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South: The Story of Sh...
 
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Ernest Shackleton
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South: The Story of Shackleton's Last Expedition (1914-1917)

4.21 of 5 stars 4.21  ·  rating details  ·  2,763 ratings  ·  201 reviews
In August of 1914 Sir Ernest Shackleton set out with a crew of twenty-eight aboard the ship 'Endurance' in an effort to become the first men to cross the vast Antarctic land mass. Their adventurous tale of exploration soon became a struggle for survival when the ship was enclosed by a sea of ice which slowly crushed it leaving them stranded in a barren icy wilderness. What...more
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Published January 1st 2011 by Neeland Media LLC (first published 1919)
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Annie Smidt
Despite sitting here in October whining to myself about my cold fingers while typing, I have to admit I've got kind of a thing for grueling polar expeditions and the occasional 19th century disastrous sea voyage. I especially have a thing for Mr. Shackleton, the great heroic failure of the Edwardian era. (Not my words, but I don't recall who said them — someone on NPR, I expect).

This book is the detailed accounts of Shackleton's last Antarctic journey. He takes a crew on the Endurance to the Wed...more
Pete daPixie
Most certainly, as exploration adventure survival stories go, Shackleton's 'South' has to be in the premier league. My copy in the Penquin Classics series, (which contains those excellent black and white photographs of Frank Hurley's), originally published from Shackleton's memoirs/logs from the Endurance expedition in 1919.
If ever a ship was more aptly named! Of course, this epic tale has been re-told in other books and on film. Sir Ernest Shackleton's 1914 expedition was to be a Trans-Antarcti...more
Yorkshiresoul
Back when men were men. At the outbreak of WWI Shackleton had outfitted two ships and crews to try a continental crossing of the Antarctic. He offered to halt the expedition but was ordered to continue by Winston Churchill. Famously, the crossing never took place. What did happen was an increasingly desperate fight to survive by the two ship's crews on opposite sides of the polar continent.

The book is largely made up of extracts from Shackleton's own diary and the diaries of some of the other ex...more
Michael
I read this book a long time ago and when I started my profile on Goodreads I some how forgot this book. It was a extraordinary book. It was the first book I read about Arctic exploration and because of this book I have read a few more on the subject. So this book opened the door to a new subject for me... And I have to say, every book I have read on Arctic exploration has been amazing. THESE guys were as tough and brave as they come!!! The usual problems of exploration weren't enough... Scurvy,...more
My Inner Shelf
Envoûtée par ces aventures polaires, j’ai enchaîné avec L’odyssée de l’Endurance, qui relate la 4e expédition britannique en Antarctique du XXe siècle. Le pôle Sud ayant été atteint en décembre 1911 par le Norvégien Amundsen, et Shackleton ayant toujours le goût de l’aventure, il ne lui reste plus qu’à tenter la traversée du continent, de la mer de Weddel à l’île de Ross, via le pôle Sud. C’est avec l’Endurance, navire conçu spécialement pour des voyages polaires, qu’il se rend en mer de Weddell...more
Paul Harris
Quite simply awesome. And I don't use the word lightly, considering it is very much an overused word. Ernest Shackleton was a hero not only because of what he endured, but because of how he led. As opposed to Robert Scott who made a series of errors (as well as experiencing some genuine bad luck with inclement weather) culminating in disaster in 1912, Shackleton's primary concern above all aspects of his mission were the men under his command. In 1908 - on his earlier 'farthest south' expedition...more
Shaun
This is Ernest Shackleton's personal account of his adventure to Antarctica. He descirbes in great detail the grandeur of the adventure, the highs and lows. I especially liked how he describes their final stretch to cross the island of South Georgia and reach civliliation with little food and no water. He said the three of them the presence of a fourth person who helped them on their final leg. It's hard to know if this was an angel or what, but he feels strongly they were protected and aided by...more
Jeff
"South" by Sir Ernest Shackleton,1919. Shackleton's first hand account is one of the most well known survival narratives of the 20th century. Shackleton's writing is mostly cool and factual, more like that of a sea captain's ship log, rather than that of a personal diary. The more intriguing passages are the entrees that hint of uncertainty. As he and his crew begin to feel the pangs of scurvy, Shackleton shrinks from shooting an over flying albatross. Fearing the guilt that would be felt by his...more
Joe Stamber
When I became the proud owner of a Kindle, I was reading a paperback novel (Mudbound). Not wanting to start another novel, I decided to read a bit of "South!" (downloaded free from Amazon) while I finished the paperback. However, this is one book that once started is difficult to put down. The lives of Shackleton and his party have a routine monotony that is a stark contrast to their constant struggle for survival during their journey. Shackleton writes almost matter-of-factly about the incredib...more
Alice
Read this one while you're hating how freaking cold out it is!! It's been a while since I read this, but if I remember correctly, it's all taken from the journals of the men on the expedition. There's a lot of stuff about lattitude and longitude, and 5000 different ways to describe cold and snow and ice! You may find that you want to skim over some of the more "scientific" stuff and just get to the good parts! You know: the frostbite, and the starvation, and the penguin poo! This book will make...more
rob
Reading Shackleton's story always makes me feel like I need more testosterone in my life, like I should tackle something grand and important and mostly crazy. It also makes me glad that I spend most of my time warm enough and full enough. Aside from being a great (completely true) adventure story, it's a great testament to a fantastic leader that he brought all the men who went with him back home, despite their incredible hardships.
Jim
A decent account of the trials and tribulations of the crew of the aptly named Endurance. With their ship destroyed by ice after being held fast for months, Shackleton had to organize the evacuation of the crew by means of sled and open boat. The hardships and privations suffered by these men are enough to make you want to inch closer to your fireplace! A great tale of adventure, and all the better because it's true.
Ilinca
It's hard to judge these books by the same standards you'd use on anything else. Shackleton is not a writer, but his tale of the, well, failure of the Endurance makes for a riveting read. The fact that they all (spoiler alert) survived after horrific struggles with the ice, cold, hunger, thirst and depression is a little bit miraculous, and Shackleton's understated tone makes it all the more impressive.
Beckylynn
This book is about a thrilling adventure/exploration mission into antarctica. Their ship is crushed in the ice fields and the journey then becomes one of survival. The description is amazing! You couldn't write a better fiction story than this true to life story of almost certain death and the hope that carries us through the most difficult of experiences.
Julian
This isn't usually my type of book, but I really got into this one, partly because the captain was actually a decent writer as well as obviously a pretty extraordinary individual.
David Greene
"For knowledge and erudition, give me Scott. For expeditionary and exploration prowess, take Peary. But if disaster strikes, get down on your knees and pray for Shackleton!"
Adriane Devries
Sir Ernest Shackleton, leader of the 1914 attempt to cross the Antarctic continent, entered into an epic survival journey that by all logic should have been impossible.

Faithfully keeping his daily journal amidst below-zero gale conditions, he depicts the physical and spiritual practices required for his entire crew to survive on ice floe camps, on life rafts in tempestuous seas, and while climbing without gear an uncharted crevasse-filled mountain range.

With inexorable optimism, his redirected...more
Jack Kirby and the X-man
A spectacular adventure story - with the bonus that it is true!

The fate of those on the Endurance holds the most interest, the story of their ship being trapped in the ice over winter, the inability to escape during the following summer, the crushing of the ship, the second winter on the ice out in tents, the mad dash in the lifeboats, the amazing sea journey and the final climb over the South Georgian mountain ranges - followed by the desperate attempts at rescue.
I felt the Aurora/Ross Sea sto...more
Marley
If you're familiar with Shackleton's story, you likely want to read this just for the sake of completion. Just know that it's not going to be the page-turner you would have hoped for. For anyone unfamiliar with Shackleton's story and curious to learn more, I'd recommend you start with another source.

The subject matter is fascinating yet Shackleton's writing lacks emotion. He was obviously writing this for his contemporaries to prove that his expedition had not been a complete failure. He rightly...more
Andrew Ziegler
I had a really hard time getting into the "floe" of this book. See what I did there? No, seriously, Shackleton's writing is very clinical and matter of fact. Recording every day, watching the ice, food stores, lat and long, temperature...etc...for what seems like an eternity. With no drama or embellishment, which as an avid reader, I love. However, this book at its start was dry. That is the truth. You know what else is the truth? This story. All of it. 100% fact. You can know that going in, and...more
Ron
This is a gripping personal account by the leader of what, to my knowledge, was probably the most incredible adventure of the 20th century. Shackleton, after being locked with his crew in the Weddel Sea in Antarctica for more than a year, leaves them on a remote island and with a crew of five, sailed a life boat across 800 miles of ocean in the dead of winter to obtain a rescue party for the 22 men left behind. Written as a memoir, it is largely quotations from the journals of himself and his cr...more
Beth A.
This book was very slow paced and detailed, and took me a long time to read, especially the first third. The story was amazing, but I can’t decide if they were amazingly brave and perseverant, or just a bit stupid. Not their survival, but putting themselves at such risk in the first place. When they ended up stranded, no one seemed remotely surprised.

The person who recommended this book to me mentioned looking at leadership traits, so I was thinking about that as I read this book.

Team building:...more
David Taylor
As you may have guessed from reading the many of my reviews, I'm a huge lover of all books fantasy and fell in love with the worlds authors built when I was a small boy - growing up reading about the arduous adventures of great heroes as they suffered to better the lives of others, while imagining the stunning grandeur of the worlds they lived and fought in.

And with this passion for fantasy, stemmed a love for real-life explorers - the brave men who risked their lives to stand on grounds unknown...more
Mallory
Some journeys do not end in success. But that does not make them failures. Sir Ernest Shackleton knew this and recorded an incredible first-hand account of bravery, sacrifice and leadership amidst the many trials that befell his team’s final Antarctic expedition. Shackleton was the master of understatement and managed to find humor and life lessons in even the most dire situations. British cool pervades throughout the pages and I finished this book feeling in awe, astounded and inspired, just to...more
Laurent
Very hit-and-miss: moments of intrigue thwarted by boredom. The first hundred pages are a real struggle

So admittedly I've read a number of non-fiction adventure books in recent times (Walking the Amazon, Kon-Tiki, Eiger Dreams) and it is somewhat unfair to judge them all. While there is no doubt that Shackleton was a remarkable adventurer, leader and sailor, his writing, while certainly not bad, does leave something to be desired.

So I'll get my rant out of the way first... In my opinion, half th...more
Kathy
Nov 12, 2013 Kathy rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: Folks who like adventure stories and have patience.
I loved, loved, loved the narrative of events and the real-life adventure tale. However, Shackleton wrote this for other explorers and for a contemporary audience. Pages of dates, latitudes and longitudes got really old really quickly, so I just skimmed through those. They're scattered about, though, so it's not like you could just skip one section to avoid them.

It's always interesting to me to read parts of history with which I'm unfamiliar, particularly when juxtaposed with those more familiar...more
Peter
Sir Ernest Shackleton wasn't the most engrossing writer in the world. Much of the book reads like a ship's logbook - understandably, since it was edited together from logbooks and diaries of the expedition, with filler narration written by Sir Ernest and some helpers. But the story itself, even to someone who knows it fairly well, is an epic one.

(Although I find that the Reader's Digest version I read once-upon-a-time was dramaticized or expanded as well as cut down. Some of the incidents that s...more
Feisty Harriet
I remember reading about this book–a published collection of papers and diaries, really–when I read The Lost City of Z a few years ago, and then found a hardback version for a steal at a used book store and pounced on it. Shackleton went on several expeditions to the Antarctic, but this is about his last one. Two crews comprising a total of 56 men left the UK right as WWI began and headed south. Reeeeaaaaallly far south. Shackleton wanted to walk across the Antarctic continent and his plan was t...more
Alex
I read this casually, a little at a time. It's one of the great adventure stories of all time, and smashing stuff (get it?) but...here's how it works: it's based on the journals of Shackleton and everyone else in his party - he gives others lots of time too - and the entries can be a little repetitious. Like, y'know, "Still stuck on an iceberg. Cold and hungry."

Shackleton's a surprisingly good writer, though. Clear, engaging and often funny. That livens up the doldrum periods - but also, the ef...more
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Sir Ernest Henry Shackleton, CVO, OBE was an Anglo-Irish merchant naval officer who made his reputation as an explorer during what is known as the Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration, a period of discovery characterised by journeys of geographical and scientific exploration in a largely unknown continent, without any of the benefits of modern travel methods or radio communication.
More about Ernest Shackleton...
The Heart of the Antarctic: The Farthest South Expedition 1907-1909 Escape from the Antarctic (Penguin Great Journeys) Shackelton: His Antarctic Writings Heart Of The Antarctic And 'South' (Wordsworth Classics Of World Literature) Aurora Australis

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