Endurance: Shackleton's Incredible Voyage
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Endurance: Shackleton's Incredible Voyage

4.31 of 5 stars 4.31  ·  rating details  ·  31,030 ratings  ·  2,063 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)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Endurance, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Endurance

The Devil in the White City by Erik LarsonFreakonomics by Steven D. LevittIn Cold Blood by Truman CapoteA Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill BrysonGuns, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond
Best Non-Fiction (non biography)
43rd out of 2,832 books — 4,803 voters
A Walk in the Woods by Bill BrysonEat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth GilbertInto the Wild by Jon KrakauerInto Thin Air by Jon KrakauerIn a Sunburned Country by Bill Bryson
Favourite Travel Books
26th out of 1,075 books — 2,087 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Behold...the gentleman whose exploits crushed the last vestiges of manhood from my fragile psyche*:
* 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.


Holy persevering manliness Batman, I was w...more
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.


that's what i love the most - his unflagging op...more
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
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
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
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
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
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
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

- 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
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.
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
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
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
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
The incredible power of ice and cold water is featured in this excellent older novel and they are like characters in a horror novel, starting with the capture and the destruction of one of the best wooden ships ever, the Endurance. Little did these 28 men know when they set sail for their Arctic adventure, that they would endure hardships that never seemed to end, from hunger to cold to sleeplessness to thirst to frostbite to depression. The story of them finally setting off on the water after 1...more
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
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
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
Oh my goodness. This was a page turner. Prepare to lose sleep over this one.

The book wasn't terribly reflective and didn't try any pop psychology on the men of the expedition, and so at times it was much more minute-by-minute reportage of two years of unrelenting frozen hell rather than a meditation on heroism or leadership. The author really let the events and the primary sources speak for themselves. One thing I was hankering for was a little bit more descriptive language and a bit more narrat...more
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. ;-)
Nick Alessandro
"MEN WANTED for hazardous journey, small wages, bitter cold, long months of complete darkness, constant danger, safe return doubtful, honor and recognition in case of success.
-Ernest Shackleton, 4 Burlington st."

This book is one of expedition, discovery, and danger. It is a masterful compilation of the information from the original shipmates' diaries. It truly illustrates the immensity of Ernest Shackleton's intelligence and especially his leadership skills. He had the innate ability to judge...more
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.
Gabriel Hudelson

This book is as gripping as any novel- more so, because the unbelievable story it recounts is true! It is inspiring and convicting reading of men who went through such incredible difficulties- it provides great perspective and a humbling frame of reference through which to see the trials of my own life. The author does not write with as strong and clear of a Providential perspective as I would have liked; there are a few other minor worldview and artistic quibbles that I could nitpick at; th...more
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.
Andrew Mueller
My new obsession... I am still struggling to wrap my arms around what I just finished reading. I am certain that any meager summary I might write will not adequately convey the enormity of the task accomplished by these men. As I begin watching a documentary featuring a group of six men trying to recreate a small portion of this journey with authentic equipment, I cannot help but smile when I consider how unauthentic it truly is.

These men are re-creating the final leg of the overall journey wit...more
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
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
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
this book 19 165 May 13, 2014 01:56AM  
  • The Endurance: Shackleton's Legendary Antarctic Expedition
  • Endurance
  • South with Endurance: Shackleton's Antarctic Expedition 1914-1917
  • The Last Place on Earth: Scott and Amundsen's Race to the South Pole (Modern Library Exploration)
  • South: The story of Shackleton's last expedition 1914 - 1917
  • The Worst Journey in the World
  • Farthest North
  • Mawson's Will: The Greatest Polar Survival Story Ever Written
  • Adrift: Seventy-Six Days Lost at Sea
  • The Lost Men: The Harrowing Saga of Shackleton's Ross Sea Party
  • Skeletons on the Zahara: A True Story of Survival
  • Alone: The Classic Polar Adventure
  • Scott's Last Expedition: The Journals
  • The Ice Master: The Doomed 1913 Voyage of the Karluk
  • South Pole: An Account of the Norwegian Antarctic Expedition in the 'Fram', 1910-12
  • In the Land of White Death: An Epic Story of Survival in the Siberian Arctic
  • The Home Of The Blizzard: A True Story Of Antarctic Survival
  • Annapurna
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...
A incrível viagem de Shackleton Great Stories of Courage Endurance - Vol.2 - Endurance/The Small Woman/Carve Her Name With Pride/Survive The Savage Sea/Champion's Story Antarktyczna podróż sir Ernesta Shackletona Epic: Stories of Survival from the World's Highest Peaks Drogen und Arzneien ( LIFE Wunder der Wissenschaft )

Share This Book

“No matter what the odds, a man does not pin his last hope for survival on something and then expect that it will fail.” 17 likes
“We had seen God in His splendors, heard the text that Nature renders. We had reached the naked soul of man.” 10 likes
More quotes…