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Endurance: Shackleton's Incredible Voyage

4.33  ·  Rating Details  ·  42,833 Ratings  ·  2,718 Reviews
In August 1914, explorer Ernest Shackleton and his crew set sail from England for Antarctica, where Shackleton hoped to be the first man to cross the uncharted continent on foot. Five months later, the Endurance - just a day's sail short of its destination - became locked in an island of ice, and its destiny and men became locked in history. For ten months the ice-moored E ...more
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Published by Audio Partners (first published 1959)
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Cheryl The challenge is for us to be able to see ourselves as capable of the resourcefulness, the teamwork, the courage, as these men proved to be. They…moreThe challenge is for us to be able to see ourselves as capable of the resourcefulness, the teamwork, the courage, as these men proved to be. They weren't god-like immortals. And we're all capable of a lot more than we imagine ourselves to be. The human race is strong, not just too clever for its own good.

(Mind you, I had the same reluctance to read of the exploits of explorers that your question implies that you do. I generally prefer the courage that rescues children from Hitler's Germany or serves the dying in a hospice. But this is a good book. Get an edition with the full complement of photos.)(less)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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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
Diane
What an incredible story! This was my introduction to Shackleton, and I am left reeling from the experience.

I chose Endurance to add symmetry to my list. Earlier this year I read In the Kingdom of Ice, Hampton Sides' excellent book about a doomed expedition to the North Pole, and I thought I should balance the hemispheres by reading about a South Pole expedition. Lansing's book was highly rated by GR friends, and justifiably so.

What struck me about the writing was how modern it was. Lansing had
...more
Chrissie
Mar 02, 2015 Chrissie rated it really liked it  ·  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
Brandon
May 18, 2012 Brandon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Laura
The unbelievable and tragical story of the Ernest Shackleton's expedition to Antarctica and their struggle to survive for an interminable period of time.

The book describes the Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition (1914–17) his third expedition, also known as the Endurance Expedition.



Endurance became beset in the ice of the Weddell Sea before reaching Vahsel Bay held in the pack ice throughout the Antarctic winter of 1915.
Arah-Leah Hay
Mar 24, 2014 Arah-Leah Hay rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 5stars, true-survival
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
Vanessa
Aug 16, 2009 Vanessa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Davie
May 10, 2007 Davie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: finished
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
Joselito Honestly and Brilliantly
A simply astounding story of, what else, endurance. Survival might be the better word, of course. But "Endurance" was their ship's name (originally it was "Polaris," but the ship was rechristened "Endurance" as if foreshadowing what its crew would endure in its last voyage.

The leader was Sir Ernest Shackleton with a crew of 27 (plus a stowaway) and 69 sledge (Canadian) dogs. They were set to do what no one had ever done before: cross the Antarctic continent and, by doing so, become famous and ri
...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
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
Christie
Apr 09, 2012 Christie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
AH
7/26/14 - Audible daily deal.

3.5 stars - Audio book is well done.

A little bit dry at times yet still a fascinating story about Shackleton's Antarctic expedition. I can't even begin to imagine the hardships that Shackleton and his crew endured while they were marooned at the bottom of the world with absolutely no chance of rescue. It really gives you a sense of Mother Nature's power. Makes you look at ice in a whole new way.

Recommended.
Rebecka
Jul 02, 2015 Rebecka rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An incredible book about a huge failure. Perhaps a masterpiece. I thought I would spend the rest of the summer slowly working my way through this book, but instead I almost flew through it.

This being said, I am above average interested in terribly cold places. I first wanted to read this book (and first heard about Shackleton) in Skating to Antarctica, and then stumbled across it a month or so later in a second hand book store and paid 250 NOK for it ( I NEVER spend that much on a book, even if
...more
Becky
If someone pitched a book idea to a publisher about a bunch of guys stranded in the Arctic, who’s boat is destroyed by ice, who get hunted and in turn hunt sea lions, and who save the day by –no joke- sledding down a mountain to avoid freezing to death and manage to save their whole crew of shipwrecked mates, you would be laughed at. It’s too ludicrous. Too unbelievable.

BUT IT FREAKING HAPPENED.

Look if you want to learn how to be a good manager, a good adventurist, a good person- then you need
...more
Shaun
Nov 10, 2013 Shaun rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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, wh
...more
Patrick
Feb 03, 2008 Patrick rated it it was amazing  ·  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.
Ashley
Sep 21, 2014 Ashley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 astonishing.

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 repeti
...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
Cindy Rollins
Feb 24, 2015 Cindy Rollins rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015, audiobooks
I started this because I had owned it in print and audio for quite some time without ever reading it. It just never felt like something I would like. I was wrong. I found this true story completely engrossing and uplifting. Am I, who feels frustrated at being uncomfortable on a plane for an hour, of the same species as Shackleton's men? It is hard to imagine. I am not sure how people ever thought being wet and cold made one sick. These men were wet and frozen for years!

This was a story worth te
...more
Sophia Hanson
Jan 09, 2016 Sophia Hanson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow. What an incredible story. I cannot even fathom what these men faced alone in the Antarctic. Easily one of the best non-fiction books I have ever had the pleasure of reading.
Sylvester
Possibly one of the most exciting books I've ever read. This is one of those that proves the phrase "truth is stranger than fiction". If it were fiction, I'd be saying how thrilling the story was but maybe the author pushed it to the extreme?

Yeah. Awesome awesome awesome. Loved it. This stuff actually happened. There must have been something special about Shackleton as a leader - choosing the particular men he did (Worsely, for instance, was most impressive to me), and his style of leading.

I c
...more
Toni Osborne
Jan 07, 2016 Toni Osborne rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This bestseller first published in 1959 and reissued in 1999 recounts the failure of the Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition by Sir Ernest Shackleton in its attempt to cross the Antarctic continent by dog sledge in 1914.

Men have to be nuts to be explorers ….

The British ship Endurance set sail for the South Atlantic in August of 1914 by October 1015 half way from its intended base the ship was trapped, crushed in the ice leaving the crew drifting on ice packs in one of the world’s most inhospit
...more
Abdulrahman Alhussain
I started this book because an astronaut was reading it on the ISS. And in a way those Antarctica' and Artic' explorers were the astronauts of the late 19th early 20th centuries. I'd say, though, that they did it more for the adventure–the most thrilling and terryfing of adventures–and the recognition, than for any scientific discovery.

Imagine being stranded alone, in a vast, freezing whiteness. Hundreds of miles away from civilization, and any reliable help. No radio. No airplanes. Nothing. Man
...more
John Wiltshire
Feb 09, 2015 John Wiltshire rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've just finished reading The Thirteenth Tale and didn't want to attempt another fictional book just yet--that one is too wonderful just to cast off so lightly, like immediately inviting other friends in for supper after saying goodbye to a companion you won't see again for many years. So, liking tales of boys' own adventure and pretty much anything to do with snow, and having set a recent novel in the Arctic (yes, I know Shackleton went to the Antarctic--it's cold, isn't it?), and living as cl ...more
Nick Alessandro
Jun 29, 2014 Nick Alessandro rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"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
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
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Polar Explorers: Next Read: Endurance 17 7 Nov 12, 2015 03:50AM  
Three stories for winter reading 4 29 Feb 01, 2015 05:28AM  
this book 21 183 Dec 30, 2014 11:52AM  
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  • The Arctic Grail: The Quest for the Northwest Passage and the North Pole, 1818-1909
  • Sea of Glory: America's Voyage of Discovery, the U.S. Exploring Expedition, 1838-1842
  • Barrow's Boys: The Original Extreme Adventurers: A Stirring Story of Daring Fortitude and Outright Lunacy
  • In the Land of White Death: An Epic Story of Survival in the Siberian Arctic
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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...

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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.” 24 likes
“In that instant they felt an overwhelming sense of pride and accomplishment. Though they had failed dismally even to come close to the expedition's original objective, they knew now that somehow they had done much, much more than ever they set out to do.” 14 likes
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