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An Unsung Hero: Tom Crean - Antarctic Survivor
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An Unsung Hero: Tom Crean - Antarctic Survivor

4.43 of 5 stars 4.43  ·  rating details  ·  287 ratings  ·  35 reviews
The story of the remarkable Tom Crean who ran away to sea aged 15 and played a memorable role in Antarctic exploration. He spent more time in the unexplored Antarctic than Scott or Shackleton, and outlived both. Among the last to see Scott alive, Crean was in the search party that found the frozen body. An unforgettable story of triumph over unparalleled hardship and depri ...more
Published March 1st 2010 by Collins Press (first published 2000)
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I had already read about Crean in books on Scott and Shackleton's expeditions, so I was looking forward to reading an entire biography focused on him. There was very little new material though (which is probably the reason why there haven't been Crean biographies before - there just isn't enough information about him). I would probably give the content of the book 3 stars.

However, the writing style is annoying. The author seems much too partial to be a good historian, and the book reads more lik
Perhaps my favorite book - true story of an Irishman, Tom Crean, who is part of the British expedition to be the first to reach the South Pole. The British lost the race to the North Pole but thought they could save face by focusing on the South Pole. All three attempts fail, and each time Tom almost single-handedly saves them all from dying; often by trekking solo without food through blizzard conditions for days to get help. No one on the team can fathom how he survives (he loses many of his d ...more
Tom Crean joined Scott's first Polar expedition almost by chance, but went on to become a stalwart of three Antarctic expiditions, two with Scott and one with Shackleton.
An Able Seaman on his first expedition, Tom Crean won the admiration of his messmates, officers and scientists on all three trips. By almost super-human effort he twice rescued companions, earning the undying gratitude of Scott's second in command Teddy Evans. He went on to be a leading member of the crew of Shackleton's epic re
I thoroughly enjoyed this book - it's an amazing accomplishment by the author, and you are continually reminded of what an effort it was to complete the research required to write it. Tom Crean is certainly an unsung hero of Scott and Shackleton's Antarctic adventures. It is absolutely incredible to read what they went through during those times. They had a completely different threshold for endurance (pain, patience, cold) than we can come close to today. It gives one confidence in human abilit ...more
This book documents the adventures of the Irishman Tom Crean across the Antarctic. The author details Tom's childhood in Kerry and his role during World War I before getting into the main part of the book which is his expeditions to the Antarctic. Tom Crean may not be a household name when compared to the likes of Shackelton and Scott. But Tom is a great example of the many men who risked their lives to go to places no men had ever dared to go before. This book is very well researched and writte ...more
This paean to an Irish polar explorer who was on Scott's final expedition and Shackleton's ill-fated one is best appreciated for its photographs and maps. The text is brief, though informative, about a man little recognized for his contribution to the success in the rescue of the crew of the Endurance. Having read other books about polar exploration, the illustrations of this book conveyed a fuller appreciation of the the Scott and Shackleton ventures.
Elaine K
One of our Irish relatives loaned us this book after our daughter spent her first season in Antarctica. Tom Crean was right there with Shackleton through some of the most amazing adventures. If you were fascinated by Endurance you'll like this. Next time you are in Ireland go to the Dingle Peninsula (a stunning place) and be sure to stop at the South Pole Inn in Annascaul and don't miss the statue of Tom Crean in the village park.
Carol Relihan
Wonderful story about an inspiring man from rural Ireland who was the backbone of Shackleton's polar explorations. Book could be a little better written but the story stands on its own.
Wow!!! What a great read about a great man, I was actually in tears towards the end (I won't spoil it but you will know when you read it). I will definitely read more by this author.
Wow. Talk about one tough mofo who doesn't get nearly enough credit. I swear these arctic explorers were superhuman. Excellent book if you're a fan of polar exploration
Brilliant biography of this amazing Irishman who travelled to the pole with Shackleton and Scott, narrowly missing Scotts fatal 1912 polar trip.
Maria Farrow
A wonderful book about a little know hero of extraordinary fortitude and courage. Tom Crean's story should not be forgotten!
An excellent read. Covered Crean's expeditions with both Scott and Shackleton and the incredible rescues he undertook.
amazing book- or more correctly an amazing adventure- really enthralling real life story of Tom Crean- fantastic!
Brendan Snee
One of the Ireland's greatest heroes and probably the toughest Irishman that has ever lived. He is a legend.
Andy Anderson
a must read for those who are interested in Ernest Shackleton's adventurers in Anartica.
By far the best book I have ever read. Extremely well written And an amazing life adventure.
Enda Hackett
What a book and what a remarkable man. A great read and very inspirational.
Ciara *I love Harry Potter!*
Tom Crean is a real hero, and this insightful books tells us why.
Gary O'brien
Absolute legend. It's not everyday you acquire a new hero.
Oonz Oonz
Dec 16, 2007 Oonz Oonz rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone
really interesting story about endurance and adventure.
I did enjoy this, but, as a couple of other reviewers have said, there's not really a whole lot of new information on Crean here. The vast majority of the book covers his participation in three expeditions to the Antarctic with Scott and Shackelton, which is fine, but all of that is available from a vast many other sources; I was really just hoping to learn more about his life before and after Antarctica, I guess, and this book only contains a couple of fairly skimpy chapters about those times i ...more
Lord Brett Sinclair
Crean was an incredible explorer and any book that lists his exploits can scarcely fail but to be impressive. Michael Smith has made the most of the limited resources available, Crean unusually for the period never kept a diary, to write a compelling page-turner that fully gives justice to Annascaul man. A slightly dubious chapter that proclaims Scott would have survived if he had chosen Crean aside, this is an excellent book and an impressive addition to the literature of polar exploration.
Tom Crean was in the Antarctic twice with Scott and also on the fateful Shackleton voyage. Absolutely amazing story. Loved the book.
Darth Birder
The best book on Antarctic exploration I have read so far. Recommended without hesitation!
While not the best written book, it is nonetheless an extremely compelling read. For anyone interested in stories of explorations or how character can be revealed during trying times, the story of Tom Crean will satisfy both in spades. My only regreat was reading this book AFTER we visited Ireland since we drove right by the South Pole Inn and the least I could have done is stop for a pint and toast this remarkable man.
In my quest to read about Antarctic expeditions, I found this account of Tom Crean's life intriguing. He survived three expeditions - 2 with Robert Scott and one with Ernest Shackleton. His integrity, courage, and unfailing loyalty are striking and quite astonishing. The race for the South Pole was won by the Norwegian, Admundson, but the failed expeditions were unimaginable journeys.
Very interesting account of a resilient and unassuming man. Unfortunately, I felt that there is abviously very little information about him and the book feels rather padded and repetitive. Don't get me wrong, its well worth the read but the literary style lacked a little...
I really enjoyed this book about Arctic exploration & am reminded of the bravery of explorers. It helped that I learned about Tom Crean in his hometown of Anascaul Ireland this summer. There's a great lager brewed in Dublin that carries his name 'Crean's'
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads' database with this name. See this thread for more information.

Michael Smith gave up a 30 year career as a leading business and political journalist to write the bestselling biography, An Unsung Hero - Tom Crean. He was formerly Political Correspondent and Industrial Editor of the Guardian, City Editor of the London Evening Standard a
More about Michael Smith...
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