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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Marvellous account from the heroic age of polar exploration, 19 May 2013
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This review is from: The Worst Journey in the World: Antarctic 1910-1913 (Kindle Edition)
Cherry- Garrard was one of the unsung heroes of Scott's last polar expedition. With two others, he undertook a journey of some weeks duration, through the polar night, to find eggs of the Emperor Penguin. Their experiences were quite unbelievable and the fortitude they displayed incredible. Imagine spending an hour each night thawing your way into your sleeping bag so you could lie in tepid dampness rather than freeze!. My writing skills do not let me do justice to the toughness and heroism of this man and his colleagues. If you never read another book about polar exploration, read this one. Only given four stars because he is a slow though methodical writer. Passages can safely be skimmed through with no loss of understanding of the whole.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best book in the world, 15 May 2013
By 
jelly 1960 "jelly1960" (London) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Worst Journey in the World: Antarctic 1910-1913 (Kindle Edition)
This is easily the best travel/exploration book I've ever read.

The author was a young member of the landed gentry who had no real qualifications for inclusion in Scott's expedition and would have been automatically excluded on grounds of his poor sight alone. He offered the enormous sum of 5,000 to be included in the party and was rejected by Scott. He then told Scott that he could keep the 5,000 and Scott, impressed by this grand gesture and encouraged by Wilson, who knew Cherry, decided to take him as an "assistant zoologist" for which Cherry had few if any qualifications.

His journey with Wilson and Bowers in the pitch dark of the Antarctic winter to collect a handful of penguin eggs was one of the most amazing feats of endurance and sheer bloody-mindedness ever undertaken. The journey was of course overshadowed by the ultimate fate of Scott's polar party, but must be read to be believed. The irony of how Cherry and his ill-fated companions struggled in the face of death to get a couple of eggs and how he managed to carry them back to London where they were treated with indifference by the Natural History Museum adds a touch of pathos to the whole thing.

Cherry's description of the loss of Scott's party and the start of his life-long agonising over how he might have saved Scott is startling in its power to evoke sympathy even a century later. Cherry was consumed with regret for the rest of his life and endured years of depression as he wondered what might have been.

This is a truly wonderful book on a dozen different levels. It's a fantastic account of an epic journey, but so much more. Full of dry humour and droll wit. And above all a real insight into Scott from somebody who worked under him and saw his methods and character at first hand.

The Introduction starts:

Polar Exploration is at once the cleanest and most isolated way of having a bad time which has been devised.

The final words of the book are:

If you march your Winter Journeys you will have your reward, so long as all you want is a penguin's egg.

Read this and give yourself a treat.
(And when you've finished, try "Cherry. A Life of Apsley Cherry-Garrard" by Sara Wheeler, a wonderfully compassionate biography who really brings Cherry to life. A great read too.)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the worst journey in the world, 21 Feb 2013
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This review is from: The Worst Journey in the World: Antarctic 1910-1913 (Kindle Edition)
Great read. One of the best stories of hardship and endurance in Antarctica exploration.Sadly also questions organisation of the expedition.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great writing - though some slower bits, 21 Sep 2013
By 
John Hopper (London, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
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This review is from: The Worst Journey in the World: Antarctic 1910-1913 (Kindle Edition)
This book, written by one of the members of Scott's extended team on his final South Polar expedition, has been described as the greatest travel book ever. The Worst Journey in the World of the title is, though, not Scott's fatal one, but the author's own winter journey in darkness with two companions to retrieve Emperor penguin eggs. That dark and bleak journey is well told, as was the suffering of the Last Return Party and the sufferings by scurvy of one of its members that left him temporarily abandoned (he later made a full recovery). Scott's final, fatal journey is of course very gripping and tragic, with Scott's own diary entries recounting the diminishing number of miles covered each day and half day, the worsening weather conditions and the deteriorating physical weakness of his party (though one of the five, Edgar Evans, considered the strongest, actually weakened and died before those extreme weather conditions set in). This is a superb sequence of writing, though I suppose I was disappointed that Scott's final journey only took up a small portion of the book (2 of 19 chapters). Between these three dramatic accounts of specific journeys, there are long passages which, while well written, do get rather repetitive, with sometimes over long quotes from individuals' accounts that cover the same or very similar ground. So I do have to say in all honesty that this did drag in places. The final chapter contains a close analysis by the author of the reasons for failure of Scott's party, including the lack of oil caused by leakages, inadequate food rations for men pulling sledges, and unexpectedly extreme cold weather, including the blizzard that kept the final three survivors confined to their tent for 10 days before dying, only 11 miles from another food depot (Oates, unable to go on due to frostbitten feet, having already carried out his self sacrifice a couple of days earlier). The author himself, who was the one who discovered the bodies of Scott, Wilson and Bowers 8 months after their deaths, encountered even worse things two years later during the first world war and apparently suffered lifelong depression as a result.

(This Kindle edition unfortunately lacked the photos, drawings and maps which reduced its impact)
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5.0 out of 5 stars What a journery, 12 Feb 2013
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This review is from: The Worst Journey in the World: Antarctic 1910-1913 (Kindle Edition)
A good book. Full of (real) atmosphere of the struggles and the interaction between the group members. And full of love actually...
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5.0 out of 5 stars best travel book ever, 30 Jan 2013
This review is from: The Worst Journey in the World: Antarctic 1910-1913 (Kindle Edition)
Possibly the best ever travel book! I have read this five times and i am still amazed at the levels of hardship and extreme conditions these explorers went through.
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5.0 out of 5 stars amazing, 2 Oct 2012
This review is from: The Worst Journey in the World: Antarctic 1910-1913 (Kindle Edition)
this was the first book on Antarctica i have ever read and iam now completely hooked on antarctica. such an amazing story best book i have ever read!!
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brrrrrrrrrrrrrave!!, 18 April 2012
By 
L. Brealey (S.W.England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Worst Journey in the World: Antarctic 1910-1913 (Kindle Edition)
This is a true story of outstanding bravery at the South Pole. It is the story of Bowers, Wilson and Cherry the latter being the author. This covers the period before the race to the South Pole when these three went off on their own expedition to collect samples and what they battled against. It is a miracle that they survived and even reading this gives you frostbite!! Read in a warm room.
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