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South (Illustrated) Kindle Edition
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|Kindle Edition, 26 Jan 2014||
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Top Customer Reviews
Naturally nothing went right. Shackleton's ship, the Endurance, was trapped in pack ice which sealed her in and eventually crushed her. Abandoning the ship, and unable to reach the continental land mass itself, Shackleton led his men from ice floe to ice floe, setting up camps and abandoning them when the floes broke in two (as they frequently did) eventually ending up on a tiny, unexplored island with only three ships boats to provide shelter and living off the scarce resources of an inhospitible land.
In simply the bravest move I have ever heard about, Shackleton decided that to reach help he had to sail across the southern Atlantic in a tiny open rowing boat to the island of South Georgia - over three hundred miles away. Once there and safely landed he then had to march across the desolate island to reach the whaling communities on the far side - something that had been thought of as impossible.
South made Shackleton's name as an explorer - and you can see why. The story is staggering - even more impressive when you consider that only one of Shacklton's party perished in their two year stay on the ice.
If I have any criticisms it is that lack of any review or explanation of the book by an editor. Penguin Classics, their reprinting of the works of the Classical writers, are all prefaced by an editor who provides much of the back story and explanations of the times in which the books were written.Read more ›
The book is similar to Shackleton's first writing, 'The Heart of the Antarctic' in that it is a report and it's style is very matter of fact. This limits the early and later chapters, because they chronicle and summarise the administrative parts of the expedition. Although it is important to understand the organisation, logistics and motives for Shackleton and his comrades, it does not provide the thrills that this book is famous for.
When the thrills come they hit you hard, and Shackleton's matter of fact style then begins to help you become absorbed in the way these men faced insurmountable odds, and continued bravely, knowing that failure would mean certain death. I found myself pausing during reading, just to sit and think about how terrible and helpless their situation became. It was at the most dire occasions that Shackleton's awe inspiring leadership and self belief showed most. I felt there was much to learn from his approach: 'A man must shape himself to a new mark directly the old one goes to ground' Wise words from an exceptional man.
As a Kindle book it would have been greatly improved by the inclusion of maps and any illustrations mentioned in the text.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I've not ready the book yet, but I can see a rather large error. On the front page it has the date wrong, by just over a 1000 years! 914-1917. Whoops!!!Published 2 days ago by Amazon Customer
Of all the accounts of Shackleton's expedition that I've read or seen, none matches this original by the man himself. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Bluey
Recommended, this book of Shackleton's was read out of interest and to satisfy an urge to read something serious. It did not disappoint on either front. Read morePublished 1 month ago by john mckenna
A superb book written by an extraordinary man. Compulsory reading for aspiring blue-sea mariners ... and anyone else who feels there is no way out of a problem!Published 1 month ago by Dave