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Endurance: Shackleton's Incredible Voyage

4.40  ·  Rating details ·  72,129 ratings  ·  5,034 reviews
Bound for Antarctica, where polar explorer Ernest Shackleton planned to cross on foot the last uncharted continent, the Endurance set sail from England in August 1914. In January 1915, after battling its way for six weeks through a thousand miles of pack ice and only a day’s sail short of its destination, the Endurance became locked in an island of ice. For ten months the ice-moored Endurance drifte
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Kindle Edition, 292 pages
Published April 29th 2014 by Basic Books (first published January 1st 1959)
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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)
Alexander McAuliffe According to the author of the introduction to my edition of Endurance (Nathaniel Philbrick), Shackleton's account was ghost-written and is full of…moreAccording to the author of the introduction to my edition of Endurance (Nathaniel Philbrick), Shackleton's account was ghost-written and is full of more flowery Edwardian language than survival skill and leadership on display here. (less)
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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
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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 optimism and good-naturedness. i can't even han
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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 lifeboats ...more
leslie hamod
Jul 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ernest Shackleton set out for Antarctica in 1914 to cross the last uncharted territory. His ship became trapped in the ice. For ten months they drifted North-West.
The crew of 27 men would find that the sinking of the ship was only the beginning. They would suffer, traveling over both sea and I've for over 850 miles. This true account describes the year off travel and suffering, incredible leadership and harrowing experience in which all crewmen survived.
Easy to read, informative, and
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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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Andrew Smith
I've read my share of leadership texts over the years – an occupational necessity for a while – and a name I came across more than one was Ernest Shackleton. Some sources reckoned him to be possibly the greatest leader that ever lived. Well that’s some claim and it’s something I knew I'd have to look into sooner or later. So when I came across this book, originally published in 1959, the time had finally arrived.

I knew that the man was an Antarctic explorer but precious little else.
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Julie
May 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 unwor
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Natalie Vellacott
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 survival see
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Malia
May 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is quite the tale, what a crazy adventure! Endurance tells the story of Shackleton and his crew and their Arctic expedition. The men ran into more than their fair share of trouble, to put it lightly. The book is fascinating and really shows you the incredible power of human resilience and tenacity. Perfect for an armchair traveler, it read like a novel and I couldn't put it down!

Find more reviews and bookish fun at http://www.princessandpen.com
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
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Laura Noggle
Jan 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 until Kelly's Endurance/>“The
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Diane S ☔
May 29, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lor-2019, 5000-2019
Thoughts soon.
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
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TS Chan
I am in awe and in tears.

The ill-fated Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition aboard the Endurance has got to be one of the most phenomenal survival stories that will last through the ages. The conditions that beset the crew of the Endurance were brutal and harrowing beyond my imagination. I don't think that even a fiction writer could have conjured up the unbelievably horrific circumstances that were endured, and survived, by Shackleton and his men.

On the book itself, the narrative was written
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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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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 unrelenti
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Brandon
Feb 06, 2012 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
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Faith
May 25, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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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 Antar
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ChopinFC
Jan 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
Endurance: Shackleton's Incredible Voyage is a heartfelt story that is deeply touching, and rewards the reader with a true story of survival against all odds, and the strength of the human spirit!


Alfred Lansing's book about the incredible misadventure of the explorer ship, The Endurance, is nothing short of a masterpiece! This thrilling account of one of the most astonishing feats of exploration and human courage ever seen, and to top it off, its' 100% based on real events. The author, Alfred Lansing, wrote this 61 years agospirit!
Alfred
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Davie
May 10, 2007 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 a
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Vanessa
Aug 28, 2007 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
Ian
Feb 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the best novels based on a true story that talks about "Endurance" in harsh situations. I have never enjoyed an audiobook like this. Thrilling and exciting!! I recommend this audiobook too because the narrator work was superb.

There are moments in the book that it makes you feel anguish, however, that anguish is totally related to the situation of the journeymen. It is now one of my favorites.
Beata
Dec 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
While reading this novel, I never ceased to feel amazed at the courage of the group of men who undertook a voyage into most unfriendly regions on our planet more than 100 years ago, and who dared to dare. I feel thankful to those who travelled to the place where I'd never venture. Film based on this novel with Kenneth Branagh is worth watching, the novel is much more terryfing, though.
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- th
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Andy
Mar 03, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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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Kim Noggle
Feb 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Arah-Leah Hay
Mar 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 Endu
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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.
Sara
Oct 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am fascinated by books concerning Antarctica, the North Pole, and Everest. This has been on my to-read list for ages. Finally, I got to read it as it was a book group pick.

I loved this book. I stayed up late to read it, read it on the bus, read it at lunch. Amazing adventure story. It's a harrowing yet hopeful tale about what we are capable of enduring in the face of adversity. Just when you think it can't get worse. . .it does.

Of course, I bowed out of attending the book group di
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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 19
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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.” 41 likes
“We had seen God in His splendors, heard the text that Nature renders. We had reached the naked soul of man.” 29 likes
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