Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Emperors of the Ice: A True Story of Disaster and Survival in the Antarctic, 1910-13” as Want to Read:
Emperors of the Ice: A True Story of Disaster and Survival in the Antarctic, 1910-13
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Read Book* *Different edition

Emperors of the Ice: A True Story of Disaster and Survival in the Antarctic, 1910-13

3.92  ·  Rating details ·  156 ratings  ·  43 reviews
In 1909, every continent had been thoroughly explored . . . except one. That September, Captain Robert F. Scott announced a new scientific expedition that would put Antarctica firmly on the map at last and claim the South Pole for Great Britain. Twenty-three-year-old Apsley Cherry-Garrard was asked to join. With no special skills, and terrible eyesight, he seemed a surpris ...more
Audio CD
Published April 20th 2009 by Brilliance Audio (first published September 30th 2008)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Emperors of the Ice, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Emperors of the Ice

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.92  · 
Rating details
 ·  156 ratings  ·  43 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Emperors of the Ice: A True Story of Disaster and Survival in the Antarctic, 1910-13
Walker Miller
To start with, the author of Emperors of the Ice is Richard Farr. This book is rewrite of the book Worst Journey written by Apsley Cherry-Garrard or just Cherry. Worst Journey is Cherry’s written account of his expedition. Cherry is also the main character and narrator of Emperors of the Ice. Now that we cleared that up, we can begin to understand Richard Farr’s purpose in writing his book. After he read Worst Journey, he knew that he had to rewrite this great story of heroism and tragedy. Farr ...more
Wayne Inkster
Apr 06, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
While this was a great book to read, you must remember it is a fictional memoir based off of a true one. The writer has a captivating style that hooks the reader, but I feel he often only glossed over the surface.
Apr 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This one of the best naratives I've read in a while. I feel it is one of those stories in history that look very unassuming but when you read it, it comes alive and is an amazing tail worth learning about.

This book is an easy read, but even adults will enjoy it.

I've shared it with my 11 year old daughter and she is gobbling it up as I type.
Melissa Dwyer
Jun 02, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Originally rated G+ by Joanne Valco
Children's Literature
Very few books truly deserve to be called spellbinding, but this book is one of those rare few. Even readers who do not care much for tales of action and adventure will find this book almost impossible to put down. This is a nonfiction chronicle of Robert Scott's second Antarctic expedition, 1910 to 1913, but author Farr employs a superb device to render the narrative with all the tension, immediacy, and richness of first-class fiction—he h
Aug 08, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014reviews
I have mixed feelings on Emperors of the Ice: A True Story of Disaster and Survival in the Antarctic, 1910-13. On the one hand, it is a fictional memoir based on an actual memoir. Much research was done to write this one. Perhaps just as much research as if it was a traditional nonfiction book. The author's love of the subject was evident throughout. The book is told primarily if not exclusively through the eyes of one of the men on the expedition, Apsley Cherry-Garrard. The exception being the ...more
Oct 22, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What an Adventure!

I really enjoyed this book more than I expects to, but I was excited to learn about the geography of the antarctic area as described by Cherry.
Although I believe Scott made many mistakes in planning and executing this trip, the two most egregious to me are: paying money for sledges versus dogs, when their wasn't that much information on pledges, especially used in extreme temperatures; and allowing his friend, Bill, take a scientific excursion into extremely dangerous territory
So you think this winter has been cold and snowy? Try sleeping out in a tent in -77º F temperatures, which is what Apsley Cherry-Garrard did on his trip to Antartica in 1910. At only 23 years old, Cherry was chosen to join Captain Robert F. Scott’s expedition to Antartica to carry out scientific experiments, and hopefully plant the British flag at the South Pole. He was given the title of assistant zoologist, and one of his missions was to collect the eggs of the emperor penguin for study. Durin ...more
Feb 18, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Blind as a bat, a poor navigator and inexperinced with dogs Aspley George Benet Cherry-Garrad never thought he would realize his dream of becomming an explorer. He considers himself the luckiest man alive when he is chosen to accompany Robert F. Scott's expedition to Antarctica. In addition to reaching the South Pole, Scott had many scientific experiments planned for the expedition. One of these was to journey to Cape Crozier to gather the eggs of the Emperor Penguin. Cherry accompanies Bill Wil ...more
Apr 02, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Emperors of the Ice by Richard Farr is a story within a story of the ill-fated Robert F. Scott expedition to the South Pole 1910-1912. It tells of gathering penguin eggs and other adventures in the face of gale force winds and extremely cold temperatures. The bounds of human endurance seem incredible. The fictionalized slant to very real accounts made for an authentic convincing read. Those early explorers were tough. It is told from the point of view of Apsley Cherry-Garrard. He was a wealthy O ...more
May 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm not a big fan of the historical genre, but I loved this book! It was beautifully written, constantly kept me interested, and was full of likable and very respectable characters! Instead of being like most historical and historical fiction genres, this one was actually written like a novel and not like a uninterestingly written history book. It's beautifully made with perfectly placed pictures with amazing captions, along with an awesome plot and great characters. If you read the preface, whi ...more
Jul 14, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great book. This is an account of Scott's fatal second expedition to the South Pole, told in the voice of Apsley Cherry-Garrard, and based in part on his monumental work, The Worst Journey in the World.
This is published for advanced younger readers, age 12 and up, but the story isn't dumbed-down, and an adult reader will find it as satisfying and gripping as a younger reader. The voice is all Cherry, and he tells the story of the first human expedition to see nesting Emperor penguins, which was
Wrenell Newman
Feb 05, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Found a world New to me

I found this to be educational and entertaining reading which is something I love doing. This has made my old body appreciate the warmth that I have to live with. In the year 2000 I had stage 3 cancer and lived in Southern California, I did not get warm for two years after the chemotherapy. I slept in sweats and under a down comforter along with a pile of blankets on top, my teeth still chartered. Reading this book makes me feel as if maybe I was warm. You were able to tak
This book is an interesting blend of fiction (since the book is told from Cherry's first-person point of view but not written by Cherry) and nonfiction (since it's based extensively on Cherry's own writing and other historical documents and it's only the dialogue that is imagined). It was interesting to see how the trip was about more than just making it to the Pole; it was also about science and experimentation. This is a fine book for those interested in learning more about Antarctic explorati ...more
Apr 28, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this in 2010 as preparation for the American Museum of Natural History's centennial exhibit on the Race to the South Pole. This is an easy (and brief) introduction to Antarctic history, Robert Scott and Roald Amundsen's goals and crew and what happened to everyone during and after their "race".

If you are curious about the history of Antarctica but don't want to read something that's too dry, this is a good way to get a general idea.
Emperors of the Ice is a slightly fictionalized account of the 1910-1913 Scott expedition to Antarctica and the South Pole. It is truly a dramatic story of adventure, hardship, and very good men, some of whom gave their lives. The first person narrative style of the account made it more relateable and personal, however I was slightly turned off because of it. I was expecting a solid history book.
Mar 14, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
For some reason, this fat children's librarian who doesn't like to leave her recliner just looooves this type of adventure. I love to read about these explorers who defy the elements in their quest for some crazy goal. This one follows the story of a member of an expedition to reach the South Pole -- and to get some Emperor penguin eggs along the way.
Jennifer W
May 25, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow! I was very surprised by this book. I was surprised because I had no knowledge of the groups of people who explored the Antarctic. I was also surprised at how well written this story was. I loved the mix of the "true" information combined with the fictionalization of the events which couldn't be proven. I really recommend this book to anyone who likes a good adventure.
May 19, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Factual without being a textbook.

I enjoyed the fact that the heroic deeds in the book revolved around the pursuit of scientific studies and not just being the first to reach the South Pole.

I found the book interesting, but would not pick it up again for a second read, so it only gets 3 stars.
Feb 14, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a great book. I picked it out in the library and started reading it. I found it kind of interesting. I then researched the stry and found out more about it. In the end it was sooo sad. This was one of only two books that have made me cry. This one, was the first based on a true story. READ IT!!!!!!!!
Aug 04, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good true story of a trip to discover the south pole. The primary source was the story written by one of the survivors. I think I would have rather read that since this felt truncated. The men involved seemed extraordinary yet there wasn't enough development to see them fully. Still a good telling.
Mar 06, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It was a different age in 1911 when Robert Falcon Scott and his crew set off from Cardif, Wales for the South Pole. Scott and 4 others would not return. Adventure reading with a twist...this book is a fictional account and condensed version one of the team's books published in 1923.
Jan 12, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A quick yet fun foray into Robert Falcon Scott's fatal expedition to the Antarctic. Stars taken off for the work's brevity: there was so much left to discuss and do!

Very quick read, yet will put into perspective the fervor behind Antarctic exploration in the early 20th Century.
Feb 22, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you are interested in the tales of the North this is an interesting account of the quest to reach the South Pole.
Sep 27, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I found the first person point of view annoying since the book was presented as non-fiction yet was not written by Apsley Cherry Garrard.
Dec 01, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It is amazing to me what torture people will go through in the name of adventure. Read it in one night. I couln't put it down.
Matthew Foster
Dec 18, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Even though you may not be strong, you are still good at something.
Well-written, beautifully illustrated, intense.
May 04, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The story is solid enough; the reader makes it so good.
Jun 16, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really great. The second half really helped give insight into the Terra Nova polar expedition. The first half set up previous expeditions and put the 1911-1912 expedition into context.
Jun 02, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm glad to have experienced this books but I had to take a few breaks because it depressed me. I am amazed at what these men went through but sometimes it was too sad for me.
« previous 1 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • What Lies Between Us
  • The Other Son
  • Thin Wire: A Mother's Journey Through Her Daughter's Heroin Addiction
  • You Then, Me Now
  • The Great Escape: Nine Jews Who Fled Hitler and Changed the World
  • One More Thing: Stories and Other Stories
  • Make Lemonade (Make Lemonade, #1)
  • The Dharma Bums
  • Dear Exile: The True Story of Two Friends Separated (for a Year) by an Ocean
  • Crazy Like Us: The Globalization of the American Psyche
  • Assata: An Autobiography
  • Sacré Bleu
  • Paris: A Love Story
  • A Raisin in the Sun
  • Freedom Is a Constant Struggle
  • When the Emperor Was Divine
  • The Photographer
  • The Story of the Human Body: Evolution, Health, and Disease
See similar books…
I grew up in England's West Country - one of the world's leading producers of strange names for small villages. I now live in Seattle - the only American city with exactly the same climate.

When I'm not reading, writing, mentoring students and adults (, or staring out of the window, I enjoy running, hiking and sea kayaking.

News & Interviews

  Let’s say it now and say it proud: Horror is back.  This summer, as the world was thrown into uncertainty by a pandemic and our...
97 likes · 29 comments