Endurance: Shackleton's Incredible Voyage
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Endurance: Shackleton's Incredible Voyage

4.32 of 5 stars 4.32  ·  rating details  ·  26,747 ratings  ·  1,885 reviews
The astonishing saga of polar explorer Ernest Shackleton's survival for over a year on the ice-bound Antarctic seas, as Time magazine put it, "defined heroism." Alfred Lansing's scrupulously researched and brilliantly narrated book -- with over 200,000 copies sold -- has long been acknowledged as the definitive account of the Endurance's fateful trip. To write their author...more
Paperback, 288 pages
Published March 19th 1999 by Basic Books (first published 1959)
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Stephen
Behold...the gentleman whose exploits crushed the last vestiges of manhood from my fragile psyche*:
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* Psst....don’t mention this to my wife as she thinks she took care of this years ago.

Stranded for over a year in the most inhospitable climate on the face of the Earth, literally one tiny step away from complete disaster due to starvation, extreme weather or the ice flows on which they lived deciding to crack and deposit into the freezing depths below.

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Holy persevering manliness Batman, I was w...more
karen
oh my god i feel like i haven't written a review in ages.

goodreads.com, how you holding up without my pearls of wisdom??

i was going to write a DBR of this last night, because that's what shackleton would do, but then i ended up eating candy and doodling instead, and that is why i live a life of mediocrity and insignificance and i am not like shackleton, who ran into some trouble on a boat ride and managed to triumph over impossible odds.

cheerfully.

that's what i love the most - his unflagging op...more
David
There aren't many true-life tales that live up to the hype. There are always some details that make the story just a little less dramatic than in the made-for-TV movie. Not this time. While listening to this audiobook, the thought that went through my head over and over again was "Holy s***!" The book starts with the Endurance, trapped in the Antarctic ice, being literally crushed to death. The men abandon ship, and then float on the ice pack for months. When the pack breaks up, they launch the...more
Brandon
May 18, 2012 Brandon rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Brandon by: Stephen
Ernest Shackleton and his crew of 27 men have taken away my man card. Seriously.

I have never even remotely come into a situation as dire and desperate as the stranded crew of the Endurance. If I did, I’m sure I would curl up in the fetal position and just hope that it all works itself out. That being said, it wouldn’t be long before I would freeze to death or be killed and eaten by a sea leopard. However, if Shackleton was my captain, he could probably get more out of me then I would think possi...more
Chrissie
May 26, 2013 Chrissie rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Chrissie by: Maude
This was exciting! I recommend this book to those who want to throw themselves into another world, albeit a world cold, wet, icy and filled with fear, exhaustion and hunger.

Ernest Shackleton set out in 1914 to cross the Antarctic from west to east. Yes, WW1 had broken out and he had Churchill’s go-ahead Why? For the glory of Britain and for his own glory too. The race for polar discovery was in full-swing. On December 14, 1911, the Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen led the first successful expe...more
Vanessa
Aug 16, 2009 Vanessa rated it 5 of 5 stars Recommends it for: Everyone!
I rarely re-read books, but this was such a gripping, true-life adventure, and well told, that I have read it three times in the last fifteen years. I think it is due for another re-read! It blows my mind to think of what these men went through and how they survived being stuck in Antarctica for years. The way they engineer their own rescue is hardly to be believed. What adds to the appeal of the book is the wonderful color throughout - details of how the men made life bearable during this unbea...more
Arah-Leah Hay
This review does contain spoilers if you are unaware of Shackelton's expedition and the outcome of his men.

As far as true survival stories go, or the utmost extreme conditions that man could possibly endure, and yet survive; this has got to be it. It's absolutely incredible what these 27 men went through. I have read several stories of true survival, but this one takes the cake.

This is the true story of Polar explorer Earnest Shackleton and his 27 men who set sail on "The Endurance" for Antarcti...more
R.S.
I initially thought this would be an exciting read (great cover) but was soon discouraged by the lack of stimulating detail and mundane character profiles. Nothing about this "adventure" was exciting or over the top. It reads like the diary of a jigsaw puzzle addict. Each page slowly melts (sorry for the pun) into the next and the reader is left wondering when will something happen.

The description of the men killing and eating their sled dogs is about as far into emotional turmoil as this narrat...more
Davie
Part ripping yarn, part social psychology experiment, part metaphor for graduate school -- this is the most IN-CREDIBLE book that I've ever read.

It is insaaaaaannnneeeeee!!!!

But even though the whole time you are reading it, you are thinking to yourself -- #$(*&@$%(*waaahhh!!! -- the writing is remarkably restrained and pithy, putting you right in the moment without distracting you from what's going on. You'd almost think you were reading Updike, except the people in the story are real, and...more
David
This is such a great story, and Lansing does it justice. If you're not familiar with the facts of Shackleton's antarctic expedition, read this book.

If you do, you will undoubtedly want to check out Caroline Alexander's "The Endurance : Shackleton's legendary Antarctic expedition" as a companion volume. Lansing's book is excellent on exposition, but skimpy on photos. What makes Alexander's account compelling is the inclusion of ~ 150 photos, taken by the expedition's official photographer, Frank...more
Patrick
Feb 03, 2008 Patrick rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: 5Q Book Group
Recommended to Patrick by: Vanessa
Shelves: 5q-book-group
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Christie
Apr 09, 2012 Christie rated it 5 of 5 stars Recommends it for: anyone and everyone
I read this book quite a while ago, but would put it in my all-time list of top five favorite books. Lansing's written account of the voyage is more more interesting and readable than Shackleton's own accounts, as well as other author's attempts to document the voyage. The story was so amazing to me that for awhile I couldn't read enough/get enough info about this incredible adventure. I even purchased and watched copies of video footage shot while on the adventure. I wanted to name my cat Chipp...more
Alex
Отже:

- Пережити полярну зиму на вмерзлому в лід кораблі без жодної надії подати звістку
- Пережити ще півроку у таборі на дрейфуючій кризі, після того як корабль роздушено льодом
- Провести кілька днів майже без сну та на межі голоду мігруючи поміж танучими кригами (і тягнучи за собою три човни)
- За ще чотири безсонні дні доплисти до негостинного шматка скелі посеред океану, загубити та знову знайти один одного у штормі
- Послати чотирьох на човні по допомогу до населеного острову та чекати б...more
Shaun
But the sea is a different sort of enemy. Unlike the land, where courage and the simple will to endure can often see a man through, the struggle against the sea is an act of physical combat, and there is no escape. It is a battle against a tireless enemy in which man never actually wins; the most that he can hope for is not to be defeated.


Prior to reading this tale of the Endurance and the "Imperial Trans-Antartic Expedition" led by Ernest Shackleton, I had watched a compelling documentary, whi...more
Terzah
You know an adventure story is good when you feel badass just walking down the street carrying it. You also know it's good when you find yourself invoking its characters--who in this case were real people--to help you cope with your own (much more mundane) daily problems, as in, "How would Shackleton have handled this?" or "This is nothing compared to what those guys from the Endurance went through." I knew what the outcome would be, but nonetheless this well-written book kept me up late, thirst...more
Nicole
I recently realized that I am a complete and total wimp. If there was a major catastrophe and only the strong would survive, I would die. Quickly. I have zero practical skills, am not in excellent shape, and when I am hungry I am the most unpleasant person ever.

These are only some of the reasons that this book absolutely blew me away. Shackleton and his crew set out to be the first men to cross Antarctica....in 1914. They set sail, got stuck in the pack ice, had to abandon their ship, and then s...more
Ashley
The subtitle, “Shackleton’s Incredible Voyage,” is no exaggeration. Anyone who reads the jacket copy knows that the captain and all 27 of his men will survive over a year in the Antarctic seas after their boat is crushed by pack ice. But the story of how they do it is absolutely amazing.

Thanks to the fact that each of the men kept a diary, Lansing gives a precise picture of what the crew faced day by day; he was also able to interview many of them as he researched the book. The story gets a bit...more
Jennifer
This is an incredible adventure/survival story - full stop. With access to diaries and input from the surviving members of the crew Lansing is able to write the definitive version of what happened to these men from the moment they left port. It is truly amazing how these men not only survived but kept up their spirits and found happiness in their existence - when they were freezing cold, a glimpse of the sun would lighten their mood. When they were starving, a sea lion attack would become a week...more
Sandra
Feb 26, 2009 Sandra rated it 5 of 5 stars Recommends it for: anymore who likes adventure
Recommended to Sandra by: Jeff
Shelves: memoirs, non-fiction
This is truly an amazing story. I wasn't too interested in reading it, but Jeff kept encouraging me. I was having a lot of trouble believing what he was telling me about this book, as it didn't seem humanly possible for men to survive in the conditions he described. At the beginning of the book I felt Shackleton would not be up to hardships, but I was totally wrong. He kept his men together, brought out the best in them, and everyone survived. I don't want to spoil this tale, so it is hard to wr...more
Alyssa
If this were a movie people would find it unbelievable. What a remarkable tale of man's ability to survive! The first hand accounts were put together into a rich narrative and I found the book to be thrilling even though I knew the ending. ;-)
Katy
Really great book. I really enjoyed it. The film with Kenneth Branagh is also really great.
I highly recommend this read. It is exciting and keeps you on your toes. It also makes you glad you still have your toes. You should probably read this in the middle of the summer.

Also I've lived in Shackleton's house for a year and a half. I've also seen his boats, and gotten into his crows nest. Needless to say, I'm a real Ernest Shackleton fan.
Miss GP
WOW. I thought this book was absolutely fantastic. The writing was discriptive and moved along very well, and the historic adventure descibed was nothing short of amazing. I don't generally read non-fiction, and was surprised at how much I enjoyed this one. Can't wait to recommend it to my friends.
Agustín Fest
Un libraco de hombres, héroes y un líder que debía mantener su imagen a toda costa. La situación es extrema pero el Doctor diría algo como: "Everybody lives". Y saldría contento del escenario.

Bueno, excepto por los perros.
Kevin Sullivan
What an INCREDIBLE adventure story from the early nineteen hundreds!!! A true testament of man's perseverance & will to live! I will not forget this story for a long, long time... I really enjoyed it.
Brad Wheeler
I listened to a history podcast that got me thinking about Antarctic exploration, so on a whim I picked up an audiobook on the subject. Oh man, am I ever glad I did.

I was expecting a scholarly look at an important historical voyage, one of the last in the very last age of exploration. Turns out that I was wrong on both counts. First, it wasn't a very important voyage in the grand scheme of things, either in theory or in fact. Second, it wasn't really a scholarly analysis, but an intensely person...more
Joe
Jul 17, 2011 Joe rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: history
When history is the topic it sometimes turns out that the story is better than the storyteller. That is the case here, where the author is of average ability at best, but the story he has to tell borders on the incredible. Many of the events described would seem beyond belief in an adventure novel, yet the journals and logs of the men involved give proof that they actually happened.

In 1915 an expedition to the Antarctic went catastrophically wrong when its ship became trapped in ice. After six m...more
Gerry
It certainly was a test of endurance and the voyage(s) were most certainly incredible as Sir Ernest Shackleton endeavoured to get himself and his crew out of the frozen Antarctic. That he eventually did so is one of the most astonishing tales of adventure of the 20th century.

The party were attempting to make an overland crossing of Antarctica but the Endeavour became locked in the ice. Shackleton and his men remained on the ship for some time but once the ice closed in it became impossible to re...more
Janice
Jan 17, 2012 Janice rated it 3 of 5 stars Recommends it for: my dad
Imagine seeing nothing but ice for as far as the eye can see. Imagine being in sub-zero temperatures and soaking wet, crawling into a wet sleeping bag that is lying on ice and being so exhausted that you fall asleep. This is an amazing story of survival against all odds. As I read about the conditions these men endured, I could not understand how they managed to live to tell the tale.

The first half of the book was interesting as it described the beginning of their trip to be the first crew to t...more
Kathleen
What a gripping tale! It’s incredible that an account of a failed expedition should stand as such an unrivaled catalogue of heroism and resourcefulness in the face of crushing odds. It reads like fiction, with a cast of characters created for effect. The action, too, seemed calculated for maximum suspense, with each difficulty surmounted and peril avoided, being followed closely by yet another and even worse one. As fiction, this story would strain credulity; as non-fiction it stuns. I was conti...more
Johnathan
This book is simply awesome. There have been various books in the past decade or two about amazing true adventures. A few examples are Seven Years in Tibet, Touching the Void, and Into Thin Air. However, none that I've read can match the journey of Shackleton and his men: getting stuck in the ice near the Antarctic continent, floating north on pack ice for months until they had to jump in the life boats and sail north to Elephant Island, where they set up a camp. Then five of them (Shackleton in...more
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this book 16 149 Apr 11, 2014 03:16PM  
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An American journalist who wrote for Collier's, among other magazines and was later an editor for Time, Inc. Books.

Alfred Lansing served in the US Navy from 1940-46. He received the Purple Heart for his wartime service.

Later he attended North Park College, 1946-48, Northwestern University, 1948-50.

Lansing became a member of the Scott Polar Research Institute, Cambridge, England in 1957.


More about Alfred Lansing...
Great Stories of Courage Endurance - Vol.2 - Endurance/The Small Woman/Carve Her Name With Pride/Survive The Savage Sea/Champion's Story A incrível viagem de Shackleton Epic: Stories of Survival from the World's Highest Peaks Drogen und Arzneien ( LIFE Wunder der Wissenschaft )

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“No matter what the odds, a man does not pin his last hope for survival on something and then expect that it will fail.” 15 likes
“We had seen God in His splendors, heard the text that Nature renders. We had reached the naked soul of man.” 9 likes
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