Adam Wiggins's Reviews > Endurance: Shackleton's Incredible Voyage

Endurance by Alfred Lansing
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Apr 18, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: adventure-story
Read in April, 2012

I was enthralled by this historical account of this ill-fated expedition from the Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration.

In a nutshell, Shakelton's team finds their ship crushed by the ice before they even begin, and then spend two years trying to find their way back to civilization.

It's hard to explain why I found this such a page-turner: the drama here is pure man-versus-nature. Perhaps it's the utterly alien world of the Antarctic. Much of the account documents their time spent in "the pack," hundreds of miles of shifting ice floes which are neither solid land nor open water. The environment south of the Antarctic circle is like something out of sci-fi.

The group faces blizzards, rampaging sea leopards, constant subzero temperatures, threat of death by starvation and thirst, frostbite, and maddening boredom as they constantly wait out the right conditions to make their next move.

I marveled at the iron will of these men; but I suspect this is not reading material that many people would find engaging.
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