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Making a dream a reality,
This review is from: In Shackleton's Footsteps: A Return to the Heart of the Antarctic (Hardcover)
Will Gow had the idea of mounting a centenary expedition comprised of descendents of Shackleton's original team to celebrate the Nimrod Expedition to the South Pole in 1908/09. Henry Worsley was introduced to Will by Shackleton's granddaughter, Alexandra, and Henry Adams heard about it when Will was being interviewed on the radio about the project. In this way three complete strangers were put together to try to achieve something extraordinary.
This book tells how it is possible to make a dream become reality. Henry Worsley's account of five years spent preparing for and then retracing the route taken by Shackleton's Nimrod Expedition 100 years earlier is difficult to put down. It is fascinating to read about how the relationships developed between the three protagonists under such harsh and confined conditions.
In 1909, having covered about 820 miles, Shackleton had to make the decision to turn back 97 miles from the South Pole in order to save the lives of his men. A key objective of the centenary expedition was to stand on the same "furthest south" spot 100 years to the day later. Setting themselves a precise deadline like this for such an expedition introduced extra stresses as the weather closed in delaying their planned departure. Poignantly Ernest Shackleton's original compass makes this journey for the second time, but on this occasion is carried on to the South Pole itself.
An added bonus is that interweaved into this account is the description of the original expedition so one is also able to compare and learn about Shackleton's journey. Throughout the book you are taken back 100 years to compare what life was like at the same moment for the original team. Then each evening the Centenary Expedition would read out the relevant entry from Shackleton's diary so the reader gets an insight into both journeys simultaneously.
I really enjoyed the objective, down to earth and honest style the book is written in. You get a real feeling of just how physically and mentally tough the journey is and Henry Worsley is very honest about his emotions when dealing with this. An inspirational and gripping account that I found enormously readable. Excellent stuff.