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Endurance: Shackleton's Incredible Voyage

4.37  ·  Rating details ·  61,241 Ratings  ·  4,089 Reviews
This is a new reading of the thrilling account of one of the most astonishing feats of exploration and human courage ever recorded.

In August of 1914, the British ship Endurance set sail for the South Atlantic. In October 1915, still half a continent away from its intended base, the ship was trapped, then crushed in the ice. For five months, Sir Ernest Shackleton and his me
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Hardcover, 282 pages
Published January 1st 1959 by Carroll & Graf Publishers
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Lo The famous Mallory quote you're referencing was a joke. The real reasons for people doing the unfathomable are almost always impossible to explain in…moreThe famous Mallory quote you're referencing was a joke. The real reasons for people doing the unfathomable are almost always impossible to explain in a trite interview format, to a person who inherently doesn't get that drive because they don't possess it themselves.

His actual reason for his completely irrational attempts at Everest is perhaps better revealed by another quote of his, "Have we vanquished an enemy? None but ourselves."

Self-mastery and discipline are lofty goals, but indeed are primarily the concern of those so fortunate and privileged as to worry about them, as opposed to those who struggle for survival without needing to pursue new challenges. It's totally fair to not want to partake of that kind of story, but it's not accurate to presume that anyone just climbs a huge mountain or journeys to a hostile, frozen wasteland because they have nothing to do.

As for what challenges are available to us in the modern age, I'd hazard that there are more than there used to be. It's true that there aren't the same large physical frontiers, and it's increasingly hard to do something that hasn't been done before, or be the most superlative at anything in a world with billions of humans. But the increased complexity of our society affords nearly infinite possibilities to those who want to be bold, to live authentically, to pursue new horizons, etc.

Whether there's any point to all that is as dubious as it's ever been, but the history of humanity's progress has never made much room for asking "why?"(less)
Conrad Having not read Shackleton's, I can't properly answer this. But it's based not only on that book and a previous Shackleton bio but on many other…moreHaving not read Shackleton's, I can't properly answer this. But it's based not only on that book and a previous Shackleton bio but on many other first-person accounts, including diaries and extensive interviews with the surviving members of the expedition.
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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
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karen
Apr 30, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
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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
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Natalie Vellacott
May 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: biography, classics
What an incredible adventure.

Endurance tells the story of Sir Ernest Shackleton's attempts to cross the Antarctic overland with his 27 man crew. But, in October 1915 when they were still half a continent away from their intended base, their ship was trapped, then crushed in the ice. The entire crew with 50 dogs left the doomed vessel, camping on ice and using small boats to attempt to reach the nearest island. They became castaways in one of the most savage regions of the world. Any hope of sur
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Heather K (dentist in my spare time)
*2.5 stars*



Other than the bazillion amounts of bonus points that I got from my history-loving father for reading this one, I found Endurance: Shackleton's Incredible Voyage to be a little underwhelming.

Honestly, it's a fascinating story and a true testament to the will of man, but it is also extremely repetitive. Though the narrator was very good, I had trouble keeping my attention on the story as the guys killed another seal and were cold... again... for hours and hours of listening time on en
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Laura “Nogglization”
Jan 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: History lovers, true story enthusiasts, fans of exploration.
10/5 ⭐'s: An exciting, epic battle of survival; Stoicism to the nth degree. Truly incredible. 🏆

“The ship had been named the Polaris. After the sale, Shackleton rechristened her Endurance, in keeping with the motto of his family, Fortitudine vincimus—"By endurance we conquer."

Easily one of my all-time favorite books—ever—it's not hard to see why astronaut Scott Kelly brought it with him to the ISS not once, but twice. Although I hazily remembered Shackleton's voyage from history class, it wasn't
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Fred Shaw
Nov 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Endurance, Shackleton’s Incredible Voyage by Alfred Lansing, Narrated by Simon Prebble, Blackstone Audio Book

This is an incredible account of a December, 1914, British Antarctic expedition of 28 men and their venture to sail to the Weddell Sea. They were to land a shore party near Vahsel Bay, in preparation for a transcontinental march via the South Pole to the Ross Sea. They never made it to the starting point. Halfway there they were caught in ice floes and the ship was eventually crushed and
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James
Nov 25, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
‘Endurance’ is Alfred Lansing’s very thorough, workmanlike but effective and affecting – at times moving account of Shackleton’s ‘Incredible Voyage to the Antarctic’.

For anyone who is not familiar this story – quite simply, this must be the greatest true story of survival against all the odds and is simply unparalleled in our times.

The book, as the expedition, is a sobering, frightening story of unrelenting suffering, challenges on a super-human scale, seemingly unrelenting and insurmountable ob
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Chrissie
Dec 12, 2011 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
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Brandon
Feb 06, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
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Faith
May 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audio, overdrive
Although this book was nonfiction, it read like a thriller. The author interviewed survivors of the ill-fated 1914 expedition to Antarctica and also used some of their diaries as his source material. I wanted to learn a little about this expedition after seeing a play in which Ernest Shackleton was a character. (It was actually a strange little musical, and not particularly good, but it managed to pique my interest.)

Shackleton was a flamboyant, arrogant adventurer, who was interested in fame, gl
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Kelli
Feb 10, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio
That was a painfully slow and boring audio. I guess I shouldn’t have read Who was Ernest Shackleton? first because shorter more interesting take.
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.
Kim Noggle
Feb 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
WOW! Riveting! Intense!
Kind of nail biting at times wondering if the end was right at the point I was reading, but no!
What perseverance these men had clear til the end, all of them!
Epilogue teared me up because of the true JOY I felt for this account to the Arctic recorded through journals that survived along with all the crew. An AWESOME story of brave explorers in 1916 to the Arctic.
Vanessa
Aug 28, 2007 rated it it was amazing
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 rated it it was amazing
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
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Julie
May 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I am almost unable to express my feelings about this amazing and unbelievable story. I finished the last paragraph with tears running down my face and shaking my head in disbelief.

If this were a work of fiction, you'd barely believe it, but you'd credit Alfred Lansing for his story-telling and imagination.

It's not fiction, and you can't help but find yourself in a perpetual state of awe over these men and their optimism, faith, humor, determination, and endurance.

I felt quite unworthy on every
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Arah-Leah Hay
Mar 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: true-survival, 5stars
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
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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
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Linda
Feb 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2017
This is the ultimate survival story and I don't have the words to fully describe how much in awe I am of the men who persevered through this unbelievable voyage. I would just finish reading one section, thinking that conditions could not possibly get any worse, only to find out that conditions did, in fact, get worse. And yet the men fought for their lives with all they had. Along with being amazed by the technical details of how the men overcame each obstacle, I also loved the added personal de ...more
Andy
Mar 03, 2017 rated it it was ok
I'm sorry. I know this is an incredible survival story, but I have to call bullshit. This is being advertised as a story of "leadership" and "heroism" when it's more like the opposite. I used to be OK with letting such stuff go as a "conversation starter" but I now think such fuzziness is too dangerous.

Shackleton plans the expedition for the sake of a publicity stunt that he hopes will make him rich. He picks his crew "capriciously." He "hypocritically" adds a science component. He ignores advi
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KatieMc
Insomuch as a written account of a noted historical event can be spoiled, this review contains spoilers. If you don't want to be spoiled, stop here and read the book. It's excellent.

So much is amazing about Ernest Shackleton's voyage to explore Antarctica and the misadventures that follow, but the most noteworthy one is that everyone survives. Think of it, 28 men spend nearly two years essentially camping on ice floes or drifting in 20-foot wooden lifeboats where the temperature rarely rise abo
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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
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Barbara
What drives anyone to explore far away desolate regions? Why did men (and they were all men in that era) go to a place like Antarctica? Ernest Shackleton , an Irish explorer, led this expedition. The story opens in 1915 when their ship is in distress. I listened to the audiobook without knowing the outcome of this story. I would encourage others to avoid the temptation to read the history of the expedition before reading this book. I couldn't imagine that endless descriptions of this world of tr ...more
David
Sep 16, 2007 rated it really liked it
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
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Biblio Curious
Feb 09, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history-western
Great for history or adventure buffs. Amazing what these guys did to survive! Wow, wow, and then that ending. *Italian style kiss of the finger tips* Brilliant ending.

The emotion when reading this is the same.... wow... wow... cringe... wow. It's damn cold for every second of those frost bitten 2 years so eating ice cream in a walk in freezer seems fitting as a description of the reading experience.
AH
Jul 26, 2014 rated it really liked it
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.
Michael Perkins
Oct 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing
some amazing photos from the expedition.....

http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-3485...
Leah
Feb 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018, audiobook, factual
True heroism...

This is a straightforward, factual telling of the story of Ernest Shackleton and his crew, and their failed 1914 bid to cross the Antarctic on foot from west to east. It's also one of the most stirring and emotionally turbulent books I've ever read. These were the days of the great explorers, making crazy expeditions in the name of scientific discovery, but just as much for national pride and for the sheer glory of being the first. Shackleton's expedition was at least in part to w
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Goodreads Librari...: Misspelled title 2 21 Mar 03, 2018 03:25PM  
  • Endurance
  • The Endurance: Shackleton's Legendary Antarctic Expedition
  • Mawson's Will: The Greatest Polar Survival Story Ever Written
  • Farthest North
  • The Last Place on Earth: Scott and Amundsen's Race to the South Pole (Exploration)
  • The Worst Journey in the World
  • South: The Story of Shackleton's Last Expedition 1914-1917
  • South with Endurance: Shackleton's Antarctic Expedition 1914-1917
  • Alone: The Classic Polar Adventure
  • Scott's Last Expedition: The Journals
  • Barrow's Boys: The Original Extreme Adventurers: A Stirring Story of Daring Fortitude and Outright Lunacy
  • The Lost Men: The Harrowing Saga of Shackleton's Ross Sea Party
  • True North: Peary, Cook, and the Race to the Pole
  • South Pole: An Account of the Norwegian Antarctic Expedition in the 'Fram', 1910-12
  • Adrift: Seventy-Six Days Lost at Sea
  • The Home Of The Blizzard: A True Story Of Antarctic Survival
  • The Ice Master
  • Frozen in Time: The Fate of the Franklin Expedition
47 followers
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.” 36 likes
“We had seen God in His splendors, heard the text that Nature renders. We had reached the naked soul of man.” 22 likes
More quotes…