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on 21 August 2017
My partner has said this was a very good read.
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on 12 June 2018
Excellent
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on 2 August 2017
Great read for either education or leisure purposes
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on 10 March 2013
This book is produced by a print on demand operation which does not even bother to proof read the extremely inaccurate result of scanning the original text. Shoddy piece of work.
One person found this helpful
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on 24 January 2011
'The South Pole' is an account by Roald Amundsen of his expedition to the Antarctic in 1910-12. In fact, it is 4 books (or more) in one, for it includes an introductory history of polar exploration, an account of Amundsen's own overland journey to the Pole, a further account of the parallel part of the the expedition - an exploratory sledge journey - and a narration of the full journey of his ship the 'Fram', which sailed an incredible 54,400 nautical miles taking the main party to and from the Pole and conducting scientific research. In addition there are several detailed appendices.

The book is written in an incredibly easy-flowing and eminently readable style.

Three aspects in particular made a deep impression on me. First was the man himself - Amundsen. Incredibly brave and courageous; incredibly competent, and a much loved leader of his men. In terms of leadership, he was quite different from Captain Scott - his rival. Whereas Scott organised his expeditions on naval disciplinary lines, with officers and ordinary expedition members strictly separate, Amundsen, though as much if not more a leader, regarded his men as his equals - and shared everything.

Secondly, the expedition was professionally driven. Prior to this 2+ year undertaking, Amundsen had not visited the Antarctic before. Yet his preparation was meticulous, foreseeing almost every eventuality. In particular, he knew that his only way to achieve success was by reliance on dog-hauled sledges and his use of over 100 dogs is described beautifully.

Thirdly, the book demonstrates the remarkable levels of skills which men possessed a century ago, before the modern technological innovations which proceeded apace in the 20th century. Sailing skills were exceptional. Long before GPS, with relatively primitive instruments, latitude, longitude and altitude were calculated with unerring accuracy both at sea and on the ice bound land-mass. The ability to survive in an unrelenting climate, for many days and months on end, by careful planning, prodigious knowledge and an aptitude for innovation when circumstances dictated, were second-to-none.

This is a superb book. Highly recommended.
11 people found this helpful
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on 12 August 2013
This story has no embellishments. The narrative is factual and doesn't gloss over the treatment of the dogs which were both loved and expendable.
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on 11 January 2014
excellent translation , which loses none of the Norwegian nuances . Very informative, Amundsen wrote well and the book flows along merrily. Get part 2 or suffer an unbearable cliffhanger (even if you know all about his South Pole adventure)
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on 18 January 2013
Fantastic book, makes you wonder how men endured these hardships and never moaned about a thing. I would of loved to have been there.
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on 12 June 2011
It's interesting to compare this account with Apsley Cherry-Garrard's story of the Scott expedition. They were both racing for the south pole but Amundsen relied on very careful preparation and an experienced team + a great respect for the conditions whereas Scott was poorly prepared, trusting more in late Victorian macho imperialism famously represented by his man pulled sledges. Everything works right for Amundsen in this excellent account of turn of the century polar exploration.
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on 14 January 2013
This is a good factual account of the Norweigans trip to the South Pole but I found the author's attitude somewhat smug and complacent with everything going according to plan or even better and with no mistakes made, and with the problems with crevasses on the journey somewhat trivialised. This is probably still a Scandinavian trait.
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