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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly absorbing
Antarctica - the last unknown wilderness. And yet it's been better-explored over the centuries than any of us probably knew. In fact, there is so much history to this vast continent that one of the main challenges to John Harrison must have been to condense it into just over 400 pages. This he does in the skilful crafting of "bite-sized" chunks; between and even during...
Published on 27 Oct. 2012 by LittleTiger

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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good in places
The early exploration stuff is good. The book tends to lose its way. It has chapters at the end which are really fillers.
Published on 15 Feb. 2013 by Vince


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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly absorbing, 27 Oct. 2012
Antarctica - the last unknown wilderness. And yet it's been better-explored over the centuries than any of us probably knew. In fact, there is so much history to this vast continent that one of the main challenges to John Harrison must have been to condense it into just over 400 pages. This he does in the skilful crafting of "bite-sized" chunks; between and even during the chapters of all the explorers, both well- and little-known, the author adds all sorts of interesting insights about penguins, research, territorial disputes and agreements, meteorological gems and all sort of other topics. I didn't know, for instance, that there were even as many as two forms of flora on the continent in these modern times (the ancient supercontinent of Gondwana shows evidence of abundant plant life millions of years ago.

Sometimes a book combining so many different specialities (geology, geography, biology, history, etc.) can be mind-bogglingly tedious. The author avoids such pitfalls. His style of writing is, as my title suggests, highly absorbing. He never talks down to his readership, a high number of whom may never have had the privilege of visiting "The White Continent", but nor does he blind the lay person with science. The history is juxtaposed with little personal comments of his time down in Antarctica, and having crossed The Drake Passage 80 times, his 40 journeys have clearly given him a wealth of experience which he willingly and generously shares with the reader. It is a continent which intrigues mankind with its mystery and whilst there will be always questions of what, where, why, how, which will continue to lure people to explore further, John Harrison makes a fine job of teasing apart some of that mystery in this compelling book.

Have you been? Are you now planning to go? This is a book for everyone. I hope you all enjoy it as much as I did.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Who discovered antartica?, 12 Sept. 2012
This is a terrific book about antartica. It is an essential buy for anyone thinking of visiting the place and yes people do visit, thousands of them apparently. If, like me, you don't go for frozen holidays, you can be enthralled from the comfort of your living room at the men, and ocassionally women, who are brave enough and crazy enough to go to one of the most inhospitable places on earth. I have read quite a few books about antartica, including this author's other book;'Where the Earth Ends' but this is the first book to seriously question who actually discovered the earth's last continent, who first set foot on it. The answer is a merchant Captain from Britain no one has ever heard of. The likes of Shackleton, Scott, Amundsen and Cook are all household names but the real discoverer of the antartic, as detailed here, died unknown and in penury in London's East End. Surely such a man deserves better than that?
Harrison's book is a vertual compendium of antartica both modern and historical. The writing is engaging and has a lively wit. To anyone remotely interested in the antartic and its history, this book is a must have.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Must read for anyone interested in Antarctica, 16 July 2012
Whether you have been to Antarctica or are thinking of going, you mustn't miss this book. I really enjoyed the stories of John's personal trips down there and the book is quirky, fascinating, full of facts 1 didn't know about the clever, brave and often mad people who charted, explored and actually discovered it. Great read
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A bone-tinglingly good read about the lost continent, 10 Sept. 2013
By 
TRISTAN - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Forgotten Footprints: Lost Stories in the Discovery of Antarctica (Kindle Edition)
I don't often review books on Amazon but I felt compelled to do so here. I'm fascinated by Antarctica so a friend recommended this as a must-read. I paid full prize for it on Amazon. I wasn't disappointed.

John Harrison has written a lucid page turner which will chill even the most coddled of armchair readers to the bone. It's the next best thing to being on the continent oneself. I read somewhere that Mr Harrison has travelled to the deep south 40 or so times. It shows. His own reminisces flow beautifully into the explorers tales of which he so crisply writes about. Ah, what a book.

The best thing though... Shackleton's adventures are great. Scott's told in all its honesty. Amundsen's trip is given due service, all gripping stuff, and illuminating given the context of the period, environment and personalities. But it's the unsung, undiscovered heroes of the wilderness - few of which I'd ever heard off - who's stories are even more compelling.

Amazon sent me a link to Mr Harrison's other book, Where the Earth Ends, about Patagonia when I finished this on my Kindle. Yep, I brought that one too. Forgotten Footprints. Not any more they're not.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars True stories re-interpreted by an Antarctic expert, 7 Jan. 2013
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This review is from: Forgotten Footprints: Lost Stories in the Discovery of Antarctica (Kindle Edition)
The five star rating for this book is based simply on the way epic tales are re-told. Harrison knows his way round these hostile lands at the end of the planet, so has a clear vision of what these explorers and 'exploiters' faced in times gone by. And he brings this to life very vividly. But it's a book to be read while in bed with the electric blanket set on high. Recommended without reservation.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Southern wilderness, 26 Feb. 2013
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This review is from: Forgotten Footprints: Lost Stories in the Discovery of Antarctica (Kindle Edition)
Having read many books on Antarctica over the years,including the great" Worst Journey in The World" I was not expecting much from this book,and was delighted by it.
It tells the story of people most of us will never have heard of,stories of adventure and endurance which make great
reading for those interesed in the White South.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book!, 16 Feb. 2013
By 
Harribo (North Yorkshire) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Forgotten Footprints: Lost Stories in the Discovery of Antarctica (Kindle Edition)
I loved this book. I was surprised at how many explorers had been to this region and suffered so much. The stories were fascinating.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating, 7 Jan. 2013
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This review is from: Forgotten Footprints: Lost Stories in the Discovery of Antarctica (Kindle Edition)
A very interesting set of stories for those interested in history, geography or science. Full of fascinating details.Does make you ashamed though, for instance I had not realised whaling went on so intensively up to World War One.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating, 7 Jan. 2013
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This review is from: Forgotten Footprints: Lost Stories in the Discovery of Antarctica (Kindle Edition)
A Kindle Daily Deal buy and a very good one. Fascinating accounts which you can dip in and out of, really brings Antarctica to life. Fully indexed so makes for very easy dipping!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Putting Antarctic Exploration Into Perspective, 2 Jan. 2013
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This review is from: Forgotten Footprints: Lost Stories in the Discovery of Antarctica (Kindle Edition)
Those of us brought up on Scott, Amundsen and Shackleton can find here a lot of other brave, (or foolhardy) explorers to admire or be baffled by. Some were hopeful of personal gain, some of fame, many just wanted to increase knowledge of a frozen waste-land at risk of hardship and danger. All seem to have been courageous, if sometimes forced to be so by lack of foresight, and it is good to read of their experiences from the pen of a man with experience first-hand of the conditions met in the Antarctic. This book is well worth the read.
theojoliver
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