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4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
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on 16 October 2000
I read this book whilst under the hot sun of North Cyprus and could almost feel the cold of the Antarctic - the writing is that good. It is one of those books that you just don't want to put down. The hardships and suffering experienced by these explorers, without any form of contact with the outside world, is just amazing. Read it, you won't be disappointed.
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on 18 November 2013
I had a copy of this book which I gave to a friend so ordered a replacement. My order was fulfilled quickly and efficiently. This copy is better as it has some wonderful illustrations. It is a cracking good read and I can't wait to read it again in due course.
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on 24 October 2011
So much has been already said about Shakleton it would be preseumptuous of me to try to add anything. This book does justice to a great leader. Yes he made mistakes, and might have misjudged his goal to begin with. But Shakleton was unsurpassable when it came to leadership. Having given up on his initial goal because of force majeure, he displayed unparalleled cold blood, sound judgement and navigational skills in taking his whole crew back home alive.

Lansing's prose is fascinating, he takes the reader right onto the ship, and then in the midst of the crew for the trek across Antarctica. This book is history but reads like a thriller.

It is amazing that such heroic feat was accomplished in the face of defeat: Shakleton had set out to cross the Antarctic continent, the last major polar expedition waiting to be completed after Peary had conquered the North Pole in 1909 and Amundsen had reached the South Pole in 1911. Crossing the continent would have been an even greater journey. In that, Shakleton failed, but in defeat he became a legend.
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on 2 October 2014
I've owned this book for years and read it at least once a year. It's by far the best book about this age of exploration and survival that I'm aware of, the photography brings this unimaginable story to life. Epic!!
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on 23 November 2011
Heroism, mental toughness, team work, leadership and much more abound. This is the absolutely astonishing saga of explorer Ernest Shackleton and his entire team's fight for survival after their ship, The Endurance, was beset by ice in the Antarctic in the period 1914-1916. They spent almost one and a half years in arguably the most extreme environment imaginable; living on constantly shifting ice floes and the bleak dot of land called Elephant Island, before a small group from within the crew sailed East, almost 650 nautical miles, across the Drake Passage (host to the worst seas on earth) to South Georgia to attempt a rescue. My second reading and it just keeps getting better!

For anyone interested in a business take on Shackleton, I recommend that you read "Shackleton's Way: Leadership Lessons from the Great Antarctic Explorer" by Margot Morrell, Stephanie Capparell, Alexandra Shackleton.
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on 10 July 2013
A friend of mine recommended this book to me and I have to say I found it very difficult to put down. I almost felt the goose pimples when they team finally makes it way across. The style of writing is very lucid and portrays the day to day struggles of surviving in such harsh environments ever so well. Thoroughly recommend this book if you like to read on human courage and determination.
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on 29 January 2012
I read this book some years ago and borrowed it from the library again last week. It is an excellent read and it flows at a great pace whilst keeping superb attention to detail. The author vividly recreates the initial doomed voyage and the scramble for survival over the following months. I read a slightly older version of this book which had a huge number of photos spread throughout which made the read that more enjoyable and brought the story to life for me.
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VINE VOICEon 14 February 2011
First off...I had not realised that Lansing's book was written and first published in the 1950's. The style is just so contemporary and fresh. I have to confess that I first started reading this book a few years ago but for some reason I put it on the back burner after about 30 pages. Why ??? I have no idea for it is one of the most harrowing yet unputdownable books I've ever read.
The story is almost beyond fiction and so vivid are the descriptions of suffering and deprivation that one closes the book feeling quite anxious and disturbed! Suffice it to say,there is no need to offer a blow by blow account of the story for it should be well known to most interested readers.However,Lansing is a superb writer whose account is just so descriptive and alive that it almost feels like the first hand account of a survivor.
I came back to Endurance after seeing a Shackleton/Endurance exhibition at the Liverpool Maritime Museum. It was a brilliant production featuring Frank Hurley's stunning photographs charting the expedition from it's optimistic beginnings through to Endurance's entrapment in the ice pack of the Weddell Sea to the launch of the John Caird from Elephant Island. The start of Shackleton's heroic rescue attempt.
A seminal book about a seminal event in exploration.
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on 15 March 2009
An extraordinary story from a different age, when virtually no one on the planet had seen a penguin, and steel boats had yet to be generally accepted as viable.
Shackleton was, from all available evidence, an exemplary leader. Though certainly capable of errors of judgement (for example his attempt to find land and pursue the expeditions aims when surely these were lost), he was able to inspire his charges to withstand and indeed revel in extreme conditions and physical and mental duress to which only a very few people have ever been exposed.
Lansing combines the diaries of expedition members with the results of exhaustive interviews to produce a thoroughly compelling and detailed record of the survival of the Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition through trials with which, we can only hope, we shall never be confronted.
I find it somewhat difficult, from our modern perpective, to decide if the entire venture was well founded or an exercise in damn-foolishness; however the courage and determination of those involved is beyond doubt, as is the stature of this book as the definitive telling of one of the greatest (mis)adventure stories ever.
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on 23 November 2011
One of the most gripping books I have read in a decade. The true life tale of Shackleton's journey to the Antarctic. More riveting then any work of fiction, but all based on the detailed diaries kept by Shackleton and his crew. If you know the full story or not Alfred Lansing has written a spellbinding book you will have difficulty in putting down.
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