Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “South: The story of Shackleton's last expedition 1914 - 1917” as Want to Read:
South: The story of Shackleton's last expedition 1914 - 1917
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

South: The story of Shackleton's last expedition 1914 - 1917

4.21 of 5 stars 4.21  ·  rating details  ·  4,685 ratings  ·  259 reviews
In 1914, as the shadow of war falls across Europe, a party led by veteran explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton sets out to become the first to traverse the Antarctic continent. Their initial optimism is short-lived, however, as the ice field slowly thickens, encasing the ship Endurance in a death-grip, crushing their craft, and marooning 28 men on a ploar ice floe.
In an epic str
Paperback, 374 pages
Published 2002 by Penguin Books (first published 1919)
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 South, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about South

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details

--South: The Endurance Expedition

Appendix I:
Scientific Work
Sea-Ice Nomenclature
South Atlantic Whales and Whaling

Appendix II:
The Expedition Huts at McMurdo Sound

First it was cold. And then it got really cold. And we're hungry. And it' cold and we're hungry. And phewy, it's really freaking cold. We don't have a whole lot to eat, either. Brrrrrrrrrrrr. Ice. Seals. Cold. Es muy frio. Teeth chattering. Chewing on blubber. Blubber fires. Shivering. Need more food. Did I mention it's cold? Seriously, I'm really cold. Frostbite. Shoulda worn another sweater. Shoulda brought an extra pair of gloves. Shoulda brought some extra cans of Pringles. I could really go ...more
Extremely interesting and riveting in places even knowing how it all turned out.

Available at:
Mark Mortensen
Prior to reading Sir Ernest Shakelton’s harrowing voyage aboard the Endurance I knew few facts other than he obviously survived to pen his memoir.

The expedition to be the first to cross the Antarctic continent from sea to sea over roughly 1,800 miles by way of the South Pole. Planning for the mission began in 1913 and when World War I erupted the scientific voyage was not canceled. It’s historic that on August 4, 1914 King George V kept his appointment to meet with Shakelton and give him the Uni
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
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
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
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
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?)'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
In 1914, seasoned explorer Ernest Shackleton sets out to be the first ever to cross the Antarctic continent. Easy stuff for this whiskey drinking, womanizing, original man’s man. But confidence quickly turns to distress when his team of 28 are marooned nowhere near their destination. Icebergs, brutal cold, and starvation are just a few of the lethal adversaries they face during this true epic of survival.
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!"
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
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
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
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:
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
"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
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
This a recount of real events that reads like fiction. Language in this book is beautiful and flows naturally, what makes it a fairly easy and quick read.

When reading non-fiction it is always difficult to not judge the reasons, decisions and events behind the story. I refrain from doing that as my rating would drop drastically, as I was rather critical of the whole adventure. Nevertheless we can't change past and these events took place exactly a 100 years ago. And taking that into account I was
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.
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.
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.
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.
i guess one of the worst reviewed books here on Goodreads, considering the relevance of the subject.

The book is a non-fictional, true-to-the-fact travel journal Shackleton himself wrote after heroically survived the "Endurance Expedition".

What do you expect by going by ship toward South Pole? Just ice, cold, wind, storms, and again, cold, dangers, faith. It’s the miserable human condition against the immensity of the wilderness, the hardest wilderness on earth.

Yet Shackleton wrote about it with
Absolutely excellent and inspiring. I don't like motivational speaker stuff, I find it all very fluffy and very vacant. Shackleton's account of the 1914-1917 expedition is anything but. An amazing tale of perseverance, endurance, and on-the-ball leadership, it is a great read for anyone interested in exploration.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Having already ready, Endurance: Shackleton's Incredible Voyage I was interested in hearing about the expedition in Shackleton's own words. You have to love the British optimism from the Golden Age of Exploration, even in their most dire straits, spirits are always up.

As far as a story, this account reads more like a diary, the narrative suffers from repeated accounts of bearings and wind-directions, which were of obvious importance to Shackleton as a record for future expeditions, but does not
Juniper Shore
Shackleton was an amazing explorer, and this is the story of his most amazing expedition. Unfortunately, he was not an amazing writer.

The story is well worth reading about in other sources--National Geographic did an article on it, if you want a short summary--but this narrative gets lost in the fine details. Shackleton spends far too much time on the preparations for the voyage, listing every last item the crew is taking along, and that sort of tedious overexplanation dogs the whole book.

Sep 26, 2014 Kevin rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone interested in adventure, survival, how to persevere in life, faith and God.
Shelves: favorites
This is the best book I've ever read. If it wasn't a true story, you would laugh it off as a preposterous lie. Even the name of the ship, The Endurance, would seem contrived.

But it's true. And there are photos to go along with the story. This is an adventure novel that dares you not to turn the next page. I've read it several times, and it never gets old. A story of courage, survival and faith. It reminds you that, not so long ago, there were unexplored regions of the world and fearless men who
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Scott's Last Expedition: The Journals
  • South with Endurance: Shackleton's Antarctic Expedition 1914-1917
  • South Pole: An Account of the Norwegian Antarctic Expedition in the 'Fram', 1910-12
  • Farthest North
  • The Worst Journey in the World
  • The Home Of The Blizzard: A True Story Of Antarctic Survival
  • Mawson's Will: The Greatest Polar Survival Story Ever Written
  • Through the Brazilian Wilderness
  • Alone: The Classic Polar Adventure
  • Shackleton's Boat Journey
  • The Last Place on Earth: Scott and Amundsen's Race to the South Pole (Exploration)
  • The Lost Men: The Harrowing Saga of Shackleton's Ross Sea Party
  • In the Land of White Death: An Epic Story of Survival in the Siberian Arctic
  • My Life as an Explorer
  • Terra Incognita: Travels in Antarctica
  • The Ice Master: The Doomed 1913 Voyage of the Karluk
  • An Unsung Hero: Tom Crean - Antarctic Survivor
  • Starlight and Storm
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...

Share This Book

“Huge blocks of ice, weighing many tons, were lifted into the air and tossed aside as other masses rose beneath them. We were helpless intruders in a strange world, our lives dependent upon the play of grim elementary forces that made a mock of our puny efforts.” 0 likes
“We had seen God in His splendours, heard the text that Nature renders. We had reached the naked soul of man.” 0 likes
More quotes…