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Endurance

4.4  ·  Rating Details ·  8,579 Ratings  ·  130 Reviews
You seriously mean to tell me that the ship is doomed?" asked Frank Worsley, commander of the Endurance, stuck impassably in Antarctic ice packs. "What the ice gets," replied Sir Ernest Shackleton, the expedition's unflappable leader, "the ice keeps." It did not, however, get the ship's twenty-five crew members, all of whom survived an eight-hundred-mile voyage across sea, ...more
Paperback, 336 pages
Published February 17th 2000 by W. W. Norton Company (first published 1931)
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Brenda
Jul 23, 2013 Brenda rated it really liked it
I liked this Endurance better than the other Endurance book, just because it answers all of the questions I wondered about when the other book wrapped up pretty fast. For instance, I wanted more details about their rescue. Also what happened to the men after they got back? And what about the Ross party, that was supposed to meet up with Shackleton on the other side of Antarctica? This book finished the story better.
Also, it was written in first person by the ship's navigator, who kept a diary th
...more
Audrey
Mar 08, 2011 Audrey rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fic
I'm not always able to finish the non-fiction that I pick up, no matter how "worthy" the book or "fascinating" the topic, so I approach with trepidation. I needn't have worried about Worsley's _Endurance_, though. The first three quarters is absolutely, breathlessly riveting. The physical feats of the men are one thing, but I had just as much admiration for their mental toughness. It's hard to imagine being stuck on an ice floe for months (and months!) after your ship has sunk, with an appreciab ...more
Rachelfm
The third book this month on Shackleton's famous 1914 voyage to Antarctica. I first read the "other" Endurance by Alfred Lansing, which was a reportage page-turner and relied on some interviews with survivors. I found Tyler-Lewis' The Lost Men to provide valuable historical context, and so it was a fitting pleasure to have a story in the skipper's voice. While I enjoyed the book for its unique voice and singular viewpoint, it was quite dated in tone and a bit hero-worshippy. While these qualitie ...more
Annalee Storey
Mar 07, 2017 Annalee Storey rated it it was amazing
Loved this! I have always been fascinated by Ernest Shackleton, especially since he lived for a stint in the house I lived in in London. SO interesting.
Der-shing
Fantastic. I cannot recommend this book highly enough. I wish I'd read it 10 years ago... hell, 20 years ago even, just to give single-digits me something to think about. Incredible details, charming vignettes, and most of all a sense of camaraderie and respect for one's peers that I feel is just as worth reading about as all the adventure. The end broke my heart, but in a way where I know I'll never forget how reading this book made me feel.
Reet Champion
Aug 28, 2013 Reet Champion rated it it was amazing
Told in the words of the Endurance's captain this is a tale one won't soon forget. Filled with interesting little details - sometimes humorous - New Zealander Frank Worsley narrates the story of the famous Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition.

I found this book a great source in researching the Endurance Expedition. Reading contemporary works regarding historical events is good, no doubt about that, but to read a book by someone who was there, who experienced everything firsthand and was a witnes
...more
Nancy
Feb 01, 2009 Nancy rated it really liked it
A good supplement to the Lansing book. He adds more details regarding the environment and animals as well as recounting Shackleton’s death.
Andrew Burton
Feb 25, 2015 Andrew Burton rated it it was amazing
An amazing story of leadership!! Sir Earnest Shackleton was a man who had high goals but would never take unnecessary risk of putting his men in danger just to accomplish his goals of exploration. He was loved by all his men, he had the respect of kings and the lowliest sailor, and he always took the brunt of the hardship on himself. He didn't think that as the leader he had the luxury of letting his men do the hard work he knew that as the leader he had the responsibility for doing the hard wor ...more
Lisa Hunt
Jul 30, 2014 Lisa Hunt rated it really liked it
This was an amazing story, but the writing was a bit clunky for me. It was written by the actual captain of the ship back in the 30's, so I didn't expect it to be the best writing ever, which is why I'm giving it 4 stars. The story of their adventure (the plan was to cross the Antarctic continent), their struggles and the fact that they were able to survive was nothing short of miraculous. I also loved that they seemed to keep great attitudes despite being basically wet and cold for two years. I ...more
Jim
Sep 28, 2011 Jim rated it liked it
Shelves: sea-stories
I like sea stories and hate ice and snow. I had mixed feelings about reading someone's Antarctica story. "It was cold, it was wet, the snow was white." But this is also a story about being stranded, having to build shelters and wait weeks for a rescue in the days before air travel or two way radio. Above all, its a story about the men who went for help, traveling hundreds of miles in an open boat. Then they had to find a ship to make the return trip, locate the camp they left behind, and hope at ...more
Christie Washam
May 03, 2011 Christie Washam rated it it was amazing
easy to read and quickly paced. The drama of the adventure is somewhat curtailed by Worsley's tone of voice, but on the other hand, it sort of feels like we've sat down next to him at some ex-pat bar and he's telling us the story in person. The downplaying of the hardships just make it all the more amazing and very much endearing. Loved this book, even after the narrative turned from the initial expedition into tales of the war, past trips, and Shackleton's final voyage.
Megan
Sep 07, 2009 Megan rated it it was amazing
My favourite account of the Endurance expedition - the photos contained within this book are amazing - written by Shackleton's captain. His navigational abilities are amazing, especially as you read about the harrowing journey in a lifeboat from Elephant Island to South Georgia.
Anne
Apr 05, 2012 Anne rated it it was amazing
A book I've reread many times. I remember a certain administrator who compared herself to Shackleton as she laid off a bunch of people. To which I wanted to yell, "Um, Shackleton didn't throw anyone off the boat."

Anyhow, great adventure and a very lesson in endurance.
Sarah
Sep 16, 2011 Sarah rated it it was amazing
I have read almost every book written on the Endurance expedition, and quite a number of books about polar exploration.
This is my favorite one.
C.J. Darlington
Read this a couple years back and enjoyed it. So amazing what these men endured. Makes me cold just thinking about it!
Jeff
Jul 09, 2017 Jeff rated it liked it
My friend Pete recommended this first person account of the ship Endurance which was abandoned after being stuck in ice in the Antarctic in 1916. The leadership of Sir Ernest Shackleton is credited with returning all the men of the expedition home safely after months of some of the most grueling conditions imaginable on the most remote area on Earth. Much credit must also be given to the British stiff upper lip as the men endure wet and freezing cold conditions and near starvation in the long ni ...more
Steve
May 04, 2017 Steve rated it it was amazing
A spectacular story of survival. The physical and mental misery the crew endured is shocking. One of my ten best books ever.
Scott
Feb 09, 2017 Scott rated it it was amazing
Shelves: not-entered
Utterly amazing! Great survival story, but the Captain's leadership and devotion to his crew was the most remarkable part of it.
Jasonwilkerson
Jun 17, 2017 Jasonwilkerson rated it really liked it
A fantastic adventure told with excellence. They dimply don't make men like that anymore.
DyAna Longhurst
Jun 04, 2017 DyAna Longhurst rated it it was amazing
Fascinating book of pure determination! Loved the book.
Christine Keegan
Mar 10, 2017 Christine Keegan rated it it was amazing
Epic. Classic.
Alex Gerrish
Mar 01, 2017 Alex Gerrish rated it it was amazing
This was one of the most inspiring stories I've ever read. True to its name, Endurance speaks of tenacity, grit, and indomitable optimism in the face of impossible odds.

I can't recommend it enough.
Justin
Jul 08, 2013 Justin rated it it was amazing
I read this gripping adventure tale when feeling rather down due to life circumstances. Having read Shackleton's own first-person account of his legendary voyage, I wasn't eager to read anyone else's version of it--mainly because the Shackleton narrative is beyond boring. In fact, the way he tells it, in classic British stiff-upper-lip stoicism, nothing really happened at all! just some boys having a lark out on the ice. A bit of starvation here and there and a spot of almost certain death but q ...more
Johnny
Jun 29, 2017 Johnny rated it it was amazing
Describing the book as a "page turner" does not do justice to it. Great reading for those interested in the human tenacity, leadership, teamwork, and the power of belief.
Lara
Oh, man. This totally made me cry. I am way too emotional about Antarctica, yeah?

So, this is mainly Captain Frank Worsley's account of the 1914-1916 Imperial Trans-Antarctic expedition--the loss of the Endurance, the subsequent long slog across the ice, the journey to Elephant Island, and from there to South Georgia, the trek across the mountains to reach the whaling station on the other side, and, finally, the rescue of the other expedition members they'd left behind to seek help and the men fr
...more
Jason
Aug 19, 2008 Jason rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Mark Rawlings
Recommended to Jason by: Tyler Self
I was told that this was the greatest survival story of all time. It is pretty amazing. A 1914 expedition to explore the South Pole is cut short as pack-ice jams the ship Endurance in limbo. The sailors make do until eventually the ice crushes the ship and they are left on an arctic shelf to ponder their near impossible trip home. For two years, these men survived. All of them! The story traces a ridiculous trek across frozen desert reaching temperature as low as fifty degrees below zero, they s ...more
Wes F
Dec 09, 2015 Wes F rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Excellent book by the captain of Sir Ernest Shackleton's Antarctic exploration ship, the Endurance. Captain Worsley gives great insights on one of the greatest survival stories of the modern era. He also gives helpful info on the differences between Antarctic & Arctic environments--as he explored both areas. He also adds some good additional info on Shackleton's earlier attempt to reach the South Pole (he & companions had to turn back when only 97 miles away from reaching it) and on the ...more
Cheryl Becker
Feb 10, 2017 Cheryl Becker rated it it was amazing
What an incredible story about the will and knowledge to survive, leadership, and the effect of optimism on group dynamics. I had to force myself to put this book down at times, not because it had nonstop action, but because I knew how it ended so I shouldn't have been in such a rush to get there. I wanted to savor it because it truly is an awesome real life story. The author surprisingly takes a relatively pragmatic approach to sharing the crews emotions, mostly focusing on the group's optimism ...more
Mardel Fehrenbach
Jan 19, 2015 Mardel Fehrenbach rated it it was amazing
This is an incredible story of triumph over adversity and strength of character. The book is gripping, not only because the story is gripping, but because it brings a human touch to history. Through journal entries, one experiences the thoughts of the actual players in this epic battle, one sees heroes of history not as mythic creatures, but as men, men who make bad decisions, men with flaws, but men nonetheless, men who pull together and rise beyond themselves to survive dangers and conditions ...more
Mike Reid
Apr 28, 2014 Mike Reid rated it it was amazing
Shackleton is one true leader!

What an amazing story and wonderfully told by not only a competent sea captain but a talented writer as well. If you are a sea-faring wannabe like myself, you will certainly love the detailed descriptions of the ship “Endurance” and all the jib and heave-to language that comes along with it. Wonderful scenery of the Antarctic and its inhabitants are wonderfully described within the story and gives oneself the feeling of actually being trapped on the ice-packs and f
...more
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