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The Home of the Blizzard: A True Story of Antarctic Survival
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The Home of the Blizzard: A True Story of Antarctic Survival

4.14  ·  Rating Details  ·  227 Ratings  ·  23 Reviews
"The Home of the Blizzard" is a tale of discovery and adventure in the Antarctic -- of pioneering deeds, great courage, heart-stopping rescues, and heroic perseverance. This is Douglas Mawson's first-hand account of his years spent in sub-zero temperatures and gale-force winds. At the heart of the story is Mawson's epic sledge journey from 1912 - 1913, during which his com ...more
Hardcover, 438 pages
Published October 1st 1998 by St. Martin's Press (first published 1915)
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Rusty
Feb 07, 2011 Rusty rated it it was amazing
Shelves: history
This is without a doubt a five star read. I learned so much about Antarctia as well as some new vocabulary. These were the most vivid for me: arite (sharp ascending edge of a mountain), lead (in this case, a narrow open water path in an ice floe or solid ice), neve (compact snow in the process of becoming glacial ice, sastrugi (irrigularaties in the snow due to wind as waves or ripples formed by hard winds), and nash (refers to cormorants).

The expedition appears to have been blessed with good f
...more
Natalie
I have been living under a rock. How did I miss the story of to recreate Mawson's journey?

Or his book?

Mawson Life and Death in Antarctica by Tim Jarvis
Mawson: Life and Death in Antarctica

Or his award-winning 90-minute documentary following the expedition that re-enacted the polar survival journey of Sir Douglas Mawson ?

This sensational headline from the time of Jarvis' trip says it all: "Accused of eating a team mate to survive, he's the polar hero history chose to forget. A century later, one remarkable man set out to prove Douglas Mawson
...more
Matthew Sutton
Apr 28, 2016 Matthew Sutton rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the great accounts of polar exploration ever written. Mawson's book ranks amongst the top three classic works about Antarctica's 'Heroic Age' which would include the "Worst Journey in the World", and "Endurance".

This is Mawson's own account of the ambitious Australian expedition to the terra incognita of "Adelie Land" Antarctica. The goals included mapping the coast of the Antarctic continent south of Australia, to take soundings in this remote stretch of the Southern Ocean, to find the m
...more
Amerynth
Douglas Mawson's "The Home of the Blizzard" is a very comprehensive account of his two years exploring Antarctica. It is really a terrific description of the trials and hardships, including an incredible sledge journey in which Mawson lost one of his two teammates, his best dogs and most of his food. From a pure adventure standpoint, I enjoyed Lennard Bickel's "Mawson's Will" slightly more -- just because Mawson somewhat downplays just how incredible his survival was. However, this book is reall ...more
Mihai Giurgiulescu
It's hard to find more epithets to describe the heroic efforts undertaken in this expedition. While the writing is not edge-of-the-seat the entire time, the constant struggle for survival and individual acts of persisting against all odds are simply astounding.
The thing that impressed me the most overall is how much Mawson and his men were able to accomplish given the technology and resources of their time. To be able to carry out geographic exploration and scientific studies in an unknown part
...more
Lisa
This is a compelling story of endurance, courage and determination on the most inhospitable continent on earth. Mawson's recount tells of the wonder, excitement and horror of early Antarctic exploration in vivid detail; today's reader can only marvel at how these scientists were able to manage living conditions in such a hostile environment and to set the standard of scientific achievement for future expeditions.
The first part of the tale covers how in 1912 a team of 18 men set up a base and le
...more
Steven
I really enjoy reading books about polar exploration. There's something fascinating, terrifying, and inspiring about these stories. I ran across a segment of this book reprinted in The Ends of the Earth and it made me want to read the whole thing.

The Australian Antarctic Expedition of 1911-1914, led by Douglas Mawson sought to map out and explore the geography, meteorology, and wildlife of Adelie Land, the portion of Antarctica which faced Australia. Unlike other explorers on the continent at th
...more
Robert Melnyk
This book was just ok as far as books on antarctic adventures is concerned. I don't think it compared to the book "Endurance: Shackleton's Incredible Voyage." It just seemed to ramble at times...we walked here, walked there, it was cold and snowy..." There did not seem to be the character development or the intense survival story line that "Endurance" or other books I have read of this genre. So while I enjoyed it, I was a bit disappointed that it was not better.
Lara
I had a difficult time of keeping track of the timeline here--I think the dates for each section are written at the beginning, as well as the name of who wrote each part, but I have a really bad habit of skimming over that stuff, and since I was reading an e-book version, it wasn't real easy to flip back and remind myself. Still though, really enjoyable writing, from all involved, and it was especially interesting to me that Mawson and Scott were there at the same time, and that Mawson's party a ...more
Jenni
Sep 01, 2015 Jenni rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Pretty epic, but also rich with detail which may put some off. Available to read for free at the Australian Antarctic Division's website.
Brett Ortler
Nov 19, 2014 Brett Ortler rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An almost unbelievable book. Incredibly understated, but remarkably well-written. Perhaps the best book written about Antarctica.
Jerry Triplett
Apr 03, 2014 Jerry Triplett rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Awesome read of personal survival in the most forbidden place on earth.
Crystal Quintero
I think that this book will be great
Alex Laycock
Jan 06, 2014 Alex Laycock rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
blimey! blimey their determination in terrible conditions,ive NO desire to go to Antarctica now,and they had such primative equipment and clothes,i LOVED the stories abotu their dogs,despite they ended up eating them,and the spirit of humans to battle on,The book had some incredible photos in it too.page turner :-)
Meera Flame
Sep 17, 2012 Meera Flame rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An amazing and often shocking and disturbing read. I am astounded by what these men experienced both physically and emotionally. Such as the loss of s friend down a crevasse, one moment he is following behind with his sledge and dogs, the next he is simply gone. Traumatizing. Their physical suffering actually led me to stop reading for a while, it so disturbed me. But I was committed to finishing their story and I am amazed that Mawson survived this journey.
CavyNomes
Apr 16, 2016 CavyNomes rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library-books
In parts dry, hilarious, and horrifying.
Jerry Jackson
Dec 27, 2012 Jerry Jackson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A real hidden gem. One of the great survival and human endurance stories that I have read. This first hand account provides great detail, emotion, and reflection by the author who was also the survivor. I found this book at an old book store in the New Orleans French Quarter about 10 years ago. Still one of my favorite finds.
Karen
Aug 07, 2015 Karen marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoir
Went to a lecture at the Boise Public Library called "Worst Journeys: Fifty Plus Epic, Harrowing, Real Life Tales."
There are a lot of books on the list they handed out, but I will only list here the ones that the speaker made special note of.

This one is Douglas Mawson own tale of survival.
Joshua Horn
The official book of the Austrailian exposition to Antarctica under Sir Douglas Mawson. It isn't well known today and there were some great stories. The book is good, but it does get a bit slow at times going through the day to day drudgery of the expedition
Jan
Aug 14, 2013 Jan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wow, I loved this book. I love all books like this. Extreme adventure and exploration. Amazing story and well-written.
Jil
Aug 14, 2011 Jil rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
One of my favorite polar stories. Most terrifying description of crossing crevasses I have yet read.
Laura Ricks
Found it a bit hard-going at the beginning, but enjoyed it after that.
Christopher
Nov 20, 2013 Christopher rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent book on the Antarctic.
Kelly
Kelly marked it as to-read
May 04, 2016
Tristan Hons
Tristan Hons marked it as to-read
May 04, 2016
Lesley Wickham
Lesley Wickham rated it it was amazing
May 03, 2016
Megan
Megan marked it as to-read
May 03, 2016
Loubli
Loubli rated it really liked it
May 03, 2016
Chris Kmetz
Chris Kmetz marked it as to-read
May 02, 2016
Janice Camp
Janice Camp marked it as to-read
May 02, 2016
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An Australian Antarctic explorer and geologist. Along with Roald Amundsen, Robert Falcon Scott, and Ernest Shackleton, Mawson was a key expedition leader during the Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration.
More about Douglas Mawson...

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“The tranquillity of the water heightened the superb effects of this glacial world. Majestic tabular bergs whose crevices exhaled a vaporous azure; lofty spires, radiant turrets and splendid castles; honeycombed masses illumined by pale green light within whose fairy labyrinths the water washed and gurgled. Seals and penguins on magic gondolas were the silent denizens of this dreamy Venice. In the soft glamour of the midsummer midnight sun, we were possessed by a rapturous wonder—the rare thrill of unreality.” 0 likes
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