of slightly bad weather we've had here recdently!

Highly, highly recommended.
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4.0 out of 5 stars The Ultimate Challenge, 1 Dec. 2014
By 
Mme Christine Hart "Christine Hart" (Languedoc, France) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: Race to the Pole: Conquering Antarctica in the world's toughest endurance race (Kindle Edition)
Having read the book about the row across the Atlantic, and enjoyed it very much, I enjoyed this book too. I find that the interaction between James and Ben is fascinating and in this book there were role reversals and the amazing thing was that James learned that he is not invincible. I have experienced his overriding drive to win when he was an 18 year old and my daughter was in the same GB Junior Rowing Team. I would recommend this book to anyone who is interested in real life challenges and the will to achieve success against all odds. I would have given it 5 stars but I was slightly disappointed that there was no input from the third member of the team
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