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The South Pole

4.27 of 5 stars 4.27  ·  rating details  ·  190 ratings  ·  19 reviews
Roald Amundsen records his race to be the first man to reach the South Pole. Amundsen's expertise enabled him to succeed where his predecessors, and competitors, did not. His rival Captain Robert F. Scott not only failed to reach the Pole first, but due to poor preparation and miscalculation died with the rest of his party on their return trip. The South Pole remains one o ...more
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Published November 21st 2000 by Cooper Square Press (first published 1912)
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Matt
This is generally a good read, although at times Amundsen's writing style can be very irritating and sometimes downright dishonest. At the time he wrote this, most official expedition books pretended everything was always jolly-good, no one was ever complained or argued, and everything always went exactly as planned. The British in particular were very bad about this. He takes up this habit and takes it further than even the brits ever would. In a few instances, Amundsen is profoundly dishonest ...more
Sasha
Few books have influenced my own adventuring more than this one. Amundsen's genius for planning and his singular toughness in risk-riddled explorations of the unknown impressed upon me the necessity of clear-headed foresight during an expedition. Perhaps the most fascinating part of the book for me was to read of how he and his crew nourished themselves, cared for their physical needs and dealt with medical emergencies along their journey. I recommend this book as a must-read selection before at ...more
Louisa
Roald Amundsen's account of the expedition to the geographic South Pole is a fascinating read. Although Amundsen attributed the success of the expedition to "good luck", it seems obvious that the Norwegians were simply better prepared than Captain Scott and his crew. The equipment, the sledges with well-trained dogs, the supply depots with seal meat at regular intervals along the route, the sunglasses to avoid snow blindness; it was all thought of in advance. It is then perhaps not surprising th ...more
S.P.
Along with "South" (Shackelton) and "The Worst Journey in the World" (Cherry-Garrard), this ranks as one of the three best polar exploration/adventure non-fiction works of all time. Of particular interest is the stark (and, ultimately, tragic) difference of approach among the three exploration parties. As for "flare," Amundsen's account ranks somewhere between Shackelton's (a dramatic page-turner with breathless "plot turns") and Cherry-Garrard's (equal parts dry scientific report and heart-brea ...more
George Farrants
Fascinating to read about the expedition as he experienced it.
Norwegian, with Amundsen's idiosyncratic spelling!
Amanda
I should have read Scott's story first, because I'm in too much of an upbeat mood now! The Norwegians are just so damn cool, and part of it is their attitude about life and obstacles. They know that the going is gonna be tough, so they prepare for what they can and choose not to worry about what they have no control over. This was so effectively inspiring mostly because it wasn't written in order to be so. It's the matter-of-fact tone of someone who wants not only to reach a goal, but to live li ...more
Charlenekane
Was he a genius for reaching the South Pole with almost jolly ease...or a ruthless bastard for killing all those dogs along the way? People who accomplish amazing deeds are never NOT human and that is what makes their stories all the more inspiring -- because for a few seconds they actually transcend the weighty burden of being fallible.
Millie
This was an excellent read. I read it because I thought it was unfair that I always favoured British polar explorers, and I was right! Amundsen was totally better at polar exploring than Scott!

The Norwegians were much better prepared, and much luckier with their weather, and they really did deserve to reach the Pole first.
Elizabeth
I read this while I was reading Dan Simmons' The Terror, and in comparison it seemed like the most luxurious expedition ever. They survive on the ice by eating the finest chocolate? They bring a canary on board? And the canary lives through the whole trip?! Okay, terrible things happen to dogs in this account, but still.
Raúl
Fantástica historia de la exploración del Polo Sur, contada por su protagonista, con rigor y sobriedad. Al final del libro hay interesantes apéndices desarrollando los distintos apartados científicos de la expedición.
Stuart Montgomery
Unlike Scott, Amundsen was single-minded in his attempt on the Pole. The expedition relied on skis - and on dogs. Amundsen's drooling account of eating the dogs did little to help his popularity.
Shawn
A great first-hand account of the first expedition to the south pole. I love getting into the head of an explorer 100 years ago, rather than just reading an historian's thoughts about it.
Deborah
This book made the polar journey out to be a walk in the park for the Norwegians . Or could they have simply been the better planners for a trip like this during this time?
Michael Brady
I read a two volume set from the the original hardcover printing. Amundsen's prose is a little plain but one of his strengths was planning carefully so as to avoid drama.
Ray Melville
Very good; a recent translation, giving it a modern feel, not at all old fashioned.
Marts  (Thinker)
Most interesting and enjoyable account of Roald Amundsen's south pole expedition!
Grigoriy Povarov
Read if you do business with Norwegians.
Anne
Cool reading for a hot summer!
Gil
From the master himself
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A polar explorer at the turn of the late 19th century.

Amundsen led the first expedition to successfully traverse the Northwest Passage and he was the first person to reach both the North and South Poles.


More about Roald Amundsen...
Race to the South Pole (The Great Adventures) My Life As An Explorer Roald Amundsen's "The North West Passage"; Being the Record of a Voyage of Exploration of the Ship "Gja" 1903-1907 The South Pole, Volume 2 The South Pole, Volume 1

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